UPS Driver Jobs: Truck Driver Job Pay, Requirements, and Independent Reviews
If you’re looking for a well-paid, fast-paced driving job that can keep you on your toes and give you a good work-life balance, a position as a UPS driver might be the right fit for you.
However, the job isn’t always an easy one. UPS drivers report that the position can be physically demanding and mentally draining, especially during the December holiday season when drivers can expect to work quite a bit of overtime. Despite the fast-paced nature of the job, most UPS drivers report high pay and quality benefits.
Is a UPS truck driver job right for you? Here’s what you need to know about truck driving for UPS, including available jobs, salary information, how to apply, and more.
Types of UPS Driver Jobs
UPS uses a variety of trucks to deliver packages and freight, including box trucks and twin tractor-trailers. As a result, there’s a wide range of available UPS driving jobs, only two categories of which require a commercial driver’s license.
It’s worth noting that many UPS jobs allow workers to return home daily rather than being away for days at a time. For example, city drivers pick up and deliver freight to residential and commercial customers on a specific route—and then go home after their shift is done.
Personal Vehicle Drivers
Personal vehicle drivers with UPS deliver residential packages using their own vehicles. These positions may only be available seasonally. Drivers must be at least 21 years old with a valid noncommercial driver’s license, have no at-fault accidents in the last three years and no moving violations in the last year, and provide proof of vehicle registration and auto insurance. Your car has to conform to certain rules as well.
Package Delivery Drivers
Package delivery drivers deliver packages to residential and commercial customers in those iconic boxy brown trucks officially called “package cars.” Drivers do not need a CDL license but must be able to lift 20 to 35 pounds. Package delivery drivers must also be able to pass the DOT physical exam. Seasonal UPS delivery driver positions are also often available during the busy holiday season.
UPS uses vehicle routing software to design each driver’s most efficient and safest route. As a result, UPS package cars rarely make left-hand turns.
Tractor-trailer drivers (also called feeder drivers) drive tractor-trailer units to specific destinations and return to the original domicile during the same shift. They do not interact with customers or do residential deliveries. To become a tractor-trailer driver, applicants must have a valid commercial driver’s license and pass the DOT physical and UPS road test. A doubles endorsement is a plus.
Freight drivers drive tractor-trailers over the road on linehaul routes, with schedule options that include “meet and return to domicile, travel to locations and perform dock functions and return home, as well as Sleeper opportunities.” Drivers must be at least 21 years of age and have a CDL license with endorsements for HAZMAT, twin trailers, doubles, and tanker. UPS freight drivers are either road drivers or city drivers and may work varying day and night shifts.
UPS Driver Salary and Pay Rates
In general, UPS drivers are paid an hourly rate or a mileage rate—or a combination of both. Many positions also offer a weekly performance bonus. Rates vary based on the position, but full-time road drivers at UPS earn around $0.50 – $0.72 per mile for single drivers and $0.26 – $0.38 per mile for team drivers. Full-time city drivers can earn $24+ per hour, and tractor-trailer drivers generally make $27 or more per hour, depending on the location and specific job.
UPS Driver Salary by City
On average, UPS truck drivers nationwide earn around $26.99 per hour or $56,146 per year. However, the rate can vary based on location, job type and title, and experience. The chart below breaks down the average annual and hourly rates for UPS drivers in some of the most populated cities.
|City||Annual Salary||Hourly Wage|
|Los Angeles, CA||$61,751||$29.69|
|New York City, NY||$61,470||$29.55|
|San Diego, CA||$53,076||$25.52|
|San Antonio, TX||$52,319||$25.15|
Average wage data compiled using ZipRecruiter reporting for UPS Truck Driver jobs (2021).
