Driver/sales workers held about 531,000 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of driver/sales workers were as follows:
|Restaurants and other eating places||47%|
Light truck drivers held about 1.1 million jobs in 2021. The largest employers of light truck drivers were as follows:
|Couriers and messengers||36%|
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 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 some work more than 40 hours 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.
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter these occupations. 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.
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma or equivalent.
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 make sure that the driver is able to operate a truck safely on crowded streets.
New-driver training also covers 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 new customers.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
All delivery drivers need a driver’s license.
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.
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically have an interest in the Building and Persuading interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people.
If you are not sure whether you have a Building or Persuading interest which might fit with a career as a delivery truck driver and driver/sales worker, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers should also possess the following specific qualities:
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 convince customers to purchase new or different products from them.
Speaking ability. Drivers must comprehend English well enough to read road signs, prepare written reports, and communicate verbally with the public and law enforcement officials.
Visual ability. To have a driver’s license, delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers must be able to pass a state vision test.
The median annual wage for driver/sales workers was $29,280 in May 2021. 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 drivers was $38,280 in May 2021. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,380, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $65,500.
In May 2021, the median annual wages for driver/sales workers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Restaurants and other eating places||23,400|
In May 2021, the median annual wages for light truck drivers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Couriers and messengers||$47,670|
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.
Overall employment of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.
About 219,900 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.
Projected employment of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers varies by occupation (see table).
Continued growth of e-commerce should increase demand for package delivery services, especially for large and regional shipping companies. More light truck drivers will be needed to fulfill the growing number of e-commerce transactions. Drone delivery services also may be used for some deliveries over the projections 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 in-house and food delivery options is expected to increase. These workers may be needed to deliver food from grocery stores and from restaurants that previously provided only takeout services.
For more information about truck drivers, including delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers, visit