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Courier Parcel delivery driver, delivery van driver

Couriers collect packages, documents and messages, and deliver them to customers. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,500 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 30 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but you’ll usually need English and maths skills, and good knowledge of your local area.

You’ll need a driving licence for the type of vehicle you’ll be using and a good driving record. Your employer may supply you with a delivery van, but if you’re self-employed you’ll need your own vehicle.

You’ll need your own motorbike if you want to work as a motorcycle courier.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent driving skills and road sense
  • English and maths skills for keeping delivery and expenses records
  • the ability to work to tight schedules
  • the ability to read maps and plan routes

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • collecting the schedule of pick-up points and delivery addresses from your depot
  • planning routes and sorting packages into order
  • finding the quickest route to delivery addresses
  • signing for packages that you pick up and getting signatures when delivering them
  • keeping paperwork and delivery records up-to-date
You’ll usually drive a van or ride a motorcycle, but in larger cities you could work as a bicycle courier.

4. Salary

Starter: £14,500 to £18,000

Experienced: £19,000 to £23,000

Highly Experienced: £25,000 to £40,000

Many couriers are self-employed and paid per delivery, earning between £30 and £150 a day.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your working week may include evenings, weekends or shifts. Part-time work is often available.

As a motorcycle or bicycle courier, you’ll mainly work in city centres and surrounding areas. This is a physically active role, so you’ll need to have a reasonable level of fitness. 

If you work as a van courier, you may have to spend time away from home, as some companies deliver goods across the country.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a depot controller or start your own courier business.

You could also train to drive large goods vehicles (LGVs).

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Last updated: 13 December 2016