The best state to live in as a trucker depends on what type of truck you are driving.

And, what makes a state the best for a trucker? Highest salary? Most time off? Lowest cost of living?

It can be good to make a list of your individual preferences and then use our guide below to select the best state to suit your needs.

Your goals, desires and priorities will give you a clear indication as to which of the following states is the most appealing for your situation.

What Is The Highest Average Salary Per State

The states that pay the highest average salary to truck drivers are as follows:

  • New York ($55.4K)
  • Wyoming ($55.0K)
  • North Dakota ($54.6K)

You may be surprised to see that truck drivers earn a competitive salary irrespective of the state in which they reside. This salary is far higher than the salary in the vast majority of other industries.

As such, any stereotype that might exist about truck drivers being ‘low paid’ vs other industries isn’t necessarily true. It is also important to note that these salaries are often scaled with regard to your individual years of experience.

There is also no college degree required in order to become a truck driver. Real world experience is just as important, if not more important than theoretical knowledge.

To become a truck driver, a good option is to obtain your CDL from your local truck driving school, and you could start to earn anything from $40,000 to $80,000+ per year!

Where Are The Most Job Openings For Truck Drivers?

There are numerous job openings for truck drivers in the following states:

  • California (22.7K jobs – on average)
  • Ohio (15,1K jobs – on average)
  • Illinois (16.5K jobs – on average)
  • Texas (12.7K jobs – on average)
  • Pennsylvania (14.4K jobs – on average)

It is important to note that despite the essential nature of truck drivers, there is actually a national shortage of truckers. It is a highly underestimated profession with regard to pay and opportunity.

It is also important to consider that truck drivers are always in need because tons of freight is needed to be transported every single day. It is therefore one of the most secure careers that you can choose.

Speaking in terms of supply and demand, supply is low – therefore demand is high. With this in mind, it’s often wise to consider several options and pick the best.

You could say, it’s a “driver’s market” in the sense that there are more companies who need drivers, than drivers who need jobs.

So choosing the very best option you can find that’s as close as possible to your ideal job is a very likely scenario.

Upon studying which states have the most job vacancies, you will be able to ascertain which state is the most favorable to suit your individual requirements.

The Cost Of Living

It is important to consider the cost of living when choosing which state to reside in as a trucker.

According to researchers, some great states to live in when considering the cost of living, are as follows:

  • Oklahoma
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Tennessee
  • Arkansas

The cost of living can be a major factor when considering taking on a new role.

Despite the fact that truckers have a good salary, they should also consider the costs associated with the state that they will be resisting in.

For instance, the cost of living has dramatically increased in California, despite the fact that they have the most job opportunities for truckers.

That’s why it makes sense to consider not just rate of pay, but cost of living before planning to move to a new state to undertake work. You will be able to reap the benefits of this great salary if you are living in a state with a lower cost of living with affordable housing.

Where Do Truck Drivers Tend To Live?

According to researchers, the states that have the most truckers living there are as follows:

  • Texas (195.9K)
  • California (143.2K)
  • Florida (86.9K)
  • Pennsylvania (81.0K)
  • Ohio (73.2K)

The amount of truck drivers living within these states is undoubtedly dependent on the vast array of job opportunities within these specific states.

This is because truck drivers will typically reside in states where the market is at its most favorable, and they are receiving the best salary to compete with the overall cost of living.

Truck Driving Regulations In Each State

The best states to be a trucker in accordance to state regulations are as follows:

  • Washington
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Indiana
  • Oklahoma

If you want to know more about each state’s individual regulations for truckers, then you should engage in your own thorough research prior to making any decisions about which state to live in.

However, the above five states are known for having the least complicated state regulations with regard to trucking.

Commercial Truck Driver Insurance

According to researchers, the top states to be a trucker in accordance to commercial truck driver insurance as follows:

  • Mississippi ($4.6K)
  • Wyoming ($7.1K)
  • Nebraska ($3.6K)
  • Iowa ($8.8K)
  • Idaho ($9K)

As such, being a responsible trucker involves additional costs. Commercial truck driver insurance is undoubtedly one of the most expensive costs involved.

However, it is a necessity across the states in order to properly insure your vehicle. These rates will generally fluctuate depending on which type of insurance you select and which company you work for.

This rate is also dependent on the state itself. Therefore, you should engage in thorough research and consult with other truckers in order to ascertain the most comprehensive coverage to purchase.


To conclude, the best state to reside in as a truck driver depends on your individual needs and requirements. If you are looking for a multitude of job opportunities, then states like California have numerous roles available.

However, the cost of living in this state is far higher and this is also something to consider when selecting the right state for you.

You should also consider the cost of commercial insurance and consult with the company you work for in order to purchase the most effective and comprehensive coverage.

However, whichever state you reside in, the salary of a truck driver is undoubtedly appealing.

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