How to Become a UPS Driver 

If you’ve been wondering how to become a UPS delivery driver, you’re on the right track to finding a good-paying and rewarding career. Being a driver for this company is regarded by many people as a privilege for many different reasons, including the ability to make a great living, excellent benefits, and job security.

Use this table of contents:

  1. Requirements to be a UPS driver
  2. How to apply
  3. Important points to consider while applying
  4. How long it takes to get hired as a UPS driver
  5. Best way to become a UPS driver quickly
  6. Driver starting hourly pay
  7. What is a driver’s helper?
  8. Driver’s helper hourly pay
  9. Uniform for driver’s helper
  10. Do seasonal employees get benefits?

Requirements to Be a UPS Driver

Before you begin chasing the dream of wearing that sharp brown uniform and providing your services, there are some basic requirements you need to be aware of. 

First, although it is not necessary to have a high school diploma or GED for this position, it helps to be educated if you want the best chance of getting hired. Hiring managers at UPS will usually choose someone with an associate’s degree or bachelor’s over an applicant who didn’t at least graduate high school.

To get hired as a UPS delivery driver, you’ll need to:

  • Be able to carry up to 70 lbs and have the stamina to work in a fast-paced delivery environment throughout your shift
  • Have a valid driver’s license in your state
  • Possess the ability to drive a truck with standard transmission and be able to learn how to drive a manual transmission if necessary
  • Have a safe driving record with no DUI or DWI in the past 3 years as well as no suspensions or revocations or your DL during the previous 3 years
  • Be willing to drive your delivery truck and make deliveries to customers in all types of weather conditions
  • Pass a physical exam given by the Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Not have any visible tattoos that can’t be covered by your uniform
  • Wear only small earrings that don’t detract from your professional appearance

It’s worth noting that hiring managers looking for the best candidates for the delivery driver positions are looking for people with great and friendly personalities. This is because drivers are the face of the company and friendliness and courtesy go a long way in building lasting relationships with customers and attracting new customers.

How to Apply for a UPS Driver Job

It’s not easy to get hired as a full-time package delivery driver from the outside but it is possible. UPS usually hires drivers from within. If you are not yet employed by UPS, simply need to visit the official careers website and look for job listings in your area.

First, enter the keyword “Package Delivery Driver,” place your city and state, and enter the “radius” of miles you would consider traveling to get to work and back, every day.

If there is an available opening, click it and read the job description. Once you are ready to apply, click the “Apply Now” button and you will be redirected to a page where you can create a new and free account to begin applying.

Important Points to Consider

  1. Many package delivery driver positions are initially full-time seasonal jobs that last anywhere between 2 to 3 months or as long as necessary for your particular location. Regardless, these positions are considered temporary and can lead to a full-time permanent position with great job performance and a little luck.
  2. If there are no openings or you can’t get hired for a driver position, consider applying for the very popular “Package Handler” job. These are very physical positions which are similar in requirements as the driver position. If you can impress your management staff with the quality of your work as well as your dependability, you may be able to get your foot in the door of becoming at least a seasonal delivery driver until you’re hired as a full-time driver.
  3. During the interview process for this position, if you can show them you have an outgoing, friendly, warm, and professional attitude that brings them more business, you will have an advantage over other applicants. Remember, this company is looking for people who can create more opportunities for the company and make it even more successful than it is! 

How long does it take to become a UPS driver?

The most common way to get hired as a delivery driver is to start as a package handler. You basically work as hard as possible and prove yourself to management that you can be an efficient worker. 

A few times a year, depending on your location, you are allowed to put your name on a list to become a delivery driver. This all works on seniority so the quicker you start putting your name on the list, the better.

At some locations, a whole bunch of driver positions may come up or you may be in a location where you’ll have to end up waiting much longer than another location for driver positions to be available. It really is the luck of the draw!

On average, if you apply for the delivery driver position on the careers website, you may be hired within the first four weeks to four months after applying. This is because once you are selected you will have to take a DOT physical test, a road test to see if you can handle the delivery truck, then you’ll attend a 40-hour training school before you can drive for UPS. The time it takes to get hired can vary greatly by location, so you’ll usually have to be patient.

If you have your sights set on a driver position and you’re currently working another UPS warehouse position, you may have to work a few months and even up to a year before you see a chance to become a delivery driver, even if it’s only a seasonal position.

How to Become a UPS Driver Fast

The quickest way to become a UPS driver is to search for package delivery jobs available in your area, apply, and have a solid educational background such as an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree.

