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Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Summary

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Quick Facts: Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers
2019 Median Pay $qf_median_annual_wage_html $qf_median_hourly_wage_html
Typical Entry-Level Education $qf_education_html
Work Experience in a Related Occupation $qf_experience_html
On-the-job Training $qf_training_html
Number of Jobs, 2018 $qf_number_jobs_html
Job Outlook, 2018-28 $qf_outlook_html
Employment Change, 2018-28 $qf_openings_html

What Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers Do

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area.

Work Environment

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers have a physically demanding job. Driving a truck for long periods can be tiring. When loading and unloading cargo, drivers do a lot of lifting, carrying, and walking.

How to Become a Delivery Truck Driver or Driver/Sales Worker

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter their occupations with a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some opportunities exist for those without a high school diploma. Workers undergo 1 month or less of on-the-job training. They must have a driver’s license from the state in which they work and have a clean driving record.

Pay

Job Outlook

Overall employment of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2018 to 2028, slower than the average for all occupations. Job applicants with experience and a clean driving record, or who work for a company in another occupation, should have the best job prospects.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers Do About this section

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers
Delivery drivers drop off packages with customers.

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area. They drive trucks having a total weight of 26,000 pounds or less for vehicle, passengers, and cargo. Delivery truck drivers usually transport merchandise from a distribution center to businesses and households.

Duties

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically do the following:

  • Load and unload their cargo
  • Communicate with customers to determine pickup and delivery needs
  • Report any incidents they encounter on the road to a dispatcher
  • Follow all applicable traffic laws
  • Report serious mechanical problems to the appropriate personnel
  • Keep their truck and associated equipment clean and in good working order
  • Accept payments for the shipment
  • Handle paperwork, such as receipts or delivery confirmation notices

Most drivers generally receive instructions to go to a delivery location at a particular time, and it is up to them to determine the best route. Other drivers have a regular daily or weekly delivery schedule. All drivers must understand an area’s street grid and know which roads allow trucks and which do not.

The following examples are types of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers:

Driver/sales workers are delivery drivers who also have sales responsibilities. They recommend new products to businesses and solicit new customers. These drivers may have a regular delivery route and be responsible for adding new clients located along their route. For example, they may make regular deliveries to a hardware store and encourage the store’s manager to offer a new product.

Some driver/sales workers use their own vehicles to deliver goods to customers, such as takeout food, and accept payment for those goods. Freelance or independent driver/sales workers may use smartphone apps to find specific delivery jobs.

Light truck drivers, often called pickup and delivery or P&D drivers, are the most common type of delivery driver. They drive small trucks or vans from distribution centers to delivery locations. Drivers make deliveries based on a set schedule. Some drivers stop at the distribution center once only, in the morning, and make many stops throughout the day. Others make multiple trips between the distribution center and delivery locations. Some drivers make deliveries from a retail location to customers.

Work Environment About this section

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers
Delivery truck drivers load and unload packages.

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers have physically demanding jobs. When loading and unloading cargo, drivers do a lot of lifting, carrying, and walking. Driving in congested traffic or adhering to strict delivery timelines can also be stressful.

Injuries and Illnesses

Light truck or delivery services drivers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Injuries can result from workers lifting and moving heavy objects, as well as from automobile accidents.

Work Schedules

Most drivers work full time, and many work additional hours. Those who have regular routes sometimes must begin work very early in the morning or work late at night. For example, a driver who delivers bread to a deli every day must arrive before the deli opens. Drivers often work weekends and holidays.

How to Become a Delivery Truck Driver or Driver/Sales Worker About this section

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers
Drivers need to maintain a clean driving record and be able to navigate city streets.

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter their occupations with a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some opportunities exist for those without a high school diploma. Workers undergo 1 month or less of on-the-job training. They must have a driver’s license from the state in which they work and have a clean driving record.

Education

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Training

Companies train new delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers on the job. This may include training from a driver-mentor who rides along with a new employee to make sure that a new driver is able to operate a truck safely on crowded streets.

New drivers also get training to learn company policies about package dropoffs and returns, taking payment, and what to do with damaged goods.

