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How Much Does a Tow Truck Driver Earn?

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Tow truck drivers operate trucks equipped with towing gear to remove vehicles that cannot move under its own power or those that the police impound. A tow truck driver may operate a flat bed vehicle or one that pulls the vehicle behind the truck. According to PayScale, the average salary for a tow truck operator is between $23,548 and $37,320 as of December 2010.


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The cost of living differences and demand for drivers in various areas of the country can cause the salary to vary for tow truck operators from state to state. A tow truck driver in Texas, for example, earns an average annual salary between $25,153 and $60,000, while drivers in Florida earn between $22,800 and $38,549, according to PayScale.


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Drivers' salaries increase with more years on the job. The average salary of a tow truck driver with more than 20 years in the position is between $28,079 and $45,898 and those with between one and four years as a driver earn between $17,687 and $36,897 as of December 2010.

Type of Employer

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Tow truck drivers may work for a towing business or garage or be self-employed. The average salary for a driver working for a company is slightly higher than the salary of a self-employed driver. According to PayScale, the salary for a self-employed tow truck driver is between $22,968 and $36,625 while those working for a company earn $22,599 to $40,950.


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Drivers working for companies receive benefits that self-employed drivers do not such as health insurance, paid time off, 401(k) plans and the use of company vehicles and cell phones. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the benefits paid to an employee increase the value of the annual salary by almost 30 percent. For example, an employee earning a salary of $50,000 receiving insurance, paid vacation, sick time and retirement plans has a salary and benefits package worth $65,000.


About the Author

Luanne Kelchner works out of Daytona Beach, Florida and has been freelance writing full time since 2008. Her ghostwriting work has covered a variety of topics but mainly focuses on health and home improvement articles. Kelchner has a degree from Southern New Hampshire University in English language and literature.

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