UPS Careers and Job Application Guide

A UPS job application can open the door for a great career for anyone with or without a college degree. Most positions are very well-paying from the start, and you have the opportunity to advance if you are willing to put forth a lot of effort.

In this UPS careers article, you’ll see:

Working at UPS

The most favorable aspect of working at UPS as reported by people who have worked there is that the compensation and benefits are very good. The company itself gets above-average ratings on Indeed.com.

Here are some of the pros and cons of working at UPS:

Pros

  • Great pay and benefits
  • Most supervisors are very helpful
  • Plenty of extra work hours available
  • The Teamsters union represents many employees at UPS
  • You get 1 week of vacation time after 1 year of service and 3 weeks vacation after 10 years
  • Excellent job security
  • Bonuses for employees
  • You get paid weekly

Cons

  • Most positions are highly physically demanding
  • You only get very short 5 to 10 minute breaks
  • It’s difficult to maintain a good work life balance
  • Many jobs are very repetitive
  • The work environment is fast-paced and very stressful
  • Employee scheduling varies from day to day sometimes due to the workload
  • Some employees complain about poor leadership from their supervisors

UPS Pay

The pay you can expect at UPS is far better across the board than what you would earn in a retail store or fast-food restaurant setting. For example, you can get hired as an entry-level worker and work as a package handler, and make approximately $28,500 during your first year.

The starting pay for a UPS warehouse worker is a few dollars an hour higher than just about any other retail store associate job.

When you compare this to the average retail associate who makes approximately $23,250 a year working full-time, there is a pretty big difference!

UPS Careers

There are various career categories available at UPS to choose from. The jobs available can be separated into four sections and they are:

  • Delivery and Warehouse
  • Technicians and Fleet
  • Engineering
  • Corporate

UPS Delivery and Warehouse Careers

The careers available begin with the most common ones; delivery services and in the warehouse. These jobs are crucial to the way this company operates successfully.

Therefore, UPS will generally choose people who show they are capable of working in a high-stress environment and can handle plenty of physical work.

See the most common jobs available below:

UPS Package Delivery Driver

As a UPS driver, you’re going to be involved in a very fast-paced job delivering packages in your assigned areas. You’ll be driving the famous UPS delivery truck while wearing the company’s brown uniform.

To be able to qualify for this position, you have to carry packages that weigh up to 70 pounds and pass a physical exam provided by the department of transportation (DOT).

This job also requires a good driving record and excellent driving skills. Some locations will have you driving a truck with a manual transmission.

This can be a very rewarding career for the right person because of the steady work and opportunity to increase your pay. As reported by many drivers, the one big challenge in this position is that management sometimes gives you 10 hours of delivery work and expects it to be completed in 7 to 8 hours.

It is not easy to land a job as a UPS driver but the following 3 tips can give you an advantage:

  • Be punctual every single day and don’t miss any scheduled work days.
  • Regularly volunteer to fill in for other workers and show management that you are a team player.
  • Network with your management staff. Let them know at some point how interested you are in becoming a UPS delivery driver. 

UPS Driver Helper

The driver’s helper position at UPS is a seasonal job that usually begins in October or November and ends after the Christmas holiday rush every year.

In this job, you will be assisting the UPS driver in delivering the packages to residences and businesses either Monday through Friday or Tuesday through Saturday.

Your hours will vary daily, depending on the delivery route. This is a position that can lead to more opportunities within this company.

Therefore, the best advice I can give if you want this job to lead to a full-time position is to show up to work on time every single day and work as hard as possible. Also, once the season ends, make sure you stay in contact with the human resources department.

This is because sometime around mid-March every year, UPS will begin hiring personnel as the traffic starts to pick up. If you stay in contact with the HR department, you may be able to give yourself an advantage when they start hiring.

For this position, you don’t need a driver’s license; you simply need to have the ability to lift up to 70 pounds.

You can use this link to get UPS seasonal job alerts. Simply sign up using your name, email, and phone number, and enter your area of interest. 

UPS Warehouse Worker/Associate

In this entry-level position, you’ll assume all the duties associated with helping the operations run smoothly in the warehouse. You’ll be picking packages, scanning them, and using modern technology to ensure the customers receive their packages efficiently.

