Fedex vs. UPS Jobs: Purple Pays Better

UPS vs. FedEx: Which Employer Pays Best?

Despite the fact that gas is nudging close to $4 per gallon, the delivery industry is still going strong. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, delivery and other truck drivers comprise one of the largest occupations in the U.S., holding 3.2 million jobs. Overall, job opportunities continue to be favorable. How can you snag a delivery gig and which company stands out as an employer?

Two major players in the delivery business are UPS and FedEx. UPS was ranked number 43 on Fortune’s 2010 list of 500 largest corporations. Its competitor, FedEx, landed 17 spots down at number 60, falling from 59 the year before. UPS is working hard to stay ahead, investing in improvements to its largest air hub, in Louisville, Kentucky, despite financial losses during the recession. DHL pulled its U.S. operations last year and both FedEx and UPS want a share of that market.

Both companies seem healthy. Which one pays their employees better and has a company culture that would suit you? Here’s a look at median annual salary ranges for some of the most common jobs at UPS and FedEx, according online salary database, PayScale.com, as well as some facts about benefits and employee mix. (Note: all numbers circa 2011.)

 


FedEx

Job Title

Median Annual Salary Range

Account Executive

$43,288 - $104,296

Pilot

$85,128 - $393,851

Courier/Messenger

$29,845 - $56,006

Customer Service Representative

$21,997 - $46,889

Dispatcher

$31,932 - $74,470

Loader and Unloader

$16,930 - $36,186

Package Handler

$19,219 - $30,380

Truck Driver, Light or Delivery Services

$25,107 - $51,823


UPS

Job Title

Median Annual Salary Range

Account Executive

$42,885 - $91,510

Pilot

$31,987 - $211,490

Courier/Messenger

$24,470 - $71,837

Customer Service Representative

$19,384 - $43,866

Dispatcher

$27,527 - $62,356

Loader and Unloader

$19,017 - $48,543  

Package Handler

$17,836 - $27,438  

Truck Driver, Light or Delivery Services

$35,680 - $81,626


Job for job, FedEx offers somewhat higher wages. And, PayScale’s data shows that the other thing this Memphis, Tennessee-based carrier provides is a better vacation package. Even if you’ve worked at FedEx for less than a year, you are still eligible for 2.5 weeks of time off. Staff at UPS will not get over two weeks of vacation until they are employed between 1-4 years.

UPS, though, is more generous with bonuses. Truck drivers can earn nearly $1000 per year in bonus money, compared to just $750 at FedEx. In addition, senior program analysts stand to make $1000 more per year wearing brown.

More women work at FedEx, which counts 26 percent of its workforce as female, as opposed to only 22 percent at UPS.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, UPS branch offices are found in such major cities as Atlanta, Ga., Chicago, Ill., Houston, Texas and New York, N.Y. Most of FedEx staff work in Memphis and the carrier’s branch offices are in Dallas and Houston, Texas, Collierville, Tennessee, Los Angeles, Calif. and Orlando, Fla.

On the whole, UPS employees count 55 percent of their co-workers as being “proactive problem solvers.” FedEx splits its force pretty evenly between those problem solvers and “overachievers,” with 35 and 33 percent, respectively. Which team would you rather be on?

Source: Salary and career data is provided by online salary database PayScale.com. The salary ranges shown are for full-time employees with any level of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit-sharing.

