Couriers pick up and carry documents and packages, delivering them to various points of business. They may travel around a metropolitan area or within one large building or a group of buildings. Very little job growth, if any, will occur in this field in the near future, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average salaries are generally low, although they increase with experience.
The main function of couriers is to pick up and deliver documents and packages within one day and often much faster. Couriers are important for transporting items that require special care and security such as important legal and financial documents, passports and medical specimens. In addition, couriers transport oversized documents such as blueprints. Most couriers who transport items outside of one building travel by motorised vehicle. They may walk or use bicycles in congested urban areas or when staying on one business or medical centre campus. The need for couriers has dropped because document delivery is now commonly done online, according to the BLS. This accounts for a lack of job growth in this field.
Pay by Experience
Courier positions usually require a high school diploma or equivalency and a valid driver's license. The median starting hourly pay range for couriers as of December 2010 was about £5.70 to £8.00, reports the PayScale salary survey website. Those with one to four years of experience were earning in a median range of £6.30 to £9.40, and couriers with five to nine years of experience could expect to make £7.0 to £10.60 per hour.
Courier services, express delivery services, medical and diagnostic laboratories, hospitals and legal services are the most common employers of couriers. About 19 per cent worked as independent contractors in 2008 and used their own vehicles, according to the BLS. The average salary for couriers as of May 2009 was about £8.0 per hour, or £16,705 per year. The middle 50 per cent of those on the earnings scale were making about £5.90 to £9.40, while the top 10 per cent earned over £11 per hour.
A very small number of couriers work for higher-paying employers. These include the postal service, which was paying an average of £16.40 per hour to couriers in 2009; wired telecommunications carriers paying about £12 per hour; and other telecommunications businesses paying about £14 per hour.
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