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UPS Is Hiring Due To ECommerce Boom: How To Land A Seasonal Driver Gig

Zach Blank


July 18, 2021

Last year, the pandemic caused a global shortfall of 144 million jobs according to the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021 report. Lockdowns wreaked havoc on practically every other industry, closing doors of restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and more. Americans lost their jobs, and those without college degrees found themselves out of the hiring pool for work-from-home employment. Millions of American's hit rock bottom, and  worried pandemic trends would continue to keep them unemployed and dependent on the government. As the pandemic forced the American economy to a halt, the unemployment ripple effect continues. The Trends report projects job losses to last at least two more years across all borders. 

Finding employment in the midst of a pandemic is a continuing global problem, but the good news is, UPS is hiring, and they’re hiring now for the upcoming holiday season. And it gets better: to be a UPS driver, you don’t need a college degree or a home computer. According to, the pay is $21.41 per hour, which is about 44 percent above the national average. Employees benefit from lucrative medical, dental, and vision insurance. The working days may be long, but the tasks are easy, and workers say you have freedom from micromanagement in a job where you’re mostly on the road.  

Job security in a time of employment lows

When the rest of America is down, it’s hard to see Rudolf's light in the dark of the night. But, the Grinch hasn’t taken all the presents from under the tree. According to AP Newswire, UPS made plans to hire more than 100,000 extra workers in 2020, to help handle a record number of packages during the holiday season. To make the job even more enticing, UPS raised their pay in hopes to hire more workers. When everyone else was laying off employees, UPS was holding job fairs to recruit seasonal workers. Last year UPS added 39,000 jobs in just the April-through-June quarter to handle the unprecedented increase in holiday residential deliveries. They crossed their fingers that the high volumes will continue. Apparently, the trends continue to support shoppers’ preference for online shopping and delivery. 

US ecommerce holiday sales reached nearly $188 billion in 2020, an acceleration of growth that is shifting previous ecommerce projections forward by nearly two years. The year of the pandemic proved to be a record year for shipping, with three billion packages delivered during peak the holiday season—which is beginning to look a lot like job security for UPS drivers.  The Atlanta-based company is currently hiring for all seasonal positions: full and part-time, all shifts, and mostly package handlers. According to AP newswire, Last year and for the three years prior, about 35 percent of those hired seasonal workers became permanent positions, so you could be getting more than just a temporary gig out of the deal.  

As the last man standing, UPS still holds ground as one of the only companies aggressively hiring for the season. 

How to get the job

Okay, so they’re hiring a lot of workers, you say, but what if they don’t want to hire me? You may be saying, I love the color brown and I’m crazy about chocolate, but I’ve been doing an entirely different job for decades, and I don’t have much experience. Fair enough, but are you a problem solver? One ad for a Seasonal Personal Vehicle Package Driver read: “We’re the obstacle overcomers, the problem get-arounders. From figuring it out to getting it done, our innovative culture demands ‘yes and how!’ We are UPS. We are the United Problem Solvers.”

Did you know UPS stood for United Problem Solvers? We all thought it was ‘United Parcel Service.’ And who calls packages “parcels?” aside from your British grandma? Packages, parcels—it’s all cookies and milk under the tree. Either way—sounds like they need people who simply get the job done. People are ordering online like little boys in the LEGO section of Target, and UPS needs friendly elves to keep up with everyone’s holiday gift list. 

Does that sound like you? If so, the job requirements are fairly minimal. FedEx wants you to go through a full background check and all that business. To be an entry-level package delivery driver, UPS just needs you to be able to lift, lower, and carry packages up to 70 pounds. The continual lifting of packages means you will need to pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam. 

And what do you have to look forward to? How about some spending cash?

Most full-timers receive top pay ($21 per hour and up depending on location and shift), great growth potential, medical, dental, vision insurance, and extensive training. Full timers work eight or more hours per day and workdays vary from Monday through Friday or Tuesday through Saturday, depending on what each branch needs. You need to be in good shape, as the job is a physical, fast-paced one. You’ll be working mostly outdoors, and you will be in constant contact with people, so you can’t be a recurring member of the naughty list. You need to be friendly and helpful. Of course, knowing your job centers around driving, you need to have some driving skills. If other drivers honk at you and flip you off every time you hit the road, you may want to consider another career. Sometimes the delivery vehicle is standard (manual transmission), so if you can’t manage a stick, you also may want to choose another path. 

Job requirements

  • 21 years of age or older 
  • Valid driver’s license within the state you live
  • No at fault accidents within the last three years
  • No moving violations within the last 12 months 
  • Proof of a registered vehicle for use 
  • Minimum state-required auto insurance
  • Comply with company appearance guidelines (company provided, brown uniform)

Do you fit the requirements? If so, you want to apply now. Summer is the best time, because UPS is looking ahead at the massive surge of online shopping that’s about to be had for the holidays. You can apply online for driver opportunities, part-time, full-time, and seasonal, at or on any of the many employment recruiting websites such as Indeed or Glassdoor. 


So you applied and you wonder what’s next. UPS doesn’t just throw you out there without training like Santa did with poor old Rudolf. The UPS website describes their training as “boot camp, only with VR technology—and a lot more smiles.” which kind of sounds like a modern version of Santa’s workshop. One UPS worker mentioned that he liked that UPS teaches new drivers how to drive defensively, which means safety is a top priority. 

How to stand out as a UPS driver… and stay on permanently

You may have all that UPS wants: a great attitude, a fast pace, and rock-hard calves and abs from all the stairs and lifting. But what really gives you value as an employee is a safe driving record. One of UPS’ slogans is: “ALWAYS SAFE, ALWAYS IMPROVING.” That means the company values safety and innovation. But how can you give yourself the edge as a package delivery? How can you stand out? Most new drivers who want to have the leg up use route optimization software that not only streamlines efficiency, but also keeps them safe. New drivers get Straightaway

Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Aaron Doucett

UPS drivers have the advantage with this essential app

Productivity is important when UPS promotes their drivers to full-time, but safety is also paramount. Using a delivery route planner makes use of the latest technology and simplifies everything, making sure all packages make it to their destination on time, but the safety features also make it the best route optimization on the market. On top of that, Straightaway offers a free version with plenty of the major features. 

The efficiency of route optimization cannot be overstated. A great delivery route planner cuts time and increases volume. UPS drivers are getting serious props for getting it all done so fast, and with the one-screen map and turn-by-turn navigation, they won’t get into car accidents by toggling from screen to screen.  

Straightaway incorporates the crucial elements necessary to ensure a successful holiday delivery in the most efficient manner possible:

  • Safely navigates without switching apps: Turn-by-turn navigation is built right into Straightaway, keeping your attention on the road ere you drive out of sight, and to all a good night. 
  • Adds stops with the snap of a photo: It’s so easy, a Thanksgiving turkey could figure it out. Simply take a picture of the address on your mobile device and Straightaway instantly maps the entire UPS route onto your screen. 
  • Optimizes the fastest route in the quickest amount of time: You’ll be the little old UPS driver, so lively and quick, with the best-in-class route optimization algorithm can organize up to 250 stops in the quickest order in a twinkle—all while accounting for traffic, road closures, construction, speed limits, and weather conditions in real-time.

Your sleigh full of toys job can last through the season 

With Straightaway Route Planner, UPS delivery drivers can save an average of one whole hour over competing delivery route planner apps. Imagine the benefits saving an extra hour could mean for your promotion to head elf—and a Santa’s workshop job that lasts all year. Get ready for some holiday cheer. Get Straightaway.

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Zach Blank

Zach is the co-founder and CEO of Straightaway.

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