Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area.

Work Environment: Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers have a physically demanding job. Driving a truck for long periods can be tiring. When loading and unloading cargo, drivers do a lot of lifting, carrying, and walking.

How to Become One: Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter their occupations with a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some opportunities exist for those without a high school diploma. Workers undergo 1 month or less of on-the-job training. They must have a driver’s license from the state in which they work and have a clean driving record.

Salary: The median annual wage for driver/sales workers is $29,280. The median annual wage for light truck or delivery services drivers is $38,280.

Job Outlook: Overall employment of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers is projected to grow 12 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a delivery truck driver with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Delivery Truck Driver Jobs

  • Truck Driver 3- Service and Delivery (CI HQ) - State of Washington - Olympia, WA

    Truck Driver 3 - Service and Delivery Correctional Industries Headquarters Tumwater, WA Correctional Industries (CI) within the Department of Corrections (DOC) is seeking highly motivated and ...

  • Tow Truck Driver - Courtesy Tow - Daly City, CA

    We pay our Tow Truck Driver a competitive wage starting at $26/hour. Our team also enjoys great ... ABOUT COURTESY TOW As a top service towing company in the San Francisco area, we strive to deliver ...

  • Box Truck Driver - Nucleus Healthcare - Santa Clara, CA

    Nucleus Healthcare is seeking an experience Box Truck Driver located in Santa Clara, CA. Schedule ... Transports and delivers goods in accordance with the schedule as determined by the customer

See all Delivery Truck Driver jobs

What Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers Do[About this section] [To Top]

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area. They drive trucks with a 26,000-pound gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity or less. Most of the time, they transport merchandise from a distribution center to businesses and households.

Duties of Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically do the following:

  • Load and unload their cargo
  • Communicate with customers to determine pickup and delivery needs
  • Report any incidents they encounter on the road to a dispatcher
  • Follow all applicable traffic laws
  • Report serious mechanical problems to the appropriate personnel
  • Keep their truck and associated equipment clean and in good working order
  • Accept payments for the shipment
  • Handle paperwork, such as receipts or delivery confirmation notices

Most drivers generally receive instructions to go to a delivery location at a particular time, and it is up to them to determine the best route. Other drivers have a regular daily or weekly delivery schedule. All drivers must have a thorough understanding of an area's street grid and know which roads allow trucks and which do not.

The following examples are types of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers:

Light truck drivers, often called pickup and delivery or P&D drivers, are the most common type of delivery driver. They drive small trucks or vans from distribution centers to delivery locations. Drivers make deliveries based on a set schedule. Some drivers stop at the distribution center once only, in the morning, and make many stops throughout the day. Others make multiple trips between the distribution center and delivery locations. Some drivers make deliveries from a retail location to customers.

Driver/sales workers are delivery drivers who have additional sales responsibilities. They recommend new products to businesses and solicit new customers. These drivers may have a regular delivery route and be responsible for adding new clients located along their route. For example, they may make regular deliveries to a hardware store and encourage the store's manager to offer a new type of product.

Some driver/sales workers use their own vehicles to deliver goods to customers, such as takeout food, and accept payment for those goods. Freelance or independent driver/sales workers may use smartphone apps to find specific delivery jobs.

Work Environment for Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers[About this section] [To Top]

Driver/sales workers hold about 458,200 jobs. The largest employers of driver/sales workers are as follows:

Restaurants and other eating places 46%
Wholesale trade 22%
Retail trade 9%
Self-employed workers 8%

Light truck or delivery services drivers hold about 1.0 million jobs. The largest employers of light truck drivers are as follows:

Couriers and messengers 30%
Retail trade 20%
Wholesale trade 16%
Self-employed workers 7%

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers have physically demanding jobs. When loading and unloading cargo, drivers do a lot of lifting, carrying, and walking. Driving in congested traffic or adhering to strict delivery timelines can also be stressful.

Injuries and Illnesses for Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Light truck or delivery service drivers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Injuries can result from workers lifting and moving heavy objects, as well as from automobile accidents.

Delivery Truck Driver and Driver/Sales Worker Schedules

Most drivers work full time, and many work additional hours. Those who work on regular routes sometimes must begin work very early in the morning or work late at night. For example, a driver who delivers bread to a deli every day must be there before the deli opens. Drivers often work weekends and holidays.

How to Become a Delivery Truck Driver or Driver/Sales Worker[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers near you!

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter their occupations with a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some opportunities exist for those without a high school diploma. Workers undergo 1 month or less of on-the-job training. They must have a driver's license from the state in which they work and possess a clean driving record.

Education for Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter their occupations with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Delivery Truck Driver and Driver/Sales Worker Training

Companies train new delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers on the job. This may include training from a driver-mentor who rides along with a new employee to ensure that a new driver is able to operate a truck safely on crowded streets.

New drivers also get training to learn company policies about package dropoffs and returns, taking payment, and what to do with damaged goods.

Driver/sales workers must learn detailed information about the products they offer. Their company also may teach them proper sales techniques, such as how to approach potential new customers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

All delivery drivers need a driver's license.

Other Experience for Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Some delivery drivers begin as package loaders at warehouse facilities, especially if the driver works for a large company. For more information, see the profile on hand laborers and material movers.

Important Qualities for Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Customer-service skills. When completing deliveries, drivers often interact with customers and should make a good impression to ensure repeat business.

Hand-eye coordination. When driving, delivery drivers need to observe their surroundings while simultaneously operating a complex machine.

Math skills. Because delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers sometimes take payment, they must be able to count cash and make change quickly and accurately.

Patience. When driving through heavy traffic congestion, delivery drivers must remain calm and composed.

Sales skills. Driver/sales workers are expected to persuade customers to purchase new or different products from them.

Visual ability. To have a driver's license, delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers must be able to pass a state vision test.

Delivery Truck Driver and Driver/Sales Worker Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for driver/sales workers is $29,280. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,360, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $47,850.

The median annual wage for light truck or delivery services drivers is $38,280. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,380, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $65,500.

The median annual wages for driver/sales workers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Wholesale trade $38,640
Retail trade $29,940
Restaurants and other eating places $23,400

The median annual wages for light truck drivers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Couriers and messengers $47,670
Wholesale trade $37,390
Retail trade $29,520

Some drivers/sales workers, such as pizza delivery workers, receive tips in addition to hourly wages. Sales workers can also receive commissions from the products they sell.

Most drivers work full time, and some work more than 40 hour per week. Those who have regular routes sometimes must begin work very early in the morning or work late at night. For example, a driver who delivers bread to a deli every day must arrive before the deli opens. Drivers often work weekends and holidays, and their schedules may vary.

Job Outlook for Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers[About this section] [To Top]

Overall employment of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers is projected to grow 12 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 190,700 openings for delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment of Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Much of the projected employment growth in these occupations is due to recovery from the COVID-19 recession that began in 2020 and is likely to occur early in the decade. Employment growth will vary by occupation.

Continued growth of e-commerce should increase demand for package delivery services, especially for the large and regional shipping companies. More light truck drivers will be needed to fulfill the growing number of e-commerce transactions. Drone delivery services may also be used for some deliveries over the decade. However, this technology is expected to complement rather than fully replace these workers, so the downward employment effect is expected to be modest.

The general demand for delivery likely will increase both for in-house delivery services and for independent contractors who sign up to provide app-based food delivery. These workers also may be needed to deliver food from grocery stores and from restaurants that previously provided only takeout services.

Employment projections data for Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers, 2020-30
Occupational Title Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30
Percent Numeric
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers 1,493,900 1,676,900 12 182,900
  Driver/sales workers 458,200 540,000 18 81,900
  Light truck drivers 1,035,800 1,136,800 10 101,100


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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