The package handler position at FedEx Corporation encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. FedEx distribution centers often rotate employees on an as-needed basis, so you might be off-loading trucks one night and sorting small packages the next. Versatility is key in making a career out of this position. If you're flexible enough to seamlessly move between jobs and duties, you might thrive in a package handler position with this global company.
Though this is a physical job, FedEx only lists basic requirements in its advertisements for package handler positions: You must be at least 18 years old and no longer enrolled in high school, you must apply in person and pass an observation, and you must be able to clear the background check and drug test. No previous experience is required to become a package handler with FedEx. Most distribution centers are not climate controlled, however, so anticipate extremes of temperature when working here.
If hired, your job duties will vary depending upon your placement. You may be assigned to load or off-load delivery trucks, sort small packages, weigh packages, build pallets of product to specifications, weigh items, operate forklifts, tow motors or pallet jacks, run a cardboard baler, wrap full pallets or manifest shipments. Your day or night may consist of any combination of these responsibilities as the need arises. It's not unusual to move from station to station throughout a shift to help out in areas that are falling behind schedule.
To be successful in this position, it helps to have the following skills: An affinity for manual labor, adherence to routine, the ability to use basic electronic equipment such as scales and scanners, and the willingness and ability to operate heavy machinery. You will rarely work by yourself, so it's advantageous to enjoy being part of a team. The most successful package handlers are able to move from station to station, performing different tasks as needed, without complaint.
FedEx is a results-driven company that values good job performance. If you prove yourself in your package handler position by showing up on time when needed and performing requested tasks with a good attitude, you'll increase your opportunities for advancement to shift leader and higher. This company also offers tuition assistance to employees who are interested in moving into management positions, and lists opportunities for advancement as a perk within its employment ads.
Salary and Job Outlook
In 2012, the median hourly wage for material movers such as package handlers was $11.04, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also gives the projected growth rate of 10 percent through the year 2022, which is about average. This position advertises three pay increases within the first six months of employment, however, and opportunity for advancement. If you're looking for a career that requires no prior experience and pays more than retail or fast food, FedEx might be the company for you.
2016 Salary Information for Hand Laborers and Material Movers
Hand laborers and material movers earned a median annual salary of $25,300 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, hand laborers and material movers earned a 25th percentile salary of $21,000, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $32,410, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 3,932,100 people were employed in the U.S. as hand laborers and material movers.