Before the pandemic, society was already shifting heavily towards ordering things online. E-commerce sales were up, while physical malls were drying up. Then companies like UberEats, DoorDash, and PostMates gained major market share delivering food from local restaurants. The whole delivery industry was growing steadily.
Then, the world shut down in March of 2020.
The demand for delivered goods skyrocketed. Even grocery delivery, which was more of a niche product before, became commonplace. The resulting boom created a huge demand for delivery personnel. Whether it’s UPS drivers in their trademark brown trucks or another gig-worker hopping into their personal vehicle to accept UberEats orders, there are tons of openings for delivery jobs in America right now.
Whether you’re looking for a job yourself or you’re just curious, here are some of the top paying delivery jobs you can do in the United States this year.
(Note: the average salaries listed are based on data from Indeed.com)
Favor Delivery Driver
National Average Salary: $13.81 per hour
Favor is a general purpose delivery company based in Texas. Their drivers bring everything from takeout food, groceries, drug store items, and just about anything else to those who order through a smartphone app.
To become a Favor driver, you need to have your own vehicle, be at least 18 years old, and have access to the smartphone app via your own device. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t operate everywhere in the U.S. yet. That means you may be limited by your geography. The base pay isn’t as high as some others on this list, but you’ll get to keep 100% of your tips.
DoorDash Delivery Driver
National Average Salary: $45,555 per year
DoorDash is one of the biggest food delivery companies in North America. They offer their services in large sections of the United States, Canada, and even in Puerto Rico and Australia. Although most of their drivers use a car, you can even be a DoorDasher via a bike, scooter, or even walking (if you live in a dense enough city).
To be eligible to deliver for DoorDash, you must be 18 years old. If you’re going to use your vehicle to deliver, you obviously need a valid driver’s license. If you made DoorDashing your full-time job, you could expect to make roughly $45,000 a year, plus tips. The company also offers discounts for car repairs, to keep your delivery vehicle in good shape. The one downside of DoorDashing is that maximizing your income involves working lots of evenings and weekends.
National Average Salary: $47,378 per year
Grubhub is another food delivery service that operates is most major U.S. cities, via a smartphone app. You must be at least 19 years old to deliver for Grubhub, and have your own car (or bike) for deliveries. If you’re using a car, you naturally need a valid driver’s license and adequate insurance.
Grubhub drivers have the luxury of flexible work hours, but will make more money if they operate during prime dinner hours. They can also work full- or part-time, and accumulate tips while they work. Under certain circumstances, Grubhub even offers a base minimum wage to delivery drivers, regardless of how many orders come in.
National Average Salary: $12.00 per hour
Saucey is yet another delivery service, but this one is focused solely on alcohol. It’s only operating in about 40 cities across the United States, and is subject to certain local laws. Saucy customers can use the app to order beer, wine, spirits, cigars, and even snacks. They guarantee delivery within 30 minutes, so Saucey drivers tend to stay busy.
Due to the nature of the products delivered, Saucey drivers must check IDs before handing over any items ordered. Most third-party analysis sites suggest Saucy drivers only make $10-to-$12 per hour, which isn’t great. However, tipping can boost those income rates considerably. Before being accepted as a delivery worker for Saucey, you have to be 21 years or older, submit to a background check, along with the usual access to a vehicle and smartphone.
National Average Salary: $48,219
Instacart operates in both the United States and Canada, in many cities, both big and small. Unlike the companies that specialize in delivering hot food from local restaurants, Instacart focuses on the delivery of groceries for those with disabilities (or just a lack of time to spend in the supermarket). Instacart will also pick up products from drug stores or other local chains, in some locations.
To deliver for Instacart, you need to be at least 18 years old, have access to a car, and a valid driver’s license. You also need a smartphone new enough to run the driver app (at least iPhone 5 or Android 4.4). You can acquire extra income from tips, all while working a flexible schedule.
