UPS Driver Salary

How Much Do UPS Truck Drivers Make?

There is no question we receive more at TDS than, “How much can I make driving for UPS?” We published our first UPS driver salary guide way back in 2012, and have updated it periodically to reflect changes in pay for UPS drivers.

This year, it is time for a massive update! Thanks to an agreement with the Teamsters Union, UPS drivers can now earn more than ever.

In our updated guide, you can find out how much you could potentially earn driving for UPS with the newly-negotiated salaries.

This guide includes payroll data from Teamsters, ADP, Indeed, Glassdoor, and over 500 driver surveys.

In 2023, the Teamsters Union Negotiated Higher Pay for UPS Drivers

Before we dive into the salary numbers, we want to give you some UPS strike 2023 updates. Here is what happened this year between the Teamsters and UPS.

Basically, UPS workers in 2023 were threatening to go on strike. But thankfully, that did not have to happen, because the UPS and the Teamsters reached an agreement.

UPS announced finalization of this agreement on August 22nd, stating, “Our Teamsters-represented employees have voted to overwhelmingly ratify a new five-year National Master Agreement that covers more than 300,000 full- and part-time UPS employees in the U.S. All local supplemental agreements also have been ratified.”

The agreement will span a five-year period ending on July 31st, 2028.

NPR reports, “Under the tentative agreement, full- and part-time union workers will get $2.75 more per hour in 2023, and $7.50 more in total by the end of the five-year contract. Starting hourly pay for part-time employees also got bumped up to $21, but some workers said that fell short of their expectations.”

NPR continues, “UPS says that by the end of the new contract, the average UPS full-time driver will make about $170,000 annually in pay and benefits. It’s not clear how much of that figure benefits account for.”

UPS Driver Salary (2023 Update)

A career as a UPS driver can be lucrative and rewarding. $170,000 per year on average is quite a handsome salary! But the exact UPS driver pay depends on what type of vehicle you operate. Long-haul trucking “OTR” driving has historically paid more than driving local package delivery “brown trucks.” But both career paths pay well and have great benefits packages.

UPS Delivery Driver Pay (Local “Brown Trucks”)

UPS Delivery Driver Pay

Let’s start with those familiar brown trucks you see around town. The brown trucks you see are referred to as “package cars.”

With the Teamsters agreement going into effect, UPS truck drivers overall will make an average of $170,000 per year.

Here is what UPS said about brown truck driver salaries before the agreement:

“UPS full-time small package delivery drivers receive an average total compensation package of $145,000 per year. That includes $0 healthcare premiums, up to seven weeks of paid vacation, plus paid time off for holidays, sick leave and option days. UPS also makes contributions to a defined-benefit pension plan for each employee.”

The difference between $170,000 and $145,000 is huge: an additional $25,000 per year.

That said, we need to be careful interpreting this data.

As far as we can tell, that “$170,000” average that UPS drivers can expect going forward includes all full-time drivers. That means box truck drivers and long-haul drivers alike are included in that average.

The $145,000 you see listed here was for package delivery drivers only, and did not include long-haul drivers, who would pull that average upward.

So, the jump is not actually $25,000 per year for the average for all drivers, but it is a lot.

Let’s look at hourly rates now. The last time we updated this post, the starting salary for UPS package car drivers was $18.75 per hour. But thanks to the recent Teamsters agreement, it is now higher.

Here are some updates on UPS driver hourly pay from Teamsters.

Part-Time Employees

All part-time employees, who are hired or reach seniority after August 1, 2023, will be paid according to the following progression:

  • Start $21.00
  • Twelve (12) months $21.50
  • Twenty-four (24) months $22.00
  • Thirty-six (36) months $22.50
  • Forty-eight (48) months $23.00

The start rate for part-time employees hired after August 1, 2027, shall be increased to $23.00. Employees already in progression shall be raised to $23.00 on August 1, 2027.

Full-Time Employees

Section 2(c) Full-Time Wage Progression: The progression for employees entering a package car driving, feeder or other  full-time job (other than an air, Article 43 jobs, or a job covered by Sections 3, 4 or 6) after August 1, 2023 shall be as follows:

  • Start $23.00
  • Twelve (12) months $24.00
  • Twenty-four (24) months $25.00
  • Thirty-six (36) months $30.75
  • Forty-eight (48) months Top Rate
  • Section 3 Full-Time Inside Wage Progression:
  • Start $23.00
  • Twelve (12) months $24.00
  • Twenty-four (24) months $25.00
  • Thirty-six (36) months $28.00
  • Forty-eight (48) months Top Rate

So, imagine that you are starting out as a full-time brown truck driver for UPS at $23 an hour, and you are driving 40 hours a week. Over the course of a year, you would earn $47,840.

