California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Driver/Sales Workers in California

May also be called: Bakery Delivery Persons; Bread Distributors; Delivery Persons; Meat and Dairy Driver/Sales Workers; Milk Route Deliverers; Newspaper Delivery Drivers; Pick Up Drivers; Pizza Delivery Drivers; Route Deliverers; Route Sales Drivers

What Would I Do?

Most Driver/Sales Workers are light truck drivers who deliver and sell company products to customers on local routes and also function as customer service representatives of the company. They may sell wholesale or retail goods. Driver/Sales Workers deliver a wide variety of merchandise from medicines to auto parts. Bakery Drivers are a typical example of Driver/Sales Workers. Bakery Drivers deliver bread and pastry to grocery stores and arrange them on display racks. They establish a business relationship with store managers, keep track of the store’s inventory needs, and may recommend changes in orders to match customer demand.

Some meat and dairy Driver/Sales Workers make deliveries directly to customers' homes, sizing up their needs and supplying them with food on an arranged schedule. Driver/Sales Workers also deliver food from restaurant kitchens to customers’ doors, driving either their own or company cars.

Driver/Sales Workers assume a lot of responsibility. The success of a company depends on them. Their efficiency and tact in responding to customer complaints and requests can make the difference between a large order and a lost customer. Route Drivers may also take orders and collect payments.

Driver/Sales Workers may use a variety of tools and labor-saving devices during the course of their work. In addition to the actual vehicles they drive and obvious transport equipment like dollies and handtrucks, Driver/Sales Workers may make use of bar code scanners, hand-held personal digital assistants, and laptop computers. Technology used in this occupation can include software assisting in inventory management, route sales tracking, map creation, and route planning.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Listen to and resolve customers' complaints regarding products or services.Customer and Personal Service
Collect money from customers, make change, and record transactions on customer receipts.Mathematics
Drive trucks to deliver such items as food, medical supplies, or newspapers.Transportation
Call on prospective customers to explain company services or to solicit new business.Speaking
Write customer orders and sales contracts according to company guidelines.Critical Thinking
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Driver/Sales Workers typically work a 40-hour week and often work overtime. Drivers who handle food for chain grocery stores, produce markets, or bakeries typically work long hours—starting late at night or early in the morning. Although most Drivers have regular routes, some have different routes each day. Most Driver/Sales Workers load and unload their trucks, which requires much daily lifting, carrying, walking, bending, stooping, and reaching.

Driver/Sales Workers must drive in a variety of difficult conditions such as bad weather, heavy traffic, and on mountain roads. Although most trucks have comfortable seats and ventilation systems, they may not have air conditioning. Physical endurance is needed for long work shifts. On busy routes, Drivers are under pressure to deliver their goods on a timely basis.

Some Driver/Sales Workers belong to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Driver/Sales Worker may appeal to those who enjoy activities that involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. This occupation may also appeal to those who like to market and sell merchandise.

Driver/Sales occupations involve work activities that include customer service, product promotion, and keeping track of delivery orders and receipts.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?


The median wage in 2021 for Driver/Sales Workers in California was $34,769 annually, or $16.72 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2021Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2021 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas


Some employers of Driver/Sales Workers provide sick and vacation leave.

What is the Job Outlook?

Companies tend to hire more Drivers when the economy is strong and their services are in high demand. When the economy slows, employers hire fewer Drivers or may lay off some Drivers. Independent owner-operators are more prone to suffer due to slow­downs. Driver/Sales Workers who sell and deliver goods least likely to be affected by economic ups and downs, such as bread, milk, or meat, tend to fare better than others.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Driver/Sales Workers is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Driver/Sales Workers are expected to increase by 6.2 percent, or 3,100 jobs between 2018 and 2028.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Driver/Sales Workers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Total Job
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

Most companies prefer to hire high school graduates. Positions require a valid driver license and a good driving record. Training given to new Drivers by employers is usually informal and may consist of only a few hours of instruction from an experienced Driver, sometimes on the new employee’s own time.

Employers seek Driver/Sales Workers who speak well and have confidence, initiative, tact, and a neat appearance. Employers also look for responsible, self-motivated people who are able to work well with little supervision. All Drivers must be able to read and speak English well enough to read road signs, prepare reports, and communicate with the public. Drivers must get along well with people because they often deal directly with customers. Some companies require drivers to be 25 years or older to avoid paying high insurance premiums.

Early Career Planning

High school courses in English, public speaking, business math, driver training, and automotive mechanics may be helpful.

Work Study Programs

Training programs such as Careers in Sales/Marketing and General Merchandise Retailing are available through Regional Occupational Programs. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.

Where Can I Find Training?

There are two ways to search for training information:

Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Driver/Sales Workers are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Full-Service Restaurants37.9%
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods26.7%
Drycleaning and Laundry Services3.3%
Warehousing and Storage2.9%
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods2.6%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job listings provide helpful local job leads. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Driver/Sales Workers.

  • Bakers-Retail
  • Bakers-Whsle
  • Caterers
  • Delivery Service
  • Foods-Carry Out
  • Meat-Retail
  • Meat-Whsle
  • Milk & Milk Products
  • Restaurants-Delivery
  • Shopping Service

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Some Drivers become driver trainers, supervisors of warehouses, or company branch managers. Although some Driver/Sales Workers save enough capital to go into business for themselves as owner/operators, promotions for salaried workers are limited.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Driver/Sales Workers with links to more information.

Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical TechniciansProfile
Bus Drivers, School or Special ClientGuide
Bus Drivers, Transit and IntercityGuide
Retail SalespersonsGuide
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific ProductsGuide
Taxi Drivers and ChauffeursProfile
Light Truck or Delivery Services DriversGuide

Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SOC - Standard Occupational Classification53-3031
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Driver/Sales Workers53-3031.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)REC
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Retailing and Retail Operations 521803
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Retail Store Operations and Management050650