You’ll also have to impress your hiring manager during the interview. Additionally, if you have a family member or friend who knows anyone connected to UPS, it will give you a distinct advantage just like if you applied to any other company.

This is because all companies are run by human beings, and people love hiring others they are familiar with. So, if you’ve got somebody who can put in a good word for you, then, by all means, do it!

Take the Surest Route to Becoming a Full-time Driver

Alternatively, you can apply for a seasonal package handler position and really impress your management staff with the quality of your work. This will give you the greatest opportunity to be able to get hired to a permanent position after the holiday season is over.

Therefore, once you are in a permanent warehouse position at UPS, it makes it much easier for you to place your name on a list to qualify for delivery driver sometime soon. This is the route many current UPS package delivery drivers have successfully taken.

Ups Driver Starting Pay

The starting pay for new UPS drivers is usually between $21 to $22 an hour, depending on your location. Once you are hired as a delivery driver, you still have to pass a 40-hour training course and while you are attending the training, you receive your starting pay.

Sometimes, you’ll see people talking about the starting pay for drivers being approximately $15 an hour on the internet. However, they are usually referring to the package handler or other warehouse-type position that can lead to a delivery driver job.

Is being a UPS driver worth it?

When you take into account the awesome benefits, the fact that you can be represented by the Teamsters union to protect your rights and improve your working conditions and wages, and the opportunity to possibly make over $100,000 a year after your first 4 to 5 years, then I would say it is well worth it.

When UPS drivers max out at $40 an hour after 4 to 5 years, they simply need another $17,000 to $18,000 of overtime pay throughout the year to reach $100,000, and this is usually an easy thing to achieve!

UPS also has a pension plan for its drivers which can give them a monthly amount of between $3,000 to $4,000, on average, when they retire after 30 years.

What is a UPS driver helper?

The driver’s helper position is a seasonal job every year for approximately 3 months, from October to early January. This job is all about assisting UPS drivers in making deliveries during the holidays due to the increased workload.

Some locations will offer just 6 weeks of work while others may offer close to three months of seasonal employment. This will always depend on the needs of your UPS location.

What does a driver helper do?

The whole idea behind helping your driver is practicing “safety first” while delivering the packages as quickly as possible. 

You will be working as a team with your driver to deliver the packages in any type of weather or working conditions out of a hot truck that has no A/C. You’ll be expected to carry packages that can weigh up to 70 lbs up and you’ll have to walk up and down stairs during your shifts.

Is it hard to be a driver helper?

The work you can expect daily as a driver helper has been described by many as exhausting. In fact, some people go on to say that this position is only good for the 2 to 3 month period the company offers because it’s so tiring.

Working as a UPS driver’s helper is kind of like getting dressed to go to work every day and getting paid to work out, so it’s not necessary to go to the gym if you’re thinking about doing cardio!

How much does a UPS driver helper make?

Before you consider applying for this job, you may be asking, “What is the pay for UPS seasonal driver helpers?” 

On average, you’ll probably start around $14 to $16 an hour for this position, unless you’re in a state with a higher minimum wage. However, if you are fortunate enough to land a permanent full-time warehouse position after this seasonal job ends in January, you’ll likely receive a nice raise of about $17 an hour.

Usually, a handful of the best workers at any location are the ones promoted from within to a permanent UPS job after the holiday season ends.

How many hours does a UPS driver helper work?

UPS driver helpers usually work Monday through Friday and are assigned between 25 to 40 hours or more during each week. Many people who have worked this position say management basically had them “on-call” and would call them the night or the following morning to come to work, based on the company’s necessity. 

Oftentimes there are many overtime hours available and it’s possible to reach 60 hours of work every week.

What do UPS driver helpers wear?

In some locations, driver’s helpers wear the same brown uniform as the delivery drivers. However, in others, they are only required to wear comfortable clothing and a UPS safety vest.

Many people who are not provided with a uniform wear a collared polo shirt and blue jeans. You are not allowed to wear any clothing item with logos and you’re not allowed to wear any loose or dangling jewelry.

Additionally, they must wear black or brown slip-resistant close-toed shoes. The best type of shoes to wear are the ones that offer protection for your toes in case a package falls or if the helper stumbles into a hard object with their feet.

Do seasonal UPS workers get benefits?

Seasonal employees are not entitled to any benefits from UPS. Regardless, they can turn their seasonal work into something very favorable for them if they’re looking for a permanent full-time position.

Every year, quite a few seasonal workers (approximately 25% to 35%) are hired for permanent full-time positions. These jobs come with full benefits after you’ve worked 400 or more hours during the initial three-month eligibility period.

Featured image courtesy of Rudolf Stricker, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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