Parcel delivery driver

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Couriers collect packages, documents and messages, and deliver them to customers.

Salary range: £14,500 to £40,000

How to become a courier

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship for express delivery operatives.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs. You’ll need driving experience, English and maths skills, and a good knowledge of your local area. Experience in storage or warehousing can be useful.

More information

Career tips

A basic knowledge of vehicle maintenance could help you when looking for work.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join organisations like the Institute of Couriers for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • have a full driving licence

You’ll need a licence for the type of vehicle you’ll be driving and a good driving record. Your employer may supply you with a delivery van, but if you’re self-employed you’ll need your own vehicle.

You’ll use your own motorbike if you want to work as a motorcycle courier.

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • collecting the schedule of pick-up points and delivery addresses from your depot
  • planning routes and sorting packages into order
  • finding the quickest route to delivery addresses
  • signing for packages that you pick up and getting signatures when delivering them
  • keeping paperwork and delivery records up-to-date

Working environment

You could work from a vehicle.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a depot controller or start your own courier business.

You could also train to drive large goods vehicles (LGVs).

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