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Fedex vs. UPS Jobs: Purple Pays Better

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?

UPS vs. FedEx: Which Employer Pays Best?

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.)

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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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