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How to Get a Job Delivering Newspapers

Although many people get their news online, there are still enough readers of hard copy newspapers to warrant the hiring of delivery persons. Whether you're working your way through school or looking for a second job to bring in extra income, newspaper delivery might be the opportunity you're looking for.

Job Description

Delivery persons pick up newspapers from a distribution center and make deliveries along an assigned route. Most are early morning newspaper delivery jobs, but it's possible to find a job delivering newspapers at night. Deliveries may be made to homes or businesses. Some delivery persons stock vending machines and newspaper racks at retail outlets. At one time, delivery persons were responsible for collecting money from subscribers. That is seldom the case now, as subscriptions are typically handled by a dedicated department at a newspaper office.

The most important quality that newspapers seek in carriers is reliability. Papers must be delivered in all types of weather and within the time frame promised. Unsatisfactory delivery can result in cancellations, meaning lost revenue for the newspaper.

Education Requirements

There are no education requirements for a job delivering newspapers. Other than a reliable vehicle, a valid driver's license and insurance, you don't need any equipment or special skills. You can make deliveries more efficiently if you're familiar with the area where you're working. GPS technology can make it easier to find your way around.

Most employers do not conduct background checks or drug testing. You are solely responsible for the safe and lawful operation of your vehicle while making deliveries for the newspaper.

Work Environment

Customers expect timely delivery of their newspapers. In urban areas, you may be able to make your deliveries on foot or by bicycle. Depending on the route, especially in suburban and rural areas, you will need reliable motorized transportation.

Newspaper delivery persons generally work as independent contractors. That means they receive pay without benefits and without deductions such as payroll taxes. Contractors are paid by the number of papers they deliver. As long as you make deliveries in a timely manner, employers don't care if you work alone or have someone help you with your route.

Find Employment

Check for job announcements on websites for local newspapers. You can also find listings of job openings on career websites such as ZipRecruiter, Indeed and Monster. Make a personal visit to the offices of newspapers in your area to find out what's available.

Newspapers may have you fill out an application in person or online. Whether you visit a newspaper office to complete an application or go for a job interview, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Jeans and a T-shirt are OK as long as they are clean and in good repair.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the job website ZipRecruiter, most carriers are paid a flat rate of 10 to 15 cents per newspaper. Some carriers earn a higher rate on weekends, because there are more subscribers and newspapers are larger in size.

The average annual salary for a newspaper delivery person is $15,235. Salaries typically range from $11,000 a year to a high of $27,500. Most people who deliver papers work a limited number of hours. Many use their pay to supplement another income.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks data on civilian occupations but does not record specific figures on jobs delivering newspapers. In most locations, it's relatively easy to find openings for carriers. If readership continues to decline in favor of electronic news sources, there may be fewer opportunities in the future.

  • When meeting in person, be sure to show up in appropriate clothing. Leave the ripped jeans and T-shirt at home. You don't need to wear a three-piece suit, but you can dress in a way that lets potential employers know that you are serious about working for them.
  • Make sure your transportation is in good working order. You won't be able to perform your job duties as expected if your car is constantly breaking down.

Denise Dayton is a a freelance writer who specializes in business, education and technology. She has written for, Library Journal, The Searcher, Bureau of Education and Research, and corporate clients.