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Job Description of a Messenger

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A messenger picks up and transports packages, documents, messages and other items from Point A to Point B. A messenger can travel between departments or offices for an establishment or business. The mode of transportation can be on foot, bicycle, motorcycle, automobile or public transportation. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*Net), messengers are also known as couriers.


A messenger delivers goods from one point to the next. According to O*Net, he delivers messages and items, such as documents, newspapers and packages. He can deliver between departments, especially if he works inside a spacious building or an organization with many buildings, such as a college campus. He is likely to deliver messages outside of the building, from one business establishment to the next. He also might deliver to private residences. A messenger plans the most efficient route to deliver items. He obtains signatures and payments or arranges for payments to be made. He also takes record of items delivered and received, as well as a recipient's response to a message.

Education & Training

Messengers do not have requirements for formal education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a high school diploma can be helpful in getting the job. She sometimes trains with an experienced worker. Most learn as they work. If she deals with sensitive or hazardous packages, she might be required to take a course on how to handle these items. Almost all couriers are required to have or obtain a driver's license.


According to the BLS, the salary range for the middle 50 percent of couriers and messengers was between $12.55 and $18.28 per hour as of May 2020. The national median salary in 2020 was $30,980 a year, according to O*Net.

Environment & Hours

A messenger spends time alone making deliveries. He is not closely supervised. A messenger copes with all weather conditions, road hazards and heavy traffic. He also deals with traffic jams, road construction and difficult parking situations. The typical workweek is from Monday through Friday. Nights and weekend hours are common.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, couriers and messengers will experience little or no employment change through 2028. Job opportunities might still arise from couriers or messengers who leave job positions and have to be replaced. The need will be concentrated in urban areas.


Kat Consador is a freelance writer and professional competitive Latin dancer. Her work has appeared in eHow and various online publications. She also writes for clients in small businesses, primarily specializing in SEO. She earned a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology from Arizona State University.

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