Courier jobs are responsible for transporting packages on behalf of customers that require urgent delivery.
A courier transports items such as packages, documents and messages which need urgent delivery. For courier jobs these may include valuable items or confidential documents. Courier jobs will usually work within larger towns and cities although some work may involve cross-country deliveries. Courier jobs will mainly use vans or motorcycles but in the larger urban areas, some will employ bicycle couriers.
Courier jobs will be responsible for general care and cleaning of their vans/motorcycles and ensuring their vehicles are roadworthy.
Courier jobs will find hours vary and may include evenings, weekends, shift and part-time work. The average courier jobs working week is around 40-48 hours. A van courier may be required to spend short periods away from home, as some companies are involved in delivering goods throughout the country or abroad. A motorcycle/cycle courier will work mainly in city centres and as a result may have to wear protective masks to minimise risks from vehicle exhaust fumes.
To be a courier you should enjoy driving/motorcycling, hold the appropriate licence and be a skilled driver/rider. Courier jobs will have good communication skills, able to work to tight schedules, able to work alone, able to read maps and plan routes and be completely reliable. Foreign language skills are useful if dealing with overseas deliveries.
There are no formal academic qualifications for a courier, but literacy skills are needed to deal with relevant paperwork and follow directions. A courier must be over 17, if a courier is over 21 and a courier van driver is over 25 this may be preferred by courier employers because of insurance premiums. A courier must have a current driving licence appropriate to the type of vehicle they will be using and have a good driving record. A motorcycle courier usually needs their own motorcycle (200cc or over) with road tax and MOT.
There are around 20,000 motorcycle courier riders working throughout the UK. Most roles are in major cities. Dispatch couriers can be employed, earning a fixed salary, or work on a self-employed basis as a freelance rider.
Courier jobs can earn around £18,000 to £22,000 a year.