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Express Delivery Driver Career Guide

Becoming an express delivery driver is a rewarding career in a fast-growing industry. As society relies so much on delivery drivers to keep the economy afloat, it is thought that there will always be a demand for delivery drivers. To become a delivery driver, you will need a clean drivers license and a high school diploma. No college education, which means lots of opportunities are available to many.

Express Delivery Driver Career Ratings

Income

Career
Growth

Personal Growth

Contribution

Influence

Overview

What an express delivery driver actually does

An express delivery driver ensures that mail and packages are delivered to customers on time. They may work for the Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, or other transportation companies that handle package and mail delivery. Most express delivery drivers have a regular route in their local area, meaning that they don’t have to conduct interstate or long haul truck deliveries. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:

  • Loading parcels, packages and pallets onto their vehicle
  • Driving to delivery and/or pick up points
  • Delivering goods to recipients
  • Recording delivery and handling payments
  • Making collections when customers want to return items
  • Ensuring that their vehicle is well maintained and that any damage is reported
  • Returning to the depot and unloading goods
  • Moving goods around in the warehouse where necessary

Why they are needed

Express deliveries are an essential service to any industrialized society. They transport the things that we need, sometimes getting them to our door on the same day, and without them we would have to rely on local resources to thrive and survive. Without express delivery drivers, it is impossible for the economy to continue to grow as drivers help businesses to move materials from to distribution points, to warehouses and directly to the customers door.

Pros and cons of a career as an express delivery driver

Pros:

  • There are no specific educational requirements to becoming an express delivery driver
  • Personal drivers are in increasing demand, meaning that there is not much competition for jobs
  • It is a sociable and exciting job, where you get to see lots of different places and meet lots of different people
  • There is the opportunity to be self-employed, which offers good flexibility
  • Express delivery drivers don’t have to travel for long distances ]]]]
  • There is a lot of job security in the industry as express delivery drivers are heavily in-demand and there is a worker shortage

Cons:

  • The hours can be the long and antisocial (e.g., Saturdays and in the evening)
  • Express delivery drivers may face unpredictable situation (e.g., traffic or accidents), which can be very frustrating and stressful
  • Express delivery drivers may have to work with difficult clients. This may include ones that are rude, intoxicated or unhappy about a delayed service
  • The job can be physically demanding because drivers are expected to lift packages and move large items
  • Express delivery drivers have to work in all weather conditions

Employability

Job market

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the overall employment of delivery truck drivers is projected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected due to the demand for package delivery services and the growing number of e-commerce transactions.

Career paths

One of the most obvious benefits to becoming an express delivery driver is that the career path is very accessible. You will need to have a driver’s license and you will typically need to have achieved a high school diploma or equivalent.

Delivery truck drivers then get all the training they need on the job. This may include training with a driver-mentor, who rides along with a new employee and teaches them what to do. They will also receive training on company policies about package dropoffs, returns, taking payments and how to handle damaged goods.

Example Job Titles for Express Delivery Driver

Below is a list of common job titles in the Express Delivery Driver field. Click the links below for more information about these job titles, or view the next section for actual real-life job profiles.

Benefits & Conditions

Income and benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for all drivers was $35,860, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $18,060 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $48,970. Specifically, delivery drivers earned a median salary of $32,020.

Autonomy and Flexibility

Overall, there is a lot of autonomy with an express delivery driver and many drivers say they love the job as it offers them independence and freedom. As long as the goods get delivered on time, delivery drivers have control over the route and timings.

Locations and commute

Express delivery driver jobs are available in most locations, meaning that the commute to work is often short. According to Zippia, the best states to be a truck delivery driver, based on average annual salary and number of jobs available, are:

  1. West Virginia, where the average annual salary is $39,091
  2. Delaware, where the average annual salary is $37,907
  3. Vermont, where the average annual salary is $39,129
  4. Mississippi, where the average annual salary is $34,015
  5. Rhode Island, where the average annual salary is $39,199

The worst states to be a delivery driver, according to Zippia, are Montana, Hawaii, Virginia, Idaho and Florida.

Work environment

Express delivery drivers tend to work independently, operating only from their vehicle. Their job can be physically demanding, as they will have to unload and load goods. Delivery drivers actually have one of the highest rates of injury and illness of all occupations, which tend to result from lifting and moving heavy objects and from automobile accidents.

Career Satisfaction

Common Matching Personality Types

Which personalities tend to succeed and thrive in Express Delivery Driver careers? Based on our research, there is a relatively strong positive correlation between the following personality types and Express Delivery Driver career satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t many exceptions, of course, but if you fit into one of the following personality types then we suggest you give strong consideration to a career in Express Delivery Driver.

