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How to Become a UPS Driver — Which Now Pays $170,000 a Year When Including Benefits Being a UPS driver has become one of the hottest jobs in the country. Here's how to land the role.

By Will Gendron

Key Takeaways

  • UPS came to a tentative agreement with the Teamsters union on a new pay package.
  • The Teamsters, which represent about 360,000 UPS drivers and package handlers, secured a wage boost.
  • UPS drivers will now make $170,000 when including benefits — here's a look at how to become one.
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Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images via Business Insider
Driving for UPS has become one of the hottest jobs of the moment, with full-time drivers set to make $170,000 a year, when including benefits.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Getting behind the wheel of a big, brown-and-gold UPS truck suddenly has become more desirable — for about 25,000 more reasons.

UPS signed a tentative agreement with the Teamsters Union that's set to bump full-time driver salaries — when including benefits — to $170,000, a $25,000 increase from where they are right now.

The agreement avoided a UPS strike that could have had huge implications for the economy as a whole.

While the exact breakdown between base salary and benefits hasn't yet been disclosed, UPS CEO Carol Tomé said that by the end of its five-year contract with the Teamsters, full-time drivers "will make about $170,000 annually in pay and benefits."

As of now, UPS drivers make about $95,000 a year, according to UPS, with a further $50,000 in benefits, for an average total compensation package of $145,000 per year.

Since UPS came to an agreement last week with the Teamsters — a union that represents around 340,000 delivery drivers and package handlers — searches for UPS delivery driver jobs on boards like Indeed have increased by 50%.

A UPS spokesperson said "hiring at UPS works pretty much the same as with other companies" — and said, of course, candidates would need to pass the interview process and be selected.

Here's a breakdown of the process involved in scoring one of the hottest jobs of the moment:

Step 1

Check UPS's site for available job listings — there are two types of package delivery drivers: combination positions that include working from a warehouse on occasion, and strictly driving roles.

Ensure that you meet the requirements, which are provided in each listing and can vary based on the location of the job. These requirements are typically listed as the following:

  • The ability to lift up to 70 lbs
  • Possession of a valid driver's license — no CDL is required
  • Successful completion of a US Department of Transportation physical exam
  • The legal ability to work in the US
  • Compliance with UPS appearance guidelines, including wearing the company-provided uniform

Step 2

After applying online, selected candidates can expect to receive an interview after the completion of a background check.

Step 3

The next step, after going through the interview process, is to pass the DOT physical exam. These exams are conducted by a licensed medical examiner and are valid for up to 24 months.

Prospective drivers who make it to this step can register for an exam through the company's site. UPS pays for it.

Being physically capable is crucial to delivery drivers, considering they work through extreme conditions at times, like blistering heat.

Full-time drivers can also expect to put in eight to 10 hours per day, on any given shift.

Step 4

Up next is the training process, as candidates proceed through a program facilitated by one of UPS's Integrad driving schools.

During Integrad training, candidates learn how to haul UPS packages across slippery surfaces, like icy pavement, and how to effectively manage packages and driving routes.

Instruction at Integrad incorporates methodologies from UPS's 79-page manual, which breaks down everything from pre-planning stops, to safely exiting a UPS truck. Ultimately, the training is supposed to help candidates complete their tasks as efficiently as possible.

Step 5

Finally, selected candidates can expect to go through a 30-day probation period, which functions as a month-long trial.

UPS can terminate employment during the trial, as it is meant to gauge the fit between the driver and the company.

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