Courier and messenger essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $25,440
- 2012, number of jobs: 76,830
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 13 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Couriers and messengers; what they do:
Ever wonder how a bike courier or messenger shuttle their way through thrones of traffic or how transplant hearts get to their final destination? Couriers and messengers pick up and deliver these documents and time-sensitive medical materials for people, companies and government institutions with speed, accuracy and excellent attention to detail.
In the fast paced world of couriers and messengers, a typical day includes picking up and delivering packages and documents by bike, foot, truck, automobile or motorcycle, unloading and sorting packages, using tools such as scanners and small laptops to record information, checking and confirming delivery information such as addresses and names as well as recording the time items were delivered. A courier career and a messenger career include dealing with payments and collecting signatures.
Couriers and messengers provide different delivery options such as same-day or 1-hour services for many clients, including medical offices and laboratories, hospitals, government agencies, banks, law firms and consulting companies.
Most couriers make local deliveries, often in metropolitan areas with dense traffic and items may include legal paperwork, financial or bank documents, passports and medical specimens or samples.
During a courier career tools such as cell phones and two-way radios are vital in getting directions and instructions, though many trucks have GPS systems to help navigate daily traffic.
Couriers and messengers job titles:
- Bike Courier
- Bicycle Courier
- Medical Courier
- Express Courier
- Mailroom Courier
- Laboratory Courier
Couriers and Messengers Education, Certification and License Requirements
Typically, couriers and messengers have a high school diploma or GED and receive informal on-the-job training. Most couriers and messengers need a valid state driver’s license and a good driving record. Most employers prefer hiring high school graduates.
In terms of training for a messenger career, employees work with an experienced courier or messenger for up to 2 weeks and learn tasks such as loading and unloading packages and collecting payments. Once trainees understand the system, they begin working on their own.
Many couriers specialize in delivering items such as medical specimens or donated organs.
Couriers and Messengers Job Outlook
Forecast: 13 percent employment growth for couriers and messengers from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
In today’s electronic age, sending and receiving most documents can be done digitally, limiting employment opportunities for couriers who specialize in document delivery. However, items such as blueprints, passports and other time-sensitive materials require couriers and messengers. The increasingly larger senior citizen population increases the demand for couriers due to many medical and dental laboratories delivering their specimens and medical samples.
Couriers and Messengers Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $25,440
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $31,680
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $20,180
- Ambulatory health care services
- Messenger and courier services
- Professional, scientific, and technical services
- Credit intermediation and related activities