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Courier Driving:
Full-Time Career or Part-Time Gig?

See also: Top Tips on Freelancing

Being a courier driver is one of the jobs that drive our economy without getting recognition. Without goods getting to consumers in time, global trade would suffer tremendously.

An issue of contention that typically arises when talking about courier driving is whether it is a full-time career or a part-time gig. You can make a lot of money by being a courier as salaries can be as high as twenty dollars an hour.

However, when considering a job that you would do all your life or something to do part-time while you do other things is the choice to make.

The following are factors that could make courier driving a full-time career or a part-time gig:

Bike courier on a wet night in the city.

Becoming a Courier Driver

If you want to become a courier driver for a delivery company, a valid driver’s license is the most important qualification. Therefore, you need to take the necessary tests to get your license.

A standard license will be adequate for most delivery jobs. However, if you want to drive large trucks, you will have to get a commercial driver’s license. You should check your state’s requirements as to the type of license you require. You also need driving and life skills to be a successful driver.

Many companies will want someone with a GED (General Educational development test) or high school diploma with experience of driving delivery