How Much Do Couriers Make?

Written by aurelio locsin
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Couriers transport documents and packages for individuals and businesses, by picking them up from the customer and delivering them to their destinations. No education beyond a high school diploma is required, though good communications skills, a sense of direction, and either good driving or biking skills are helpful. Training is usually done on the job.

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Couriers typically work a standard 40-hour week, using either motor vehicles or bicycles. The latter requires physical fitness and the ability to cope with all kinds of weather. Full-timers earn an average median salary of £15,450, with a low of £10,744 to a high of £24,589. Evening, weekend and part-time work is also available, making the position ideal for those with flexible schedules. Hourly medians are £7.40, with a low of £5.10 and a high of £11.80. This information is as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The PayScale Report reveals differences in benefits that depend on salary range. Those who earn in the lower range, such as low at £11,109 or £15,275, can expect only casual dress and atmosphere, and free sodas, juice and water as perks. Those who earn above the median can also expect paid vacations and holidays, sick leave, 401Ks and pension plans, and life or disability insurance.


The main employers of couriers are courier and express-delivery services, which offer transport over long distances or across states. They boast 14 per cent of the jobs. They pay slightly above average at £8.10 or £16,867. Close behind are local messenger and delivery services, which confine their efforts to a particular city or area. They have 13 per cent of the jobs and pay £7.60 or £15,925. The industry paying the best compensation is the postal service at £16.40 or £34,138, but it is not a major employer of couriers.


The state with the best opportunities for couriers is Nevada, with a job concentration of 1.5 couriers per thousand workers. Pay here is at £8.70 or £18,115. The state with the best-paying positions is Massachusetts at £10.70 or £22,366. Job concentration is nearly half that of Nevada at 0.8 per thousand. For cities, the most jobs are in Manchester, New Hampshire, with a concentration of 2.3, and wages at £8.10 or £16,991. The city with the highest-paying positions is Worcester, Massachusetts, at £11.60 or £24,264, but with nearly half the jobs of Manchester at a concentration of 1.2.

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