A position in the warehouse can lead to higher-paying warehouse positions, a possible jump to a UPS delivery driver job, or into supervisory positions. This is the perfect way to learn about the company and progress through the ranks.

Here are some specialized roles in the warehouse:

UPS Package Handler

This is a seasonal or part-time job you can consider applying for every year at UPS. It’s fairly high paying, anywhere between $17-$19 an hour, and you’ll work approximately only 17 to 20 hours a week.

Even with the limited work hours, this is a very important position. You’ll be sorting and grouping packages and loading them onto the delivery vehicles so they can get to their proper destinations.

The job also requires you to learn how to handle specific hand tools and equipment so that you’ll be able to load and unload big packages. You will be expected to lift up to 70 pounds, work flexible hours, have great communication skills, and have a high school diploma or GED.

UPS Personal Vehicle Driver

This is another seasonal position where people are hired during October and early November. The job consists of using your own vehicle to deliver UPS packages as a way to help with the company’s large amount of packages during the holiday season.

These jobs usually pay somewhere in the $20-$22 an hour range and you get reimbursed for mileage. Many people simply use this job yearly to make some extra cash during the holidays while others use it as a stepping stone to a full-time position within the company.

Be aware that some employees say it takes anywhere between 5-10 years to become a full-time employee in some locations once you are hired seasonally.

Other delivery and warehouse jobs include:

  • Dock worker
  • Truck driver
  • Tractor trailer driver
  • Customer service representative
  • Administrative assistant

Additionally, there are supervisory positions available:

UPS Supervisor

As a full-time operations supervisor, you’re in charge of the entire warehouse. You’re gonna be leading your team of employees to run operations as smoothly as possible and comply with company procedures.

You’re in charge of maximizing profit for this company. You can do that by managing, planning, organizing, and supervising your teams. Another responsibility is that you have to comply with OSHA standards and guidelines set forth by DOT.

You will also have to make out employee schedules and prepare action plans to make sure you stay on top of productivity for the company.

The requirements are that you should have excellent communication skills, some experience as a supervisor, and a bachelor’s degree is preferred but not required.

UPS Manager

There are several manager positions available at the warehouse level at UPS.

As an example, a distribution associate manager analyzes plans for the success of company operations in a UPS station or warehouse. 

A position like this requires you to control inventory and evaluate company goals to make improvements and increase the quality of work at UPS.

A division manager assigned to distribution is the primary person that leads the operations at multiple locations.

There are many other supervisory positions scattered throughout the company, including many at the corporate level.

UPS Technician and Fleet Careers

When it comes to the maintenance of equipment as well as transportation, there are three main areas you can find employment with UPS:

  • Automotive technician
  • Plant technician
  • Aviation technician

UPS also offers aircraft maintenance positions such as aircraft engineers and flight-qualified supervisors. 

UPS Engineering Careers

UPS offers many industrial engineering positions such as:

  • Transportation supervisor
  • Building and facilities supervisor 
  • Training and development supervisor 
  • Industrial engineering supervisor 
  • Engineering supervisor 
  • Performance engineering supervisor 
  • Healthcare operations manager 
  • Senior finance supervisor 
  • Distribution supervisor 
  • Senior analyst 
  • Hub operations supervisor 
  • …and much more

UPS Seasonal Jobs

UPS begins hiring seasonal workers in September and October of every year. The positions available are usually drivers, driver helpers, and many warehouse jobs. 

These are mostly part-time jobs, unless you’re a driver’s helper in which case, you will work alongside a delivery driver throughout your shift. 

As an example, in 2020, UPS hired over 100,000 seasonal workers worldwide to keep up with the increase of packages delivered, mostly due to the increase in online shopping.

UPS Engineering Internships

UPS offers excellent internship programs for future engineers. Candidates who are fortunate enough to grab one of these positions work under the direct supervision of talented engineering staff members.

As an example, UPS offers a mechanical engineering internship program beginning in the Fall. It is a program designed to help students learn how to develop, build, and design physical prototypes as well as prototyping infrastructure. 

The program begins in mid-August and lasts four months. Interns can expect to work 40 hours every week. You can use the careers job search page to find your desired internship program at UPS.

Here are other internships UPS offers:

  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Public affairs
  • Global business services
  • Procurement
  • Advanced technology group
  • Procurement
  • Automotive 
  • UPS capital
  • Human resources
  • Security
  • Air

You can search for all the available internship opportunities here.

