Couriers collect items such as letters, packages and parcels for a customer and deliver them to their destination. They may deal with items that are urgent or confidential or deliver items from online shopping companies or, more increasingly, food delivery services. They are sometimes called multi drop drivers.
You could be:
getting instructions by radio or mobile phone from your employer’s office or depot
collecting items and getting details of the delivery arrangements
storing items carefully in the delivery vehicle
planning in advance the delivery routes by using satellite navigation (sat nav) equipment, reading maps or using local knowledge
travelling by motorcycle, van, bicycle or on foot, in cities, towns and more rural areas
using a hand held scanner to get a signature of receipt when you deliver the item
taking payment if required
contacting your depot to confirm that the delivery has been made, and getting instructions for your next job.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Many couriers are self-employed or on contracts and jobs advertised often give an hourly or daily rate. This can range from £90 to £130 a day, depending on how many successful deliveries you make. There could be opportunities to earn more. There is often a petrol allowance in addition.
Bike or motorcycle riders have to be prepared to work outdoors in all weathers.
You might work in heavy traffic and there could be a risk of accidents.
You might work evenings and weekends.
In other cases, you might be on call for companies operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In some jobs there might be heavy lifting.
You may have to meet targets, such as making a set number of deliveries per day.
For some companies you would wear a uniform.
If riding a bicycle or motorcycle, you would wear a protective helmet and possibly high visibility clothing.
A good general education is useful. Some employers may prefer you to have some subjects at National 4 or 5, including English and Maths.
You must be at least 17 years of age to get a car licence (which also covers vans up to a certain size) or motorcycle licence. Depending on the size and power of the motorcycle you may need to be older.
For some jobs, you may need to have your own vehicle.
You should be physically fit.
You may require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
The DVSA replaced the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in April 2014. Its aim is to promote road safety through improving driving standards, testing drivers, motorcyclists and driving instructors, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors and Large Goods Vehicle Instructors and supervising training for learner motorcyclists.
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