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How much does a delivery driver make?

Updated February 21, 2017

Delivery drivers pick up goods from distribution centres and manufacturers and drop them off to businesses or households using trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 11793 Kilogram or less. Only a standard driver's license is needed to enter the profession. Employers typically provide instruction. Applicants are tested for alcohol and drug use, and then randomly when they are hired.

Work

Delivery drivers typically work 50 or more hours a week. If they work for chain groceries, produce markets or bakeries, they can start early in the morning and continue late into the night, so their deliveries do not interfere with customers of those businesses. However, they do have predictable, regular routes. Lifting, carrying and walking is necessary. As of May 2009, the median salary for this profession was £18,414 yearly, with a range of £11,290 to £33,605. This equals £8.80 hourly, with a range of £5.40 to £16.10. This information is the most current from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employers

Couriers and express delivery services hired the most delivery drivers, with 16 per cent of the total 834,780 positions. They paid a mean £14.30 per hour or £29,757 per year. These employers were also in the top five for compensation. However, the highest-paying employers were wired telecommunications carriers, who paid £15.80 per hour or £33,052. However, because they only offered 250 jobs, opportunities are limited.

Geography

The state with the highest salaries for delivery drivers was Alaska, where a high cost of living boosted compensation to a mean £11.3 per hour or £23,510 per year for only 1,530 jobs. New Jersey, which was still among the top five for pay, had lower wages at a mean £10.70 per hour or £22,249 per year, but more opportunities with 24,380 jobs. For cities, the best-paying employers were in Redding, California, with mean salaries at £14.10 per hour or £29,373 per year for 630 jobs. Second-ranked San Francisco had lower means at £12.90 per hour or £27,001 per year, but more opportunities with 5,740 jobs.

Outlook

Jobs for delivery drivers will increase by 4 per cent from 2008 to 2018, according to the BLS, which is lower than average. Though a growing population and economy will require more delivered goods, consolidation in the industry will reduce jobs. Economic slowdowns will also have similar effects on the industry, though during boom times, employers may need to offer premiums or incentives to attract workers. Competition will be strongest for jobs with the best earnings and most favourable work schedules.

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About the Author

Aurelio Locsin has been writing professionally since 1982. He published his first book in 1996 and is a frequent contributor to many online publications, specializing in consumer, business and technical topics. Locsin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scientific and technical communications from the University of Washington.