16 Types (Myers-Briggs)

  • None

Big Five (OCEAN)

  • None

DISC

  • None

Enneagram

  • None

Holland Codes (RIASEC)

Personality types

The exact personality types that make a successful express delivery driver have not been explored. However, it is reasonable to assume that because express delivery drivers will need to follow state rules and regulations, they will most likely score high on conscientiousness.

What is more, is that to be a successful express delivery driver, you will need t0 be a responsible driver and therefore have minimal road traffic accidents. One study found that excitement seeking and aggression had an impact on the number of road traffic accidents due to the driving behaviours they cause. These results imply that to be a successful express delivery driver, you should display low excitement seeking and low aggression. On a similar note, drivers without driving violations express a higher need for personal control, are significantly less risk-taking in their behaviour, are more conforming and inclined to avoid novel sensations as well as socially-stimulating situations than those with driving violations. Based on the results of this study, drivers who have less accidents, therefore making them more successful express delivery drivers, are likely to show personal control, less risk-taking behaviour and will most likely be introverted.

Accomplishment and mastery

The sense of accomplishment and mastery can be very high in an express delivery driving career. The skills and education required (high school diploma and drivers license) are not particularly difficult to obtain. However, once qualified, you get a lot of responsibility and independence so there is a sense of accomplishing something and mastering a new skill.

Meaning and contribution

As mentioned previously, express delivery drivers play a crucial role in society and helping to keep the economy afloat. Due to this, there is a high sense of meaning and contribution that comes from being an express delivery driver.

Life fit

Most express delivery drivers work full time. Many may work additional hours and often they begin work early in the morning or late at night. It is also not uncommon for express delivery drivers to work weekends and holidays.

Who will thrive in this career?

You will thrive in this career if you are organized, conscientious and can plan ahead, taking into account the likelihood of unforeseen circumstances such as traffic or delays.  Those who like to work independently and are good at managing themselves will also thrive, and will most likely end up loving the job for its self-dependent nature.

Who will struggle in this career

It goes without saying that those who like to work in teams, or like to be constantly surrounded by other people, will struggle as an express delivery driver due to the independent nature of the work. Those who are naturally spontaneous, excitement seeking and do not follow rules may also struggle in this career as these behaviours can lead to reckless driving behaviour, which will cause more accidents.

Requirements

Skills and talents

The typical skills and talents required for an express delivery driver include:

  • Customer-service skills are key for express delivery drivers as they will be interacting with customers when delivering parcels and therefore must leave a good impression
  • Hand-eye coordination is essential as express delivery drivers must be able to use their legs, hands and eyes to safely drive a truck in all kinds of conditions
  • Problem-solving skills, as express delivery drivers will be faced with new problems everyday (e.g., traffic, delays, road closures or faults with the truck itself) and will have to find efficient ways to resolve these issues
  • Visual ability is an obvious essential as express delivery drivers must be able to see the road ahead of them. Federal regulations require a driver to have at least 20/40 vision with a 70-degree field of vision in each eye and the ability to distinguish the colour on a traffic light
  • Hearing ability is key as federal regulations require that a driver must be able to hear a forced whisper in one ear at 5 feet away

Education

Express delivery driver will need to have a clean driver’s license and you will typically need to have achieved a high school diploma or equivalent. Delivery drivers then get all the training they need on the job. This may include training for a driver-mentor, who rides along with a new employee. They will also receive training on company policies about package dropoffs, returns, taking payments and how to handle damaged goods.

Certifications

Express delivery drivers will need a clean drivers license.

How to Become

Summary

A career as an express delivery driver offers a rewarding career in a demanding and fast-growing industry. As society relies so much on delivery drivers to keep the economy afloat, it is thought that there will always be a demand for drivers. As a career that requires no college education, a career in express delivery certainly offers an abundance of career opportunities and ways to make a good living.

Immediate action (so what can you do)

If after reading this career guide becoming an express delivery driver is something that really appeals to you then great! What we recommend getting your drivers license, if you don’t already have it, and beginning to apply for entry level jobs!

Education and learning

To become an express delivery driver, you will need a clean drivers license and a high school diploma or equivalent. You will then receive on the job training, which may require being supervised by a more experienced driver.

Skill development

To gather the skills needed to be a successful express delivery driver, you should get as much driving practice in your own care as possible – this will improve your confidence, coordination and problem solving ability. Before diving into the necessary training, it may be responsible to check that your physical health, eyesight and hearing ability matched the federal requirements.

FAQs

Ask a Question

Have a question about Express Delivery Driver careers? If so, our mentors would love to help! Just click on a mentor’s profile below and then fill out the “Ask a Question” form on that page. Your question will then be emailed to the mentor, who can then email you a reply.

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