12 Comments

  1. 12 Eric 06 Apr
    I worked for FedEx for almost 25 years! Yeah 25 years and got let go!! Because of a customer complaint who could not get their s@$! Together so in fedex'so eyes I was the problem! Fedex nowadays does not care what you have done for the company, or what you have sacrificed! They really don't! I thought I had job security but I was wrong! The people I worked with are all awesome but I must agree,Frederick smith has lost touch with his company and has let corporate idiots run his company! The company used to be people ,service, profit, but now it's all about the profit!! They work their drivers to the bone and even during the holidays they push them to the limit! And all they tell them is good job!! You did great! See you tomorrow!
  2. 11 Hunter 24 Feb
    This pay you guys are talking about is kinda off. I work for ups and i must say i get paid somewhat ok as a package handler. I mean i can't complain I signed up for the job. If people want to complain about the pay, then go find another job. Package handlers make anywhere from $12,000- about $32,000 a year. (Thats working part time people!!!). Yeah its not that much but if 5 hours a day monday thru friday. If you want to driver route they start at like 27 something an hour and max somewhere in the mid-$40's
  3. 10 John 12 Feb
    I just looked at UPS package handler wages. Those are s*** wages. Absolute S***. It's like working at McDonalds, and by the way, all low income employees need to make money in this country. The bottom paid worker should be paid upwards of $15-20 minimum an hour. Without those wages, you cannot live, literally cannot live. The government steps in, and helps the employees, you don't pay well enough. You are liars, and cheats of the system. Balance the wages more. We are literally a third world country now. Why do you employers pay us dirt wages ? How can we live off of nothing ? It's absolutely better to get government handout, than the wages you are offering. You are paying sweat-shop labor wages. I know it. The people are waking up. Both Republicans, and Democrats are rising up to this bulls***. No more globalist s***. No more undercutting the working class.
  4. 9 J fingle 26 Jan
    I love seeing Fedex and UPS employees complaining about their wages. They're all people who didn't have to do drastic things during the recession, yet they complain that their "full" insurance and slight raises were a bit disappointing. These people were so lucky to work for these companies during this time and still feel the need to complain to a group of people who were laid off or at best, given the same wages as the previous year. I've worked for both these companies and currently work for one and I'd love to see what these people would do if they quit and test a market they assume is rich in jobs and benefits. Go ahead and quit to these employees and see who hires u for a better wage.. I'll wait and see your response
  5. 8 Richard 25 Oct
    Lots of important information missing from this mini-article. When thinking of both companies the most common position in a person's mind in of course delivery driver, the guys you see on the road every day. FedEx Ground and Home Delivery drivers are NOT employees but contractors (or drivers working for contractors); whereas UPS drivers are unionized employees. HUGE difference. Easier to get driving position with FedEx and pay is decent, but ZERO benefits of ANY kind regardless of how long you do the job. The biggest obstacle in the job is FedEx itself, because contractors having issues with deliveries allows the company to save thousands and thousands of dollars of unpaid bonuses, so no one at your station will ever side with you on anything. The potential liability issues as a simple driver are staggering and can hit at any time costing you hundreds of dollars or more in fines. On the other hand, if you are perfect at all times and very very careful you can build some good driving time/records to pad your resume with. Also, things like potential bonuses, etc. are dependent on the exact contractor you are working for so impossible to judge without knowing exactly who you will work for. Good company to start a driving career with, but don't get comfortable, be prepared to look over your shoulder constantly, and understand you WILL be doing significant extra work with no pay (i.e. loading trucks from scratch despite being the driver and not being paid for it) UPS is more difficult to get the driving position due to the union; however, that same union provides decent benefits and the pay is more for an equivalent driving position. It's hard to compare exactly because so much depends on the particular route, but all other things being equal UPS drivers always make more for a particular route than any FedEx driver. Some of the negatives on this side are how much closer the company watches over your shoulder while doing your job, understandable since they are full employees. However, as long as you follow the rules, you will be provided some protection against possible disputes; whereas FedEx will never back a contract driver. A lot of the choice will come down to personal preference, but from a strictly compensation standpoint, there is no comparison. This post is referencing only the package delivery driving positions. I don't really know how it works for the guys driving the tractor trailers.
  6. 7 Sandy 14 Oct
    I currently work for FedEx, going on 13 years. I've seen so many changes it saddens me to see the company being run this way. I am a top performer and my bonus was less than $300 my raise is a flat 3% and our insurance goes up every year and is getting worse and worse. I understand the company needs to make money and have a good amount in reserve, I'm not disputing that, that's smart planning. When I see15 CEO/presidents making millions ($6-20 million per year) and the true workers get cheap raises it saddens me. I never thought this company would turn out like this. Cost of living goes up 3% per year and that was my raise. I use to have so much respect for this company but it too has turned greedy corporate America. The top dogs are making millions and millions a year and the workers are paid very poorly, many of them work 2 jobs. Fred Smith is getting ready to retire and is out of touch with what is really going on.
  7. 6 Scott 09 Oct
    My father worked for UPS from 1975 through 2012. He started loading trucks, then became a driver's helper over the holidays. When the holidays were over he was offered a part time handlers job. After a month he was offered full time. He had the Sam assigned route until 1995, when he switched over to feeders. He did that until he retired in 2012. He made good money and the union made sure he got yearly raises. He himself admits the money got much better in the late 90's. There retirement package is exceptional
  8. 5 Greg 30 Jul
    I worked at ups freight for 17 years the pay for city is 27 plus hour fed ex where I work now is currently at 25 plus hour
  9. 4 Kevin 14 Jul
    I had an offer from UPS and Fedex Ground as a handler, ground paid more and took it in 2003. As a driver/courier it is easier, direct hire at fedex express than ups where you have to wait for a slot or take a temp position during the holidays then hope enough people retire/quit that you are the first in the line of people who want to be drivers/couriers. Fedex express has been going down for years, I know I've been there. The quality of people they hire has nose dived they abuse and overwork good people to makeup for all the lazy loafers they bring in. Fedex is fine if you want more money NOW but have an exit plan, going to school, ie have a career plan. If not go with ups you'll get less pay to start but you can move up and around in a company that is #1 not #2 that wastes money on garbage technology that doesn't work and doesn't value their good employees.
  10. 3 greg 24 Jun
    wow this is very misleading. I just retired my insurance is 1270.00 per month leaves me with 500 dollars thanks FRED. This company is going down hill quick, employee turnover is so high. They cant get people to stay or work, Fred has lost all reality with front line employees the managers and engineers are costing the company a ton of money to look good on paper.
  11. 2 Ray 21 Mar
    Wow, read the entire article and could not find one thing that is even close to accurate. I worked for FedEx and now work for UPS. My wife works for FedEx and the reality of it is that I make twice as much as her, my health benefits are 4 times better (and free to me, she has to pay for her bare minimum insurance) retirement #'s are 4 times as much at UPS. Article reads like someone just made it all up or at best used terrible references.
  12. 1 Paul 20 Jul
    I have worked for both of these companies and I can honestly say these figures are misleading.  Handlers at UPS in reality make more like 10k - 25k a year and 25k is almost impossible unless you are the top guy seniority wise.  Vacation at UPS starts almost immediately, after 5 yrs of being employed I had worked up to 4 weeks of vacation plus 7 sick days.  Fedex vacation time is far less for people under 10yrs.  In my opinion avg salary for a UPS driver is 60 -65k  at Fedex its around 40 - 45k

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