Want to Make $170,000? Deliver for UPS

Their new contract pays them twice what I thought it would

3 min readAug 12


Photo by the author via Clipdrop

In a remarkable departure from conventional middle-class earnings, UPS drivers have catapulted their annual salaries to an impressive $170,000, showcasing a substantial shift in income potential within the transportation sector.

According to CNBC, drivers will average $170,000 in pay and benefits such as health care and pensions at the end of a five-year contract that the delivery giant struck with the Teamsters Union last month, averting a strike.

The tentative agreement covers some 340,000 workers at the package carrier. They are in the middle of a ratification vote that began Thursday and ends Aug. 22.

This surge in compensation not only reflects the changing dynamics of the job market but also challenges traditional notions of middle-class remuneration.

The days of considering $170,000 as an exorbitant income achievable only in elite professions are waning, as UPS drivers shatter such perceptions.

Historically, middle-class jobs have been associated with moderate pay scales, often hovering around the $50,000 to $70,000 range. However, UPS has defied this norm by redefining the earnings landscape for its drivers.

Had you asked me to guess how much a UPS delivery person earns prior to a few days ago, I would have guessed in the $30 to $40 range per hour, or $60,000 to $80,000 or so. Perhaps close to six figures if they pull enough overtime during the holiday season.

But surprise!


More than I earn after toiling for over twenty-three years as an economic development professional, although I read that it includes other benefits. If you include mine — i.e. health insurance and pension contributions — it would most likely be around that number.

This surge in UPS drivers’ compensation can be attributed to several factors that have synergistically culminated in their substantial earnings.

The ever-expanding realm of e-commerce has fueled an unprecedented surge in package deliveries, resulting in an increased demand for dedicated and efficient drivers. As a result, UPS has…




A married father of two children and a Morkie. Long-time economic developer, former P.O., avid reader and walker.