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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.

5 Comments

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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