Driver/sales workers must learn detailed information about the products they offer. Their company also may teach them proper sales techniques, such as how to approach new customers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All delivery drivers need a driver’s license.

Other Experience

Some delivery drivers begin as package loaders at warehouse facilities, especially if the driver works for a large company. For more information, see the profile on hand laborers and material movers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. When completing deliveries, drivers often interact with customers and should make a good impression to ensure repeat business.

Hand–eye coordination. Drivers need to observe their surroundings at all times while operating a vehicle.

Math skills. Because delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers sometimes take payment, they must be able to count cash and make change quickly and accurately.

Patience. When driving through heavy traffic congestion, delivery drivers must remain calm and composed.

Sales skills. Driver/sales workers are expected to persuade customers to purchase new or different products.

Visual ability. To have a driver’s license, delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers must be able to pass a state vision test.

Pay About this section

Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Median annual wages, May 2019

Total, all occupations

$41,950

Motor vehicle operators

$40,600

Light truck drivers

$37,050

Driver/sales workers

$27,960

 

Some drivers/sales workers, such as pizza delivery workers, receive tips in addition to hourly wages. Sales workers can also receive commissions from the products they sell.

Most drivers work full time, and many work additional hours. Those who have regular routes sometimes must begin work very early in the morning or work late at night. For example, a driver who delivers bread to a deli every day must arrive before the deli opens. Drivers often work weekends and holidays.

Job Outlook About this section

Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Percent change in employment, projected 2018-28

Light truck drivers

6%

Motor vehicle operators

5%

Total, all occupations

4%

Driver/sales workers

3%

 

Overall employment of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2018 to 2028, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will vary by occupation.

Employment of light truck or delivery services drivers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Continued e-commerce growth should increase demand for package delivery services, especially for the large and regional shipping companies. More light truck and delivery drivers will be needed to fulfill the growing number of e-commerce transactions.

Employment of driver/sales workers is projected to decline 3 percent from 2018 to 2028. Self-employed or independent contractors, who sign up with smartphone-based food delivery companies, may be needed to deliver food from grocery stores and from restaurants that previously provided only takeout services. In addition, robotic driverless vehicles may replace some workers in food delivery.

Job Prospects

Job opportunities for delivery truck drivers and drivers/sales workers are expected to be good. Job applicants with experience and a clean driving record, or who work for a company in another occupation, should have the best job prospects.

Employment projections data for delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers, 2018-28
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

$occ_name

$tools.number.format($emp_current) $tools.number.format($emp_projected) $emp_percent_change $tools.number.format($emp_net_change)

Driver/sales workers

53-3031 487,400 501,900 3 14,500 Get data

Light truck drivers

53-3033 1,018,600 1,079,100 6 60,500 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2019 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Bus drivers Bus Drivers

Bus drivers transport people between various places.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Laborers and material movers Hand Laborers and Material Movers

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Material recording clerks Material Recording Clerks

Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Postal service workers Postal Service Workers

Postal service workers sell postal products and collect, sort, and deliver mail.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Train engineers and operators Railroad Workers

Workers in railroad occupations ensure that passenger and freight trains safely run on time. They may drive trains, coordinate the activities of the trains, or operate signals and switches in the rail yard.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs Taxi Drivers, Ride-Hailing Drivers, and Chauffeurs

Taxi drivers, ride-hailing drivers, and chauffeurs transport people to and from the places they need to go.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Water transportation occupations Water Transportation Workers

Water transportation workers operate and maintain vessels that take cargo and people over water.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/delivery-truck-drivers-and-driver-sales-workers.htm (visited December 04, 2021).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2018 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2018, the median annual wage for all workers was $38,640.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2018

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2018, which is the base year of the 2018-28 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2018-28

The projected percent change in employment from 2018 to 2028. The average growth rate for all occupations is 5 percent.

Employment Change, 2018-28

The projected numeric change in employment from 2018 to 2028.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2018-28

The projected numeric change in employment from 2018 to 2028.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2018 to 2028.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2018 to 2028.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2018 to 2028.

2018 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2018, the median annual wage for all workers was $38,640.