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Driver Compensation & Benefits | 2020 Trucking Survey Overview

For more than 10 years, Cottingham & Butler has conducted an annual benchmarking survey of Employee Compensation and Benefits specific to the trucking industry. We provide two separate survey results – one specific to all Trucking and one specific to the Tank/Bulk segment. It is important to note that this year’s survey was completed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is the distribution of the carriers by load type of this year’s survey’s respondents. 

Chart breaking down Carrier Load Types from the 2020 Trucking Benchmark Survey. The chart only shows motor carriers reporting to have at least 50% or more types of haul in one of these categories-- van, refrigerated, tank, bulk, flatbed.

2020 Trucking Survey Compensation Highlights Driver Compensation


The majority (78%) of motor carriers reported to pay some or all drivers by the mile, with the average pay per mile increasing from $0.47 to $0.50. 65%+ of motor carriers also pay bonuses for referrals, safety and clean DOT. In addition, 50% of motor carriers pay per diem with a daily average of $42.22. The survey includes a detailed breakdown of compensation by pay type, as well as load type. Below are charts from the report containing some highlights:


Three charts providing breakdowns of annual pay by type, segment, and pay per mile based on years of experience. Average pay by mile is $63,500, by revenue/load is $73,940, per hour is $55,700, and salaried or per day is $58,100.

Non-Driver Compensation


Compensation for non-driver roles saw varied responses. Mechanic/technician pay increased by nearly 10% increase from the prior year, while other roles such as safety director, fleet manager, and customer service had minor changes and slight decreases in the average pay reported across all survey participants. The chart below represents averages for all segments of the trucking industry.  The Tank/Bulk averages were 5%-10% higher across all positions.

Average Annual Salary for Non-Drivers: Safety Director, $73,930. Fleet Manager/Load Planner, $63,580. Recruiter, $55,920. Mechanic/Technician, $55,300. Dispatcher, $54,270. Log/CDL Compliance Personnel, $49,370. Customer Service Representative, $45,780.

2020 Trucking Survey Benefit Package Observations & Highlights


  • Medical/Rx Plan Annual Cost per Employee – The average gross Medical and Rx cost per employee in 2020 was up just slightly compared to the prior year, from $9,640 to $9,680 per employee per year in the ALL trucking survey. In the Tank/Bulk survey, it went from $10,426 to $10,652 per employee per year.

  • Medical/Rx Plan Designs – For the first time in 5 years, the average health plan deductibles increased, although slightly. Average deductibles were up to $3,100 from the prior 4 years at $3,000.   Out-of-pocket maximums, office copays, and pharmacy copays remained relatively flat from the prior year.  The Tank/Bulk Segment average deductible rose from $2,700 to $2,900 this year.


Plan Options


In 2020 more employers offered a second health plan as an option for employees. In the prior year, 43% of employers only offered 1 plan, with that number down to 34% in 2020. 56% of employers offered a Consumer Driven Health Plan with a Health Savings Account or Health Reimbursement Accounts as one of their plan options.

Number of Health Plans: 34% offer one health plan, 41% offer two health plans, 25% offer three health plans.

Employee Contributions for Health Insurance


Survey participants reported very similar rates in 2020 compared to the prior year, with a slight increase in average amounts charged for family coverage.


Average Weekly Employee Contributions for Health Insurance. Average Standard Weekly Rates for employee's only is $50, or $217 monthly. For employee's and their spouses, $144 ($624 monthly), for employee's and their child(ren), $121 ($524 monthly), and for families $194 (or $841 monthly). For tobacco users, which include standard weekly rates plus the tobacco surcharge, employee's pay $71 (or $308 monthly). Employee's and their spouses pay $169 (or $732 monthly). Employee's and their child(ren) pay $144 (or $624 monthly). Families pay $220 (or $954 monthly).

Our team would be happy to discuss the results of the full 41-page survey report as you plan into 2021.


You may contact either Kim Beck at kbeck@cottinghambutler.com or Jamie Bishop at jbishop@cottinghambutler.com.

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