Pros and Cons of Working at a UPS Warehouse

Getting a warehouse job at UPS Hubs is often very easy. And given how numerous UPS facilities are around the country, it makes it a top choice for many folks looking for a job.

Yet one might have heard of the high turnover rates at these sites and wondered if the job is worth it.

However, whether working at a UPS warehouse is worth it or not depends on what your long term career goals are.

If you’re looking to eventually become a UPS driver, it may be worth it to you since in a few years you’d be making $100,000 or more.

If you’re not intending to become a driver, then it’s important to remember that it’s not the worst job but there may be better alternatives depending on your area.

UPS conveyor belt

Pros of working at UPS warehouses

Great benefits. UPS’s benefits are pretty extensive and cover things like health (for your entire family), tuition reimbursement, a sizable pension upon retirement and more. These benefits are some of the best out there for this type of job and are in fact one of the main reasons workers hold on to the job.

These benefits apply to both full-time and part-time workers.

Workers at UPS also benefit a lot from the Teamsters Union which protects you from unfair treatment by management. Through the Union, you can vote on contracts between the company and workers.

Generally, warehouse work is good for fitness. As a package handler, your job involves lots of heavy lifting and movement. People who hold onto the job start losing weight and getting fitter within a few months.

Unlike most warehouse jobs out there, UPS Hubs allow you to listen to music while working by permitting package handlers to wear one ear bud.

If you plan to become a driver eventually, then starting at the warehouse and growing your seniority might be a worthy sacrifice. This is because drivers at UPS can make up to six figures.

At UPS Hubs, overtime pay starts after 5 hours (it’s in the union contract) which means you can make lots of money especially during peak seasons.

Cons of working at UPS warehouses

Jackie Chan UPS meme
Most jobs at UPS warehouses are not easy. Loading, unloading, sorting, clearing conveyor jams, etc are all back-breaking jobs. Many UPSers, especially new ones during peak season, go home sore every day. The work is also mind-numbing and tedious.

In most states, being in the union (Teamsters), as a UPS hourly employee, is not optional. If you don’t like unions for any reason, then this job may not be for you. As a member of the union, you will have to pay initiation fees, and union dues. Pensions are also tied to the union.

Benefits start at around 9 months for UPS warehouse workers. If you are in need of health services, for example, you might have to pay out of pocket before your benefits kick in.

In many cases, the hourly pay rate (especially if you have low seniority) you get as a warehouse worker at UPS may not be enough to cover your bills. You might need to get a second job if you are a part-time package handler.

Additionally, part-time package handlers only get around 5 hours of work per work day which exacerbates the low pay. This gets better during peak when you get lots of overtime.

Promotions at most UPS facilities are not based on work experience and competency but on seniority. So workers who have put in the most company time get first consideration when it comes to getting a driver position, for example.

Alternative jobs

While working at a UPS Hub might be good to make a bit of money, realize that there are better jobs out there. Here are a few ideas:

1. Skilled trades

If you like working with your hands, skilled trades are a better alternative than UPS. The pay is much better and the work is much more fulfilling. Examples of good trades jobs include: licensed electrician, welder, power company linesman, plumber and firefighter.

2. Other Teamsters jobs

Teamsters union doesn’t just serve UPS workers. Check out your Local Union job board. You might find lots of well-paying driving jobs that don’t require a CDL, for example. Being union jobs, your Teamsters pension from UPS will also carry over.

3. Become a UPS driver

UPS truck

In some areas, UPS is hiring drivers directly off the street as long as they have a CDL. If your goal is to eventually become a driver research your area and see if the local ups site is hiring drivers directly. If you’re good, you might be offered a permanent driver position.