If you eventually start making $28 an hour, and you are driving 40 hours a week, over the course of a year, you would earn $58,240.

For some reason, we are not seeing the top rate of pay listed in this document. But we know that in the past, it was $40.51 per hour. It seems reasonable to assume that it is now higher than that. The previous top rate equated to around $84,260 per year. So, if you are paid the top rate going forward, you could likely expect to earn more than that.

UPS Freight OTR Pay

UPS Truck Driver Salary

UPS Freight Driver Pay
UPS Freight Driver Median Salary In 2022

Now that you know what you could earn driving a “brown truck,” let’s talk about other driving opportunities with UPS.

If you are up for long-haul driving, you could earn competitive wages as a UPS OTR freight driver. These drivers are also referred to as CDL drivers, since they require a commercial driver’s license.

Once again, the company has its own terminology for referring to OTR trucks. It calls them “feeder vehicles.” So, how much can you make driving a UPS feeder vehicle?

According to Teamsters, the wages for CDL drivers with UPS are the same as they are for box truck drivers.

So, again, here are the full-time hourly pay rates:

  • Start $23.00
  • Twelve (12) months $24.00
  • Twenty-four (24) months $25.00
  • Thirty-six (36) months $30.75
  • Forty-eight (48) months Top Rate
  • Section 3 Full-Time Inside Wage Progression:
  • Start $23.00
  • Twelve (12) months $24.00
  • Twenty-four (24) months $25.00
  • Thirty-six (36) months $28.00
  • Forty-eight (48) months Top Rate

In the past, UPS long-haul drivers were definitely earning more on average than brown truck drivers.

UPS says, “Our long-haul team drivers average $172,000 per year in total compensation. UPS pays $0.95 per mile after four years, nearly double the trucking industry average. This pay is in addition to the same industry-leading healthcare, paid time off, vacation, holidays, sick leave and pension contributions as our full-time small package delivery drivers.”

Keep in mind that this is from the same page that lists $145,000 for box truck drivers. That means:

1-This information is outdated.

2-Long-haul drivers during that timeframe earned more than brown truck drivers.

Frankly, we find it a bit confusing to reconcile the past pay gap between package car drivers and long-haul drivers at UPS with the new pay information from Teamsters.

Teamsters clearly states that the full-time numbers we shared are for “The progression for employees entering a package car driving, feeder or other  full-time job.”

As they are not differentiating with multiple tables, this suggests that going forward, package car and feeder drivers for UPS will be earning the same pay, and that brown truck drivers received a more substantial pay jump than long-haul drivers.

Is it possible some of this data is misstated or that we are interpreting something incorrectly?

Yes—in fact, if anyone can shed some light, we would appreciate any clarity you can share with us.

Something else we know for a fact is that some OTR drivers for UPS do earn more than others. For example, you can earn more by hauling doubles or triples. We also know that UPS truck driver salaries vary by state. Yet this is also not accounted for in the Teamsters document.

We are pretty sure that the hourly pay progression chart is reflecting averages or simply an example of one possible progression in pay, and this explains some of the perceived discrepancies.

Perhaps that also suggests that long-haul drivers will still be earning more than brown truck drivers. 

Regardless, your key takeaways should be that:

1 – UPS pays its long-haul and brown truck drivers very well.

2 – Hourly wages have increased since the Teamsters agreement was reached.

UPS freight drivers enjoy great quality of life, and praise not only their high salaries, but also their consistent routes.

And once again, UPS offers excellent benefits to feeder truck drivers, just as they do “brown truck” drivers.

According to the company, this is 34% higher than the national average for most OTR drivers.

Our research shows that is slightly inaccurate as our industry average for 2023 is $59,158. By our numbers, they pay 118% more.

However, for new drivers, this would be a big bump to their 1st-year earnings versus the starting pay for most OTR trucking companies. That average does not include this new UPS data yet, so it should climb for 2024.

By the way, if you are interested in another source of data for CDL driver salaries at UPS, you can take a look at what Glassdoor is reporting.