How to Apply at UPS

You’ll have to submit your UPS job application online and not in person. Here are the steps you can take:

  1. Visit the official UPS Careers website.
  2. Become acquainted with all the different areas of the company by clicking on the navigation links at the top.
  3. When you are ready, click the “Jobs & Careers” link on the navigation bar.
  4. Click on your desired heading such as Part-time, Full-time, All drivers, etc.
  5. Enter your desired position in the keyword box and enter your location, and click “Search Jobs.”
  6. Click on a job that interests you from the results, read the description, and click the “Apply Now” button.
  7. Sign up for a new free account, and begin the application and hiring process.

UPS Application Process

For warehouse positions, once you apply on the UPS website, you usually get a call between 3 days to 2 weeks. If you meet the company’s requirements, you will be set up for an interview in person.

If you pass the interview, you will be given a drug screening and possibly one more interview before you are hired. 

You will then attend an orientation training, and begin working soon thereafter.

For driver positions as well as other professional salaried jobs, the application process is similar except you should be able to provide a resume with your application and the hiring process takes a little longer.

The timetable to get hired for a warehouse position at UPS is between 1 to 2 weeks.

Minimum Age to Work at UPS

UPS hires only adults who are 18 years of age or older. If you’re 16 and you’re looking for a part-time or even full-time job, consider finding a retail job in your area so you can gain work experience before applying to UPS at the age of 18.

If you can present a solid work history before attempting to fill out a UPS application, it will work to your advantage.

Does UPS give a background check?

UPS has a policy of conducting background checks for all of its employees. The process for this usually takes anywhere between two days to two weeks.

Many employees report that UPS thoroughly checks your background. This indicates it’s a great idea to be totally honest about your background during your application.

Does UPS drug test?

UPS has been known to drug test its applicants before hiring them. However, many employees say they were never drug tested, while some say they were.

Most salaried positions will require a drug test as well as a background check.

Does UPS  hire felons?

In some locations, UPS will not hire felons. However, many employees say UPS is in the business of giving people second chances and that they were hired even though they had a felony conviction.

By most accounts, it all depends on the nature of the offense. If you were convicted of a crime that can potentially affect the safety of the company or if your past indicates you are a liability when it comes to the possibility of theft of packages, you will most likely not get hired.

History

UPS was founded way back in 1907. At the time, it was known as the “American Messenger Company.” 

Believe it or not, the deliveries were made either on foot or a bicycle!

The company began expanding in 1975 when it began serving 48 states in the United States. They also moved their headquarters to Greenwich, Connecticut.

The company continued expanding worldwide and today, it employs close to 500,000 people.

Benefits 

Depending on the job you choose, and whether you’re working full-time or part-time, your benefits can start 90 days after your employment date to a year after you start working for the company.

When it comes to vacation time, you’ll get one week of paid vacation after a year of work. After the second year, you can expect two weeks of paid vacation. And after 5 full years of service, you’re entitled to 3 weeks of paid vacation.

You also get paid time off for 5 sick days every year. However, you need to understand that taking excessive days off is frowned upon and will not look good on your record if you are trying to advance within the company.

As far as the typical benefits plan, you get medical, dental, vision, and a 401(k) with a 6% match. You’re also entitled to long and short-term disability, tuition reimbursement, and paid time off.

Final Thoughts

The most common jobs at UPS are in a warehouse environment, so you can bet that most jobs are very physically demanding. Therefore, a job with this company as a warehouse worker or driver is not for someone who can’t handle a hard day’s work, usually five days in a row!

I don’t recommend a job at UPS for an older worker unless he or she is in good physical shape. Or, if that older worker desires to get in better shape after clearing their health situation through their private physician, it may be a good choice.

A warehouse or driver job at UPS is not for people who simply want to show up at work and put in their hours and get paid with minimal effort. It’s a job for a go-getter, someone who is ready to become very active and physical throughout the day.

UPS offers more than just a job. Getting hired here means starting a new career that may take you through to retirement.

The benefits are excellent, the company is world-class, and there are many opportunities to advance within the company for hard workers. Overall, UPS is a great career choice for anyone who wants to make a higher-than-average hourly wage from start to finish.

Featured image courtesy of JasonVogel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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