Is It Hard to Get a Job at UPS?

UPS is a physically demanding career, but it can also be a highly rewarding one, as well. Most people want to get to a driver’s position, specifically to RPCD and feeders, but the road may not be as easy as you’d think.

It’s not especially hard to get an entry UPS job, but it is hard to get to a good position, such as a regular UPS driver or RPCD. Usually, you need to start from the bottom, work hard, sign bid lists, and you’ll eventually get where you want to be.

Hiring varies by location, and while UPS does hire from the outside, including for a driver position, promotions depend mostly on seniority and inside hires.

One thing that rules promotions at UPS is seniority. Unless you have a lot of experience driving for other companies, to get to a driver position, you simply need to start below, work hard, and be patient and you’ll get there.

UPS driver unloading packages from the truck

Is It Hard to Get Hired at UPS?

The difficulty of getting hired at UPS can depend on various factors, such as the position you are applying for, your qualifications and experience, and the job market in your area.

Generally, UPS is known for having a competitive hiring process, with many applicants competing for a limited number of positions. For example, in 2022, UPS reported receiving over 250,000 job applications for about 100,000 seasonal positions.

However, UPS also offers various job opportunities across different fields, such as package handling, delivery driving, operations management, and IT, among others. This means there may be more or less competition for specific positions, depending on the job and location.

While many applicants focus primarily on their resume, having a referral or connection within UPS can significantly bolster your chances, given the company’s appreciation for loyalty and trust.

Getting a job as a driver or in management is much more difficult. You either have to have some seniority at UPS by working for a few years, or you need to be an experienced driver from another company to be hired immediately for a regular driver UPS position. Many UPS drivers started at the bottom and worked their way up.

What Is the UPS Hiring Process?

The UPS hiring process begins by completing hiring forms on the Careers section of the UPS website. HR reps may contact eligible candidates to set up interviews, during which you may get a tour of the facility and have a 1-on-1 meeting with managers.

The interview allows the employer to assess your fit for the job, learn about your skills and experience, and get to know you better. After the interview, you may be asked to take an assessment test, including a personality test, cognitive ability test, or skills test.

If you pass the assessment, you may be required to undergo a background check, which could include a criminal history check, a drug test, or a verification of your work history or education. If you pass the background check, you may be offered a position at UPS, including details about your compensation, benefits, and start date.

If selected, you may be invited to attend an orientation, which can take up to five hours. You’ll watch instructional videos during the orientation and learn about proper lifting techniques and procedures.

Remember that showcasing adaptability and resilience during the interview can give you an edge. UPS highly values employees who can handle the dynamic nature of logistics and delivery. Before your interview, reflect on past experiences where you successfully adapted to changing situations or overcame challenges. Being ready with specific anecdotes that highlight these traits can leave a lasting impression

How long is the UPS hiring process?

Each hub is different in the way they hire people. The entire process can typically be completed in under a week, including the tour and interview. The only delays could potentially exist due to background checks, which usually happen only after you have been accepted.

In any case, try to be patient. You should be good as long as your application is green (active) on the site. If they’re doing a background check, you just need to wait for the background check to clear, and you’ll soon be working for UPS.

For many companies, it takes a while to hear back after applying.

Is It Hard to Get a UPS Driver Job?

It’s tough to become a UPS driver as an outsider, but easier if you’re already an employee. UPS tends to hire from within, and it can take several years of hard work to become a regular driver.

Once you’re a driver, you’ll need to work up to an RPCD position, and seniority is important. The 22.4s class of drivers can move up quickly but may have to wait longer for top pay.

Some hubs will hire more outsiders for driver positions, and it can take up to 3-4 years of seniority to become a regular driver. Prior driver experience can be helpful.

While aiming for a driver position, consider investing time in understanding UPS’s technological tools and systems. Familiarity with their digital platforms can showcase your commitment and drive for efficiency. Consider taking short online courses or tutorials on logistics software and tracking systems. Even a basic understanding can signal to hiring managers your proactive approach and willingness to learn.

UPS Driver in the truck
UPS driver by Elvert Barnes (under the CC BY-SA 2.0)

How to Become a UPS Delivery Driver

There are several ways to become a delivery driver. You can start as a driver helper for the Christmas season, a seasonal driver, or as a preloader and work your way up.

Here’s how to get to a driver position at UPS:

  • Apply for part-time as a package handler in preload, or something which leads to a driver position.
  • Then, try to get “qualified as a driver”, which takes 30 days of work. It takes hard work to reach this, and it will be exhausting, so be prepared. Only about 30% of new hires will qualify.
  • After this, you’re officially a UPS driver, but it will take time to become a regular. You’ll be waiting a lot, but you’ll start to drive one or two days every other week.
  • Seniority will always have an advantage, so be prepared to sign as many bid lists as possible to get as many driving hours as possible.
  • Now is the time to build up that seniority and work towards RPCD, a regular package car driver, with your own bid route. Then you get to set the pace.
  • After that, UPS Feeder is the way to go as soon as you hit your one year of safe driving. For an hourly employee, it’s probably the best job in the company.

One good tip is to try and be a seasonal driver for peak season. This will be a great learning opportunity for a permanent driving position.

An often-overlooked tip for prospective UPS drivers is to engage in community forums and networks. Insights from current or former employees can provide invaluable nuances about what UPS truly seeks in its drivers. Websites like the BrownCafe forum or the UPSers community can be gold mines of firsthand experiences, tips, and advice. Engage actively, ask questions, and use the feedback to refine your approach and expectations.

