Couriers commonly work in the logistics and transportation industry where they collect and deliver supplies, documents and messages to customers. They focus on ensuring such packages are delivered on time and in good condition. If you would love a job that allows you to travel between various locations, you could enjoy being a courier.
What do Couriers do?
Couriers typically perform the following tasks;
- Scheduling deliveries and identifying the quickest routes to follow when making the deliveries
- Ensuring various packages are packed correctly before transportation
- Keeping paperwork for delivered and undelivered packages
- Ensuring delivery motor vehicles are in sound mechanical condition
- Responding to any logistical questions recipients might have.
Couriers work between 30 to 40 hours a week, including evening and weekend shifts. Depending on the nature of a delivery, they can use bicycles, motorcycles, vans or trucks to make deliveries. Short-distance deliveries usually require bicycles or motorcycles, while bulky and long-distance deliveries require vans or trucks. This means couriers using bicycles and motorcycles often must wear riding gear while making deliveries. Heavy highway traffic is normally a challenge for car, van and truck couriers.
The table below highlights the amount of money couriers earn annually:
£12,000 to £14,500
£15,000 to £20,000
Motorcycle couriers in London
Up to £23,000
Source: National Careers Service
Although formal qualifications do not play a significant role in the employment of couriers, employers prefer individuals with good English, math and geographical skills. This is because couriers need to know their way around various cities, as well as keep track of delivery paperwork.
An active driving license is a key employment requirement. To learn how to obtain one, visit Gov.uk.
Employers usually prefer experienced drivers with a good driving record. You shouldn’t, however, shy away from going for the job if your license has a small number of points.
To work as a motorcycle courier, you will need to own a motorbike, as well as hold an appropriate driving license.
You can also get started in this industry by completing a logistics apprenticeship scheme.
Last but not least, possessing some mechanical and vehicle maintenance knowledge could come in handy when seeking employment.
Important Skills and Abilities
Apart from good math, driving, motorcycling or cycling skills, competent couriers should have:
- Good time management skills to work under tight schedules
- Good customer service skills to interact well with recipients
- A good geographical knowledge to follow directions and read maps
- Good manual dexterity to load and offload packages comfortably.
What career progression opportunities are available for ambitious couriers? Well, after getting employed, you can pursue a Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma in Driving Goods Vehicles. These courses focus on:
- Loading and unloading
- Safety and security
- Time management and route planning
- Customer service.
Aspiring couriers can look for jobs in:
- Local and national delivery firms
- Health care facilities – they need couriers to transport organs for transplant
- Large business companies – they rely on couriers to deliver confidential mails and massages to clients
- The UK Post Office
With experience and advanced qualifications, you can become a deport controller or establish your own delivery firm.
Although the National Career Service forecasts an employment decline in the UK’s transport sector between 2014 and 2016, there will be about 32,000 new jobs between then and 2020.
- Jobcentre Plus job search
- Careers in Logistics
- Skills for Logistics
Now you know what it takes to become a courier do you think that it is the right career for you.