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Fedex vs. UPS Jobs: Purple Pays Better

By Lydia Dishman
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:

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.
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1 Comment

  1. 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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