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Courier or Messenger

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What Does it Take to Be a Courier or Messenger?

Career Description Pick up and deliver messages, documents, packages, and other items between offices or departments within an establishment or directly to other business concerns, traveling by foot, bicycle, motorcycle, automobile, or public conveyance.

A Day in the Life of a Courier or Messenger

  • Load vehicles with listed goods, ensuring goods are loaded correctly and taking precautions with hazardous goods.
  • Walk, ride bicycles, drive vehicles, or use public conveyances to reach destinations to deliver messages or materials.
  • Receive messages or materials to be delivered, and information on recipients, such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, and delivery instructions, communicated via telephone, two-way radio, or in person.
  • Collect, seal, and stamp outgoing mail, using postage meters and envelope sealers.
  • Plan and follow the most efficient routes for delivering goods.
  • Deliver messages and items, such as newspapers, documents, and packages, between establishment departments, and to other establishments and private homes.

Courier or Messenger Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Couriers and Messengers say are important on the job.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Courier or Messenger

  • Pick Up Worker
  • Yard Caller
  • Caller
  • Sample Distributor
  • Delivery Clerk

Are There Job Opportunities for Couriers and Messengers?

There were about 95,000 jobs for Courier or Messenger in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 10,900 new jobs for Courier or Messenger by 2026. There will be an estimated 10,100 positions for Courier or Messenger per year.


The states with the most job growth for Courier or Messenger are Colorado, Utah, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Mississippi, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Couriers and Messengers Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Courier or Messenger ranges between $20,390 and $44,400.


Couriers and Messengers who work in Washington, Maryland, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Couriers and Messengers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $25,540
Alaska $32,840
Arizona $30,440
Arkansas $24,990
California $34,620
Colorado $32,470
Connecticut $34,410
Delaware $30,420
District of Columbia $38,280
Florida $30,320
Georgia $28,270
Hawaii $30,680
Idaho $24,770
Illinois $29,280
Indiana $27,780
Iowa $27,730
Kansas $29,620
Kentucky $28,300
Louisiana $24,970
Maine $29,920
Maryland $34,090
Massachusetts $32,750
Michigan $28,110
Minnesota $30,530
Mississippi $26,260
Missouri $29,120
Montana $26,870
Nebraska $27,050
Nevada $27,080
New Hampshire $27,480
New Jersey $33,620
New Mexico $27,710
New York $33,620
North Carolina $28,460
North Dakota $28,680
Ohio $28,750
Oklahoma $29,290
Oregon $34,160
Pennsylvania $29,270
Rhode Island $35,010
South Carolina $25,380
South Dakota $25,380
Tennessee $33,450
Texas $27,390
Utah $28,760
Vermont $31,840
Virginia $32,490
Washington $35,720
West Virginia $25,990
Wisconsin $24,900

What Tools & Technology do Couriers and Messengers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Couriers and Messengers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Route mapping software

Becoming a Courier or Messenger

Are there Couriers and Messengers education requirements?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where do Couriers and Messengers Work?


The table below shows the approximate number of Couriers and Messengers employed by various industries.


Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Courier or Messenger may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Courier or Messenger sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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