Being a courier driver in today’s fast-paced world is no walk in the park, but it certainly has its perks. This is an extremely hard-working group that deal with irregular hours and frequent long travel, seeing many have to spend lengthy periods away from their family. Although it takes a lot to be a courier, it is also a very rewarding career. There is a constant stream of work, the potential for career development, flexibility and decent pay. |
So, what exactly does it take to get set up and what can you expect?
Entry Requirements and Skills Needed
Usually, you will simply require basic English and Maths skills, decent eyesight, a good level of fitness and a good driving record. You will also need to obtain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence – this can be achieved by completing a short course.
In terms of skills required, you (obviously) need excellent driving skills and road safety awareness. You should also be able to work independently and complete your own record sheets and paperwork.
Your job role will vary depending on your exact position and where you end up working, but typically you will be tasked with:
• Arriving at a warehouse or pickup point and collecting goods • Ordering the deliveries that you will make and loading the vehicle accordingly • Route planning • Obtaining signatures and providing invoices upon delivery • Recording mileage, fuel and other expenditures • Updating delivery records • Returning any undelivered parcels
Usually, courier drivers work between 36 and 48 hours each week with the possibility of overtime at evenings and weekends. The industry is very strict with drivers’ hours and there are legal limits for safety purposes. These hours will be irregular and long haul jobs may require pulling over to sleep. You may be required to wear a uniform in some jobs, but this will depend on the company and role.
At entry level, a driver usually earns between £13,000 and £17,000 a year. Mid-level drivers earn from £18,000 to £22,000, whilst highly experienced courier drivers can earn up to £27,000. As with many lines of work, there is the possibility to earn more through reaching targets and bonuses. These figures are just a guide.
There is room for progression in the courier and haulage industry for experienced drivers. This includes obtaining a large goods vehicle (LGV) license, which can open doors for tanker driving and freight transport. You may also undertake defensive driving or personal security training – these would see you qualify to drive vehicles that contain valuable items or money.
This is what it takes to be a courier in today’s industry and what you can expect when you embark on a career. It can be tough and it is not for everyone, it can also be very rewarding for hard working individuals.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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