Amazon Flex Driver
National Average Salary: $18.00-to-$25.00 per hour
A lot of Amazon deliveries are contracted out to third-parties. That means it’s fairly easy to become an Amazon delivery driver (although you’re technically a freelancer, not an Amazon employee). An Amazon Flex driver will be responsible for same day Prime deliveries, next day Prime deliveries, Amazon Fresh grocery orders, and even Amazon Restaurant orders.
You need to be at least 21-years-old to be an Amazon Flex driver, pass a background check, and have access to a properly insured vehicle. While Amazon suggests you can earn up to $25 per hour, your actual wages will depend on tips, how fast you deliver, and your exact location. Amazon Flex positions aren’t available everywhere yet, either.
Postmates Delivery Driver
National Average Salary: $50,364
Postmates is another common delivery service, found in more than 3,000 cities in the United States. They are primarily known for delivering takeout food, but also deal with grocery and drugstore orders too.
Delivery workers get regular pay and tips, but also some additional benefits. If you make at least 10 deliveries a month, you are eligible for discounts on certain shops and brands via the PerkSpot Program. You must be 18 years old and have a suitable vehicle (along with a license and insurance) in order to deliver for Postmates.
UberEats Delivery Driver
National Average Salary: $62,339
Almost everyone has heard of UberEats. After disrupting the taxi industry with their ridesharing app, Uber branched out into food delivery. You can delivery for almost any local restaurant via the UberEats smartphone app. Uber’s massive popularity means that drivers can work almost whenever they want and still stay busy.
In order to drive for UberEats, you need to have at least one year of driving experience and a valid license. The good news is that great service can often inflate your income via tips. Uber also offers some extra benefits, like instant pay and even financial aid (under certain circumstances).
Shipt Delivery Driver
National Average Salary: $65,213
Shipt is a Target-owned grocery delivery company. Much like their rivals, Shipt focuses on bringing grocery and drugstore items to customers in the cities they operate in. It’s one of the better paying “gig economy” jobs, and includes weekly paychecks, the option of full- or part-time employment, and a free Shipt membership.
In order to drive for Shipt, you need to be at least 18-years-old, and have a suitable vehicle with proper licensing and insurance. You also need access to a smartphone to accept Shipt orders from customers.
FedEx Local Driver
National Average Salary: $77,240
Okay, no more gig economy jobs or app-based delivery companies. FedEx is an old-school package shipper with decades of history. They move everything, big and small. In fact, they are the delivery company of choice for many American businesses. Unlike other delivery jobs, which classify you as an independent contractor, working for FedEx actually means you’re a FedEx employee. That status comes with employee healthcare benefits, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, 401(k) programs, and discounts on shipping.
Here’s more good news: you don’t need your own car to work for FedEx. Instead, you’ll be provided a company-branded vehicle to make deliveries in your general surrounding area. Hiring requirements are a bit more strict though. You need to be 21-years-old and have at least one year driving experience in a professional setting. You may also be required to pass a physical exam, a drug test, and a background check.
UPS Delivery Driver
National Average Salary: $84,881
Finally, we have FedEx’s main competition in UPS. With their trademark brown trucks doting highways and city streets across the country, UPS is literally everywhere. They also focus heavily on delivering to and from businesses and corporations. However, they still happily deliver to and from private citizens as well.
UPS drivers are generally paid well, eligible for bonuses, and receive extra employment benefits like healthcare. Working for a huge company has other advantages too, like the opportunity for promotions and career growth. You need to be at least 18-years-old, have a valid driver’s license, and pass a DOT (physical and drug) exam in order to work for UPS.
The Bottom Line
Becoming a delivery driver has both pros and cons, depending which company you’re working for. If you join one of the gig economy apps, you can essentially set your own hours. However, they often come with lower base pay, meaning your income should vary a lot based on how much you receive in tips. There’s also the added expense of fuel and vehicle wear and tear that many people don’t factor into their paychecks. Plus you have to sort out your own tax situation.
Working for a larger, more established company could mean you become an actual employee. That means certain benefits like healthcare or retirement planning, which should be important to anyone these days. On the downside, working for UPS or FedEx means less flexible hours and having to deal with physical and/drug tests. They generally pay much more, though.