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How To Become A UPS Driver In 2024 [Step-By-Step]

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Key Takeaways

  • Apply online, submit documents, and possibly undergo a vehicle inspection.
  • Pass road tests and demonstrate manual transmission skills for certain roles.
  • Complete UPS’s paid online training and meet physical fitness requirements.
  • Enjoy benefits like health insurance, paid vacation, and career advancement opportunities.

An Overview of a UPS Driver Position: A Primer

Side hustlers can work UPS driver jobs for roles of a package delivery driver, freight driver, personal vehicle driver, tractor-trailer driver, and more.

You may require excellent communication skills for interacting with customers or a commercial driver’s license based on your role.

While some packages are for individual customers and include home visits, others comprise larger deliveries directly to the business premise.

Side income enthusiasts can apply for a part-time or seasonal job and avoid other delivery driver gigs that make you travel long distances, typically keeping you distant from home for weeks.

This driver position demands 50+ weekly working hours and a strong ability to navigate small and large trucks in rough weather conditions.

You might learn complicated routes across town and valleys and also practice intelligent responses in tricky situations of theft, roadblocks, or quick deliveries.

UPS may demand a physical exam to test your fitness levels at lifting heavy packages weighing at least 70 pounds.

Expect to participate in more than one UPS-approved training course to learn the ropes of efficient deliveries and customer interactions.

How Much Do UPS Drivers Make?

UPS drivers generally earn $24.26 per hour for part-time driving positions.

Though these rates can vary based on long-haul or small package delivery driving jobs, their hourly payout is considered competitive in the gig economy of 2023.

But these commercials also depend on more immediate delivery data, such as order location and daily driving hours.

If you’re applying for a driver job in top-tier cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Illinois, you may be placed at the higher pay scale, ranging to $33/hour.

The delivery giant may offer varying rates as per the courier demand in the area.

What You’ll Need to Become a UPS Driver [& Associated Costs]

Here are additional finances a part-time UPS driver may pay before starting the side gig:

  • High School Diploma or GED: Even the most basic delivery driver roles at UPS require a high school diploma to ensure side career workers have primary education experience. If not, part-time drivers can take the Tests of General Educational Development (GED) assessment to prove their proficiency in high school academics. This assessment may cost $30/subject for tests at the center and $36 for online tests. Expect tests on 3-4 subjects during the GED exam.
  • Driving a Manual Transmission: Be it a part-time UPS package delivery driver or a permanent UPS driver position, all applicants must be fluent in driving manual vehicles to qualify for employment. Even the online application form and CDL knowledge test assesses your ability in manual transmission. Such truck driving courses can cost from $3,000 to $7,000. Though this may seem steep, you can recover your investments in a month or two.
  • Valid Driver’s License: All UPS delivery driver positions demand applicants to have a basic driver’s license. While popular states like Washington and New York charge $89 and $64 for driving licenses, respectively, less populated states like Kentucky and North Dakota cost $30 and $15. On average, you may pay $40 to apply for a license before attempting for UPS driver jobs.
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL): If you get promoted to driving a “feeder” (semis), you’ll need a CDL license. For in-house drivers, this is free of cost. But part-time delivery drivers with a CDL shall bear their own licensing costs. Such a professional delivery driver may shell out approximately $100 on the CDL license and $6,000 on CDL training.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a UPS Driver?

Side income earners with experience in manual transmission of commercial vehicles can pay approximately $250 to kickstart their career as UPS truck drivers.

However, if you’re a complete layman in the delivery drivers industry, expect to pay around $5,000 for preparation.

All the costs can fluctuate depending on your CDL training, manual transmission knowledge, and license situation.

Is it Hard to Become a UPS Driver?

While the process isn’t time-consuming, delivering packages as a UPS driver can be challenging.

From unexpected weather conditions during deliveries to navigating across multi-stop routes efficiently, a UPS job can be demanding for work-from-home enthusiasts.

As these delivery driver jobs offer trucks without an air conditioner, be vary of driving in hot regions.

The combined burden of unloading and offloading heavy boxes occasionally quotes a high bar for physical stamina.

Since UPS follows the culture of promoting delivery drivers from within their organization and seasonal gigs for part-time UPS driver jobs, landing a full-time role is difficult.

How Long Does it Take to Become a UPS Driver?

Side income earners with the necessary licenses can complete the part-time delivery driver hiring process in 1-2 months.

This time bracket can differentiate according to the number of present drivers at your allocated UPS center.

Because the better half of low-level employees at UPS work with the expectation of eventually becoming a UPS package delivery driver, it can take longer to find a vacancy.

