Growth Trends for Related Jobs
A courier driver picks up and delivers documents, packages and supplies on deadline. He is often an independent worker who makes deliveries using his own transportation, or he may work for several courier companies. People and businesses routinely use courier drivers for time-sensitive, vital supplies or for those requiring special handling, such as confidential media material. In serving health-care providers, they deliver blood, supplies and even organs for transplant.
While a courier driver does not need a formal education, he must have a valid driver's license and either lease or own a car. However, a commercial driver's license can be required for those who drive trucks to carry large cargo. Drivers must carry proof of insurance and vehicle registration.
Maintains Own Vehicle
A freelance courier driver is responsible for maintaining his vehicle, which includes fueling costs, routine servicing and any repairs needed to keep the vehicle reliable. He should also be conscientious about vehicle cleanliness, since clients view his car as a means to a business transaction.
Appearance and Health
While some courier drivers deliver mail-type correspondence, others pick up, transfer and deliver bulky boxes and materials that require heavy lifting. Because of this, drivers should be in good physical condition and general health. In addition, Items sometimes need to be sorted and carefully handled, such as fragile computer parts or medical equipment, which means good eye sight and balance is important. Also, a driver should always wear clean clothing and be nicely groomed because he is an extension of the company that hires him.
Courier drivers must know their way around, and that includes the insides of large building complexes to complete accurate deliveries. A GPS system is a necessary tool for timely delivery. A courier keeps contact information and paperwork handy for signatures and reference. He also maintains records on received items and deliveries, and must be able to relay messages to the appropriate people.
Reliability, deadline-awareness and flexibillity are attributes that a courier driver must have. For example, deliveries often need to be made over the weekend or after business hours. In addition, a courier driver is expected to protect confidential information and treat all points of contact with the same respect and professional manner with which he treats his clients.
Salary and Job Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports that hospitals and medical services use courier services the most, with the median annual wage being $28,170. While an independent courier does not receive worker benefits, he has the opportunity to earn higher pay than those working for a single courier company. This is because an independent courier can set his own rates and hours. He also can dictate which locations he'll travel to and decide the kinds of deliveries he'll make.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.