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Working for UPS as a Package Handler – The Rundown

Have you decided to see if you can sling some boxes and make some very VERY minimal extra cash? Well, a package handler at UPS could be the right job for you. It’s not going to be easy, but if you stick it out long enough for the benefits you’re going to be a happy camper. 

And those benefits are kind of ridiculous. No one is really working there for the pay, which is 14 dollars an hour and up right now. But, the benefits cover dental, health, education(for part-timers), a pension if enough years are worked, and even a legal fund of up to 25,000 depending on where you’re at. Your local union may have slightly different options when it comes to the legal fund.

To give you a snapshot, if you work for UPS part-time for 25 years, you’ll get a pension worth $1,325 a month. Not too bad. 

So, if you’re raising a family and don’t mind busting your behind. This is definitely a job to consider. And every driver you see on the road has gone through, well mostly every driver. UPS does still hire straight off the street for driving positions. It’s just rare. 

What are the typical part-time shifts at UPS?

When you start out, you’re going to be either pre-load or twilight shift most likely. Preloader’s are people who stand on a belt and load the trucks for UPS drivers. Twilight shift loads trailers for the big rigs, but they can also be unloading onto belts from trucks coming into the hub.

Both of these jobs are physical. The one thing about preload that makes it especially difficult is the start time. If you do not want to wake up at 2 am, or earlier sometimes, then you might want to go with twilight. The twilight shift can start late as well, but it’s more manageable for most people. 

What does it take to be good at preload at UPS?

Grit. You will be standing on a belt and have different trucks assigned to you to load. There are times when there are a ridiculous number of packages coming down the belt. You’ll have to find a pace to sort them. 

Misloads happen, bad loads happen. But as you get more experience you’ll get faster and be able to get into a groove. Many people on this shift play music or have a sort of ritual to get them into the mood. Like drinking a monster energy drink or downing some coffee and getting to work. 

As long as you can handle a heavy workload, and see the bright side of life, you’ll be a fine preloader.

What does it take to be good at the twilight shift at UPS?

Can you become one with dark depths inside a trailer at 11pm at night? As heavy irregs come down the rollers and you haul them off. Packages falling to the side in a box inspired rendition of Normandy, yes you’re going to have some fun. 

But if you have every played Tetris and took a liking to it, then you’ll start to see the squares open up. I’ve seen people on both shifts that are able to stack boxes into places and configurations that resemble modern art. I’ve also seen and been a part of the opposite when stuff hits the fan. 

Much of the same things you need for any job at UPS apply here. Grit, and persistence. 

Does UPS offer education benefits to workers?

Yes, you can enroll in the earn and learn program with UPS. Currently they will cover up to $5,250 dollars a year in tuition or up to $25,000 lifetime. It’s a great program and one of the reasons many college kids work there. You can check out the details on their site here

Conclusion

In summary, I think if you come into this with the right mindset you’ll be fine. There are some very long nights or early mornings depending on your shift. But when you use the benefits to your advantage, it can really be a home run. Don’t forget to lift with your legs instead of that back! And thanks for stopping by.

 

-Conor

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