Working a UPS Holiday Job

By Erin Huffstetler | 01/07/2015 | 13 Comments
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My husband just finished his seasonal gig as a UPS driver’s helper. Here’s how it went.

This holiday season my husband is working for UPS as a driver’s helper. His friend has been driving for them for 18 years, and my husband is helping him with deliveries.

He went to orientation last Wednesday, and he now has a week of deliveries under his belt. The pay isn’t great – $8.50 an hour, but he’s getting lots of exercise, and he’s enjoying spending time with his friend. When you live with three women (and five hens), I’m sure a little guy time is welcome.

He gets a call each morning telling him what time he needs to meet his friend. He might go in at 10 a.m. He might go in at noon. It just depends on how many packages they have to deliver. Most days they make about 200 stops, and they finish sometime between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

He logged 37 hours the first week, but that will probably go up as we get closer to Christmas.

It’ll be interesting to see how much money he makes doing this. I’ll post an update at the end of the season to let you know. But in the meantime, here a look at the best and worst part of the job so far.


  • Working as a driver’s helper is like getting paid to curb shop. If my husband sees something good, we go back for it after he gets home


  • He was bit by a dog on his first day. It was the last delivery of the day, and they were delivering a package that had been put on their truck by mistake. No good deeds and all that. It wasn’t a bad bite, and the dog’s shots were up to date, but it still wasn’t a great way to end a first day


My husband picked up his last paycheck Friday, so how much did he earn from this gig?

$967.90 before taxes. $842.88 after taxes.

That was for 16 days of work, including the orientation day. So, it’s not a huge sum, but it is extra money in our budget. Based on everything we were told before he started, we were expecting him to get more hours and for the job to last longer than it did.

But honestly, we didn’t mind when it ended. We were ready to get back to our regular schedule by then.

When he finished his run on Christmas Eve, he was told they were done with driver’s helpers for the season. But he ended up getting a call the morning of December 30 expecting him to show up for work in 20 minutes. Apparently they had decided to continue using driver’s helpers through January 15. We were already busy with other things, so he turned down the extra hours.

And now the big question: Will we do this again next year?

Probably not. It was an interesting experience (certainly worth trying once), but the pay just wasn’t good enough for the extra chaos that it added to our already-busy schedule. He rarely got more than 20 minutes notice of when he needed to be to work, and he missed out on several of our family’s holiday traditions.

Have any questions about being a UPS driver’s helper? Just leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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  1. Hi! This is a great way to bring in extra money! Does he have a regular full time job he has to work around? I was just wondering how he made the schedule work? Keep the posts coming, I love them! I’m always looking for new posts- cant wait for your Christmas posts! Very inspiring 🙂

    • Hi Maureen,

      My husband quit his job two years ago to come work with me. He now handles the tech and business side of the site, so I can focus on writing and projects. Having him home during the day has allowed me to get more done, and it’s made our family’s schedule a lot easier. I’m just loaning him to UPS for the month 🙂

      • That’s awesome that you are able to work together! I wish I could figure out a way to make money from home like that! I love anything frugal lol. It’s in my blood and I think I’m even starting to rub off on my husband. We do a lot of the same things you do too to save/make money!

  2. Hi,
    I like your website very much, but I have to say you have crossed the line on this one. The job that pays your husband $8.50/hr, which is a crime in itself, used to be performed by some husband & father at full time, with almost a living wage & health benefits.

    • Hi Ann, I appreciate your opinion, but these holiday driver’s helpers jobs aren’t replacing full-time workers. UPS simply hires extra workers for the holidays to cover the extra deliveries that they need to make. The helpers ride along with the regular drivers to give them support. Lots of companies hire extra help for the holidays. It’s just what it takes to get through this busy time of year.

      • When my husband worked as a driver helper, the pay rate was determined by the location. It looks like it’s still that way. One site (glassdoor.comM) says the position pays $8-$15 and hour, with the average being $11.

  3. UPS abuses their holiday helpers. You are also handcuffed to your phone awaiting a call that might never come. IMO unless you have NOTHING else going on in your life and don’t mind watching your phone hoping for it to ring I would pass on the UPS holiday helper gig. It’s not worth the trouble. (even if they offered $15 an hour being on standby for 12 hours a day is not worth it)

  4. Son was on call Dec to Jan 15..was never called but was told a check was there for him..Went to collect check 1/2druve from home..was told they dont get paid for oncall..whst do u think

    • My husband worked for Ups 7 years it is a great company. All employees have to pay there dues. Start from the bottom and work your way up. If you are able to do that then the company takes care of you by free insurance and pay is wonderful. I’m just saying this from a upsers wife. nobody no matter who you are starts out ot the top. My husband makes around 35.50 per hour and everything over 8 hours per day is time-and- half. then working the day after thanksgiving is holiday pay plus time and a half. My husband says seasonal help is a way to weed out the people they want to keep and don’t. It’s a hard job that people don’t realize you earn your money. All in all this a good company to work for in this day and time.

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