Glassdoor reports that the most likely pay range for UPS CDL drivers is $52,000 to $78,000 a year. Their median pay for a UPS OTR driver is $63,865.

Note that some drivers make above or below this pay range. The reason it is the “most likely” pay range is because it is the 25th through 75th percentile.

Also, keep in mind that Glassdoor does not have access to all salary data from UPS and it has not been updated with the new Teamsters data. So, their numbers may not be the most accurate (in fact, we doubt that they are, considering the huge gap between these numbers and those mentioned by UPS itself).

What States Pay The Best For UPS Drivers?

You might be wondering what the geographical breakdown is for UPS driver salaries.

For that information, we can turn to ZipRecruiter. For “UPS truck drivers,” the site lists a national average salary of $62,422 per year. The low end is $23,000 and the high end is $113,000.

Here is a breakdown by state:

Here is the full table of data for the top 10 highest paying states for UPS truck drivers:

StateAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
New York$67,912$5,659$1,306$32.65
Virginia$65,928          $5,494$1,267$31.70

The majority of the highest-paying states for UPS drivers are on the East and West Coasts. This is no surprise, as these states ten to feature higher costs of living on average than those in the middle of the country.

What are the Benefits Offered at UPS?

A large chunk of the salary you can receive while driving for UPS is comprised of competitive benefits.

According to Indeed, some of the benefits you can get working for UPS include:

  • Employee discounts
  • Weekly bonuses
  • Performance bonuses
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Paid toll fees
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan

Here are some benefits for UPS drivers we have found listed at Glassdoor:

  • Disability insurance
  • Accidental death & dismemberment insurance
  • Supplemental life insurance
  • Occupational accident insurance
  • Health savings account (HAS)
  • Mental health care
  • Retiree health & medical
  • Flexible spending account (FSA)
  • Healthcare on-site

As NPR mentioned, as of the time of this writing, we do not yet know how much of the $170,000 average pay is comprised of benefits.

One thing that may shed a little light is to look at the information available through Glassdoor. Earlier, we mentioned that the total pay range for UPS CDL drivers according to Glassdoor is between $52,000 and $78,000 a year.

Of that amount, Glassdoor says that the base pay ranges between $48,000 and $70,000 a year. That means that the amount of “additional” pay ranges from $4,000 to $8,000 a year. That would account for benefits.

UPS Driver Requirements

Now that you know all about the UPS driver salary, let’s go over the basic requirements to start driving a UPS truck.

  • Age 21 or above.
  • Hold a valid driver’s license.
  • Hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) – for long-haul drivers (see the next section).
  • Be able to write and speak in English.
  • Maintain a clean driving record.
  • Be able to lift packages up to 70 pounds.
  • Be able to work moderate to long shifts (up to 10 hours for package delivery drivers).
  • Be willing to be away from home for up to 5 days at a time (for long-haul drivers).

You will notice there are no special educational requirements listed. That is great news, since you can get a job at UPS without a college degree.

There is one entry barrier to be aware of, however. With such competitive salaries and benefits, most UPS drivers do not leave the company until they retire. Not only that, but UPS has a strong tendency to promote from within its own ranks.

That means that when UPS hires drivers from outside the company, those openings are very competitive. In fact, even if you already work for UPS and are trying to get promoted into a driver position, you will be up against a lot of strong applicants.

So, it is essential you go in with as competitive a resume as you can possibly have.

Do You Need a CDL to Drive for UPS?

You can apply to work as a “brown truck” driver at UPS without a CDL. But if you want a chance at a higher-paying OTR feeder vehicle job, yes, a CDL is a requirement.

If you do not yet have your CDL, check out our CDL Training 101 guide to learn the

requirements to get a CDL. In that post, we also recommend some top CDL schools.

Additionally, you are going to need to get a Haz-Mat endorsement before you apply for the OTR division at UPS.

How to Become a UPS Driver

The first step to becoming a UPS driver is to get your CDL and meet all other requirements. 

Then, you have two options:

1-Apply directly for a job as a UPS brown truck or OTR driver.

Or …

2-Apply for an entry level job at the company, and work your way up through the ranks. For example, you could start out as a package handler, and then later apply for a driving job when a vacancy appears.

It will take time to climb the ranks at UPS. But believe it or not, it could be a faster way to get into driving a feeder vehicle or brown truck at the company. 

Once you have a job driving at UPS, however, you may be able to do it until retirement. That type of job security is hard to come by elsewhere these days.