UPS Driver Perks and Benefits
Driving for UPS is about more than earning a paycheck. The company also provides several industry-leading benefits and perks. While some of the specific benefits can change according to position and seniority, most full-time drivers earn:
- Health, dental, and vision insurance
- Flexible schedule options
- Pension and retirement plans
- Paid time off (varies by length of service)
- Performance-based bonuses
- Tuition reimbursement
- Sick leave
- Employee discounts
- Union membership
UPS Truck Driver Requirements
UPS truck driver requirements vary by position, but in general, you must meet these requirements to drive trucks for UPS as a tractor-trailer or freight driver:
- Have a valid CDL A (with doubles, HAZMAT, and tanker endorsements for some positions)
- The ability to lift up to 70 pounds
- Ability to pass the DOT medical exam, which tests eyesight and the physical ability to drive
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be able to drive a standard transmission
- Pass the UPS road test
- Comply with UPS’ Uniform and Personal Appearance Guidelines
- Ability to pass a 30-day trial period to prove you can meet speed and productivity requirements
The position you apply for may have additional requirements—most job listings outline the specific qualifications necessary for each position.
UPS Driver Application: Instructions and Advice
To apply for a UPS driver job, you can search for UPS driving positions on their career page (or on a job board like Indeed) and then create an account to see the full job description and apply. You’ll need to answer several questions on your qualifications and availability before being approved to fill out the application with your personal information, including education and previous employment.
Note that most drivers start in a lower position, such as a package handler or warehouse employee. Driver positions are extremely competitive, though some employees say it’s easier to get hired in recent years, especially during the busy holiday season.
Many users report applying online and receiving a call within a few days. You can expect to do a phone interview and then one in-person interview. Candidates say the hiring process proceeds quickly, with orientation occurring just a few days after applying online.
Common UPS interview questions might include:
- Why are you interested in working for UPS?
- What is your previous work experience?
- Can you lift 70 pounds?
- What are your long-term career goals?
Reviews of UPS Driver Jobs
What can you expect as a UPS truck driver? Here’s what real UPS drivers have to say about their experience.
“It’s long hours and physically demanding but the pay is good and you get fantastic medical benefits,” says a UPS driver on Reddit. “Pay rate is you start out at $21/hr and top out at about $40/hr after 4 years. If it’s something you are seriously considering, have a backup plan. The 30 day qualifying period is very difficult and you’re under a lot of pressure. Only about 30% of trainees qualify to become drivers. After that you’re part of the union and it’s a lot harder to get fired.
If it’s something you really want to do, you could try getting a job with one of the amazon van companies 1st to gain some experience and better your chances of passing your training. Unless posting you’re talking about is Permanent it may be better to try and get hired in the spring or summer so that you don’t get cut with the rest of the seasonals after January 1st.”
Tom, a UPS tractor-trailer driver, says, “I find it very enjoyable to be out there. Every day’s a little bit different. Whether it be weather conditions, traffic conditions, customer pickups. I love driving and I just love being out on the road. I find it like second nature to me. We have over-the-road jobs where you get in your tractor and you’ll take a load to a specific building and then you come back to the center. We also have the jobs like I presently do which is a customer pickup job. We go out and we pick up the customer packages and bring them back to the hub … I’m getting a great benefit package. I’m home every night with my wife. And I’m off on the weekends. That’s a great job to be at for a tractor trailer driver. UPS wants you to be the best out there that you can be.”
“Great company to work for,” explains a current UPS delivery driver in Charlotte, NC. “The work is physical yet rewarding. I will be retiring in one year at age 55 with a pension and a health care plan. Job is not for everyone better suited for single people or someone with an understanding spouse.”
UPS truck drivers appreciate their coworkers and the benefits and culture UPS provides. “They treat you like an important part of the company. The job is ever changing by freight amount so it is never dull. Different shifts are hard to get used to but once you can, it’s easy.”
Another current UPS CDL Class A driver reports, “UPS a good place to work if you can keep help with the pace and the travel there’s a lot of room for growth and there is a pension which a lot of other companies don’t offer.”
For more insider information
Check out BrownCafe, a forum for “UPSers” that touches on many aspects of working for UPS.
Where Else Can You Apply?
If you want to drive for UPS but aren’t immediately qualified, consider starting as a package handler or a seasonal driver helper to work your way into a truck driving position after earning the necessary qualifications. UPS is passionate about maintaining a promote-from-within culture and is committed to training and educating employees for the next step in their careers. (Check out their jobs FAQ for more information.)
However, suppose you already have your CDL and required endorsements and want to go straight into truck driving. In that case, you can apply for a driving position with FedEx or Amazon—or any other number of top trucking companies—to gain experience and improve your chances of getting a UPS driver job.