(4.8 out of 10)
|Number of Jobs:||125,600|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Social Services Jobs||#27|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#94|
The birthday gift from relatives living miles away, the FedExed legal document that needs your signature, and the vanity table you’ve awaited for weeks—all of these items and more are brought to you by dutiful delivery truck drivers. “The bulk of the first part of their day is spent delivering packages, and it can be a wide variety of different people and businesses that they are going to visit throughout the day,” says Dan McMackin, a former delivery truck driver and current public relations manager for the United Parcel Service (UPS). “Delivery drivers serve everything from hospitals to high schools to small businesses to large businesses, and they bring them all the things they need to run their businesses.” Unlike bus drivers, delivery drivers transport goods, not people.
These workers held a solid 125,600 jobs in 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Their profession is expected to expand nearly 15 percent by 2020—a rate close to the average for all professions.
The average delivery truck driver took in $29,080 in 2011. The top-tier earners took home $58,440, while the lowest-compensated took home $18,030. The couriers and express delivery services and postal service industries compensate employees best. Many of the highest earners reside in Lowell, Mass., Redding, Calif., and Dover, Del.
After earning a high school diploma or GED, many new delivery truck drivers receive in-house training at their companies. This training can last anywhere from two to three months and involves a driving mentor riding along with a new employee to ensure that he or she is able to navigate a massive truck on cramped streets comfortably. McMackin says UPS offers a similar training for its new hires. “The company spends 1.3 million hours a year on just safety training for everything from hazmat to safe driving,” he says. “Then, there are also safe work methods—in other words, how not to injure yourself while doing the job, how to lift with the leg, and how to keep packages in your power zone which is between your knees and your shoulders.” Drivers typically receive classroom instruction as well. Lessons center on package drop offs, returns, taking payments, and handling damaged goods.
Delivery truck drivers must have solid math skills and decent hand-eye coordination, but that’s not all. They also need sound communication skills, given that they often prepare reports and converse with the general public and law enforcement officials. McMackin says customer service skills are crucial, and drivers must be both interested and comfortable serving other people. “You might not have a problem driving a truck, or you might not have a problem doing a physical job. But if you’re not interested in serving other people, that’s not the job for you,” he says.
|Stress Level||Below Average|