Uber drivers are essentially their own boss; they manage their own schedule, select their own route and get paid instantly for the job. Sounds good right? Many people choose to work for the multi-billion taxi app company as both a part-time gig to earn some extra cash and also as a full-time job.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career with Uber, read on to learn all of the important information you need including the typical responsibilities of an Uber-driver, requirements, salary expectations, and how you can continue developing your career.
1. Research the Profession
Researching the profession before deciding on your career path is essential. Begin with examining the duties the job entails, work environment, required skills, and the all-important salary prospects.
- Ability to follow the GPS system and respond to it in a timely manner.
- Ensure that the customer arrives safely and timely to their destination while creating customer satisfaction.
- Create Excel spreadsheet and maintained files to track mileage, maintenance, and miscellaneous expenses.
- Managed pay through use of application technology.
- Provide a friendly and comfortable environment for clients.
- Organise your own workload and working hours.
- Rate your clients and try to maintain a high rating on your driver profile.
Essential Skills and Qualities
Driving for long periods and dealing with a large variety of characters can be challenging at times. You must follow the below criteria to ensure this is the job for you:
- Good health and fitness
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to use initiative when the GPS is not responding
- Ability to deal with emotionally charged and difficult situations
- Observational skills
- General knowledge of the roads in your area
- Authoritative and a strong character
Working Hours and Conditions
The benefit of working of Uber is that you can manage your own working hours, as long as you make one trip in a week and the maximum is 60 hours. This flexibility is great if you have other responsibilities and need to work throughout the evening instead of during the day. The Guardian said that Uber drivers in the UK “work six and a half days and 16 hours a day which is dangerous for the driver, passenger and the public.”
There are mixed opinions about the working conditions for Uber drivers. Some are really happy that they do not have to handle cash, and that their fare is paid instantly into their account. Others feel that there is a lack of support from Uber management.
The salary you earn is depended on the amount of hours you work and the length of the fare.
In the UK
Uber claims “that drivers should be able to make around £15 per hour + tips. This figure is after Uber have taken their 25% service fee from your fare (was previously 20% but recently rose to 25%). You can expect around 20% of your earnings to go towards fuel on top of that.” To break it down; the base fare is £2.50 + £0.15 per minute + £1.25 per mile.
In the US
“After accounting for vehicle expenses, you can expect to make around $10 – $20 per hour” according to ridesharingdriver.
You should also bear in mind that while you're working for Uber you're technically self-employed, so you'll need to make sure you have the appropriate tax arrangements for your country or location.
2. Get the Qualifications
To qualify to be an Uber driver you must have the following requirements:
- Private Hire Vehicle licence (PHV). You can apply for this through your local council.
- 21 years old and above.
- Have a full and clean driving license with the experience of 3 years driving (If in the US you must have one year of driving in the country).
- Valid vehicle registration.
- Have the right to work in the country.
- Have no criminal background.
- Full medical examination from your GP.
- Background check.
- A local map test of the area you want to work in.
- A car that fits over 4 people and that is no more than 5 years old with full business insurance.
Ensuring you have the above you can sign up to Uber and you will be on the road in no time. Once you have been accepted you will have an Uber Training seminar; it involves practical things like if someone’s fallen asleep, or you’ve got to move a passenger.
3. Land Your First Job
Once you have completed all the above steps you will be on the road with your first customer within minutes. You will get a client when you are the closest driver to them. Once a job comes through your phone will ping and you will need to accept the job (you will receive their name and their current location). You will not know their end location until the passenger has accepted the ride. It’s really that easy to begin working with Uber.
4. Pros and Cons
- Getting paid daily or weekly straight into your bank account.
- You get to be your own boss.
- No minimum or maximum hours – you work as little or as much as suits you.
- Relaxing job - if you enjoy driving.
- Social job which is nice if you enjoy conversing with people.
- Passenger star ratings help you avoid potential passengers who are likely to give you trouble or leave you waiting around for them.
- Passenger ratings also (in theory) encourage passengers to behave properly in your car.
- More sanctions for bad riders, which include only being able to cancel (without charge) two minutes after requesting as well as waiting time charges if a driver is waiting at a pickup point for longer than two minutes.
- Outgoings are high (Uber take a 25% cut of everything you earn) so you need to work a fair amount to make a decent income.
- Can take a long time to get your private hire license.
- Need to do your own taxes.
- Insurance is particularly expensive for young people.
- Tipping isn't common (but may become more so now that users can do it through the app).
- No company benefits such as pension, holiday pay, sick leave, etc.
- Spotify syncing option (where passengers can control the music from their own smartphones) this can get annoying if you don't like their music taste or if they're drunk and start blasting tunes in your ear.
- Passenger ratings can't guarantee that they won't get in drunk and throw up in your car.
5. Develop Your Career
Although you can’t advance immensely in this line of field, there are opportunities to earn more money by the type of vehicle you have. Uber has several different options, such as UberXL, UberBlack, UberSelect, UberPlus, UberSUV, UberLUX. These high-end services necessitate additional vehicle requirements to meet Uber's luxury vehicle standards and professional chauffeur services. If you’re in it for the long haul you can choose to invest in a luxurious car for a higher fee.
Do you think Uber is a good root for you? Let us know you’re thoughts on the job and company in the section below…