However, you can expect a quick process for entry-level employee positions when there’s a high demand for delivery drivers.

How to Become a UPS Driver in 4 Simple Steps

Though a friendly disposition can get you hired, additional steps are required. Here’s a 4-step guide to becoming a UPS delivery driver:

vector graphic showing a ups driver helper carrying boxes from truck

Step 1: Submit Your UPS Delivery Driver Application

This step involves accessing the UPS website and choosing whether you want a tractor-trailer driver, freight driver, or similar role.

Once you create an account, the platform smoothly guides you through the process.

Fill in your personal details and complete a 15-minute questionnaire containing questions about your work experience, education, social contributions, etc.

This is a comparatively quick process since no people interactions and competitive tests exist. Once reviewed, expect an informational-based interview.

Step 2: Share Vehicles Photos and Complete Onboarding Documents

UPS may request seasonal drivers to submit images of their vehicles to inspect their condition and suitability for UPS driving jobs.

Make sure to cover up any visible mechanical flaws or broken parts, as they may lead to application rejections. A tractor-trailer driver need not do this since the company provides the vehicle.

Either way, all applicants submit their onboarding documents online for a final identity verification check, along with their signatures on legal terms and conditions set by UPS.

Step 3: Road Test and Pre-Test Documents

Large truck drivers must self-schedule a road test to demonstrate their manual or automatic transmission ability based on what their driving job role demands.

Before the on-road examination, applicants must finish the pre-test assessment on their knowledge of navigating trucks and maps.

Seasonal job roles for a UPS delivery driver don’t require a comprehensive practical test if candidates own a valid driver’s license.

You can directly visit the local UPS facility and complete the final onboarding documentation process.

Step 4: Paid Online Training and Medical or Physical Exam

Post completing the hiring process as a part-time driver, UPS requires employees to participate in an online paid training session.

This doesn’t stand for drivers handling large trucks. Expect to prove your fitness through a physical exam organized by the Department of Transportation.

In some cases, your medical exam may involve a drug test under the Dot Physical assessment.

Reasons to Consider Becoming a UPS Driver

Such delivery driving positions offer the luxury of traveling to remote destinations in your territory and the thrill of adventure when braving your drive in different weathers.

You can also earn a significantly competitive side income compared to marketing or sales representative gigs.

Here are some reasons to become a UPS package delivery driver:

  • Health Insurance: UPS offers health insurance benefits for part-time and permanent drivers. You may get additional coverage for vision and dental accidents.
  • Paid Vacation: The delivery company appreciates your long working hours while delivering packages across towns. Expect at least two weeks of holidays promised through your contract, with extended paid time off.
  • Mileage Reimbursement: Personal vehicle drivers are entitled to mileage reimbursements for transporting small packages. This financial support, combined with flexible driving hours, make it a noteworthy opportunity in the gig economy.
  • Career Advancement Potential: Deliver drivers at UPS receive higher priority for landing high-level roles if they’re full-time employees. The organization seeks to guide its employees through free training courses designed for upskilling as per UPS’s standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are common questions side gig earners may ask about part-time UPS delivery driver gigs:

Does UPS Pay for CDL Training?

The company pays for the CDL training of a UPS truck driver if they’re presently employed as a package car driver and eligible for their Earn and Learn program. Once you acquire the position and earn a CDL-A, you can reach the maximum payout for delivery drivers handling large trucks.

Do Part-Time UPS Deliver Driver Jobs Hire Full-Time Employees?

Yes, whether you’re an entry-level employee or a professional delivery driver working for UPS, the company occasionally offers full-time placements. However, existing employees receive higher priority to become permanent UPS delivery drivers.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

Here are similar side income gigs you can consider to make extra monthly income:

  • How to Become an Uber DriverSide hustlers can become part-time delivery drivers for Uber and extra income through customer tips and an application interface that supports financial growth for drivers.
  • How to Become a TranscriptionistUse your typing skills and speed by transcribing interviews and other video content for businesses to use as reference documents or repurposable content snippets across social media.
  • How to Become a LifeguardConsider earning a side income by being a lifesaver in swimming pools and beaches. People who swim as a hobby can make this an enjoyable side gig that doesn’t involve customer interactions and driving vehicles.

Wrapping Up

This guide simplifies your journey to becoming a permanent UPS delivery driver through proper steps and suggestions that initiate your side income generation goals.

If you’re hunting for delivery gigs, UPS offers sustainable income growth, which is not guaranteed in all gig economy jobs.

Do share your opinions in the comments section below and inform fellow gig enthusiasts of this opportunity by sharing this article.

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