Most UPS drivers will tell you that the benefits are amazing and the job security is solid once you make your way up. And when you do get to be a full-time driver, take your time and enjoy life a bit, go sailing or something. Or take some time to educate yourself on finance so you can invest in your future.

Is It Hard to Get a Job as a Package Handler at UPS?

Getting a job as a package handler is not hard, and it’s a starting point for most of the new hires at UPS. The job can be exhausting, but it is the way to get to a driver position, which most UPS hourly employees aim for.

Package handler makes the same amount of money as most entry-level retail or restaurant positions in many areas, but it is demanding. You’ll be loading 3-4 trucks with 300+ pieces each, and it will push you to your limits.

One good piece of advice I got is to try to stay physically fit and just live in the moment. UPS, as a company, has a lot of money and is willing to spend it, but they’ll make you work for it, as most companies do. If you have a good attitude, stick around, sign bid lists, and stop counting days, you’ll eventually get where you want to be.

UPS Package Delivery Driver Requirements

To become a UPS package delivery driver, you typically need to work for 2-3 years at a lower position at UPS, then move on to a driver position. Unless you have a lot of experience as a driver in another company, expect to start from the bottom as a package handler, as most new hires do.

It’s not something you just walk in and get. Try working as a seasonal driver during the summer or winter, and see how it goes. If it’s your job, work hard, be smart, and cross your fingers. Maybe you’ll get a chance to become full-time.

UPS driver delivering packages
UPS delivering packages by Elvert Barnes (under the CC BY-SA 2.0)

How Hard Is It to Become a UPS Driver Helper?

UPS driver helper is a seasonal job that can be a great way to gain experience and earn money during the winter months.

While it is relatively easy to get hired as a driver helper, the job can be physically demanding and requires working outside in cold weather. It’s important to dress warmly in layers and be prepared for the weather conditions.

As a driver helper, you will be working with a driver to deliver packages to customers. This involves loading and unloading trucks, handling paperwork, collecting payment, and organizing the vehicle. The driver will usually leave you with a hand cart full of packages to deliver while he goes in another direction. You will need to be able to work quickly and efficiently to help the driver make his deliveries on time.

The pay for a UPS driver helper is decent compared to most other entry-level jobs, and the job typically involves daily shifts, so you can finish your work on time and get home at a reasonable hour.

While there is no drug test for part-time package handlers or driver helpers, it’s important to be responsible and show up to work on time and ready to work hard. This job can be a great way to gain experience and potentially lead to other opportunities within UPS.

Is It Hard to Get a UPS Management Job?

Getting a management job at UPS mostly comes down to seniority and the inside hires, however, there is also a way to get there from the outside, but it’s much more difficult. As you apply, immediately give the letter of intent to join management, so you can start in the right direction.

You will probably start as a part time supervisor, and move your way up. If you’ve got some experience in management, you don’t need to start as a package handler or a driver. Being a driver doesn’t get you to management any sooner than going from package handler to management. Management has its own kind of progression ladder, separate from what the hourly employee progression is.

It is, however, possible to go from package handler to management, just make sure to declare your intention to go to management as soon as possible, as your long-term goal. Having a nicely tailored resume and not too big of an employment gap will help you as well.

Recent shifts in eCommerce dynamics, particularly post-pandemic, have seen UPS’s hiring patterns adjust. For those eager to join UPS, it’s beneficial to regularly monitor industry news, participate in logistics webinars, and even consider following key UPS personnel on professional networks like LinkedIn. This proactive approach not only keeps you abreast of the latest trends but also demonstrates your genuine interest and dedication to potential hiring managers.

Is It Hard to Become a UPS Pilot?

Becoming a UPS pilot requires a few years of experience either in the military or cargo airline. There are both regulatory and individual airline requirements for the job. It is hard and challenging, and requires at least 1,000 Pilot in Command hours.

You can get started at Ameriflight, which is a flight path program for those with one goal in mind – to be a UPS pilot.

You will need the initial certifications first, then see where that leads you. Keep in mind that certifications can cost a lot, usually above $10,000. If you can save that much by doing your current job, and keep working to become a UPS pilot then you should go for it, as it’s definitely doable.


Do UPS workers make good money?

UPS drivers make anywhere from $20 to $39 an hour, and can usually hit a 100k salary in a year. Usually, the start salary is about $20 for a driver. Package handlers are paid around $14.50 to $18.

When do UPS seasonal jobs start?

UPS seasonal hiring started in October 2023 and lasted until January 2024 for unloading/loader.

How do you know if you get hired at UPS?

If you got invited to a second part of the application, you got hired. The second part of the application allows the company to run a background check. Once it clears, they’ll reach out and schedule you for an orientation.

As long as the background check clears, you get the job. Background checks usually take 2 to 4 days, up to two weeks.

How many hours do UPS work?

The number of hours UPS employees work can vary depending on the position and location. Generally, package handlers and drivers work 8-10 hour shifts, but overtime may be required during peak seasons or busy periods.

Is it better to work for UPS or Fedex?

Whether it’s better to work for UPS or FedEx can depend on your personal preferences and career goals. Both companies offer competitive wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement, but the work culture and job requirements can differ.

How quickly do you advance at UPS?

The speed of advancement at UPS can vary depending on the position, location, and individual performance. Generally, UPS values promoting from within and provides opportunities for career growth, but it can take several years of hard work and dedication to move up the ranks.

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!