What Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers 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.
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 a Delivery Truck Driver or Driver/Sales Worker
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.
The median annual wage for driver/sales workers was $25,860 in May 2019.
The median annual wage for light truck drivers was $34,730 in May 2019.
Overall employment of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
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 having a total weight of 26,000 pounds or less for vehicle, passengers, and cargo. Delivery truck drivers usually transport merchandise from a distribution center to businesses and households.
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 understand 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:
Driver/sales workers are delivery drivers who also have 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 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.
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 held about 487,400 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of driver/sales workers were as follows:
|Restaurants and other eating places||46%|
Light truck drivers held about 1.0 million jobs in 2019. The largest employers of light truck drivers were as follows:
|Couriers and messengers||24%|
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
Light truck or delivery services 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.
Most drivers work full time, and many work additional hours. 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.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers.
|Occupation||Job Duties||Entry-Level Education||Median Annual Pay, May 2019|
Passenger Vehicle Drivers
Passenger vehicle drivers operate buses, taxis, and other modes of transportation to take people from place to place.
|See How to Become One||$33,300|
Hand Laborers and Material Movers
Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials.
|No formal educational credential||$28,710|
Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another.
|Postsecondary nondegree award||$45,260|
Material Recording Clerks
Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$30,010|
Postal Service Workers
Postal service workers sell postal products and collect, sort, and deliver mail.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$52,060|
Workers in railroad occupations ensure that passenger and freight trains safely run on time. They may drive trains, coordinate the activities of the trains, or operate signals and switches in the rail yard.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$65,020|
Water transportation workers operate and maintain vessels that take cargo and people over water.
|See How to Become One||$57,330|
For more information about truck drivers, including delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers, visit
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/delivery-truck-drivers-and-driver-sales-workers.htm (visited ).