Career Advice on How to Become A Courier or Messenger

General Career Information

Couriers and messengers pick up and deliver packages for individuals and businesses.  On one level, this career is actually that simple.  Yet no job is ever as simple as it can be described, well, usually not.  If you are in the process of career planning, you might want to consider a job that sends you from point a to point b over and over again (thousands of times).  On the upside, you don’t have to sit in an office. You’ll get plenty of exercise and can meet lots of people.  Now, if you hate exercise, people and being outside, then this is truly a horrible career pick for you and your job search should probably take you elsewhere.

Career Facts:

Most of the time working as a courier or messenger means that you pick up a package and take it somewhere nearby usually on the same day.  Usually your instructions will come from a dispatcher, delivered through mobile phone or a two-way radio.  Clients will vary, but often businesses; law firms, banks and medical facilities are the ones most likely to use couriers and messengers. They may have time sensitive materials that need to be moved across town quickly.  It is not uncommon for couriers and messengers to use motorcycles or bikes, be covered in tattoos, and generally act as though they are “cool.”  The common reliance on a bicycle in densely populated cities makes good sense as they are rarely stuck in traffic.  In fact, the weaving in and out of traffic by couriers and messengers in a city has become a very popular Hollywood movie cliché.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Not Good:

There is no expected job growth in this occupation between 2008 and 2018.  Much like the telegraph, a good deal of the courier and messenger’s job is now being done electronically.  However, for the foreseeable future, there will be a need for someone to move time sensitive documents and other materials in person.
Job Outlook is Not Good

A Day in The Life:

The fact that much of what couriers and messengers deliver is time sensitive in nature means that the job can have a surprising level of stress. 

Average Salary:

The average courier or messenger earns about $11 per hour. Top messengers, the guy you send to deliver a kidney, for example, earns about $18 per hour.

Career Training and Qualifications:

If you can drive and move from one place to another quickly and consistently, then you have a shot at landing a job working as a courier or messenger.  This will probably mean that you will also need a driver’s license.  In fact, most employers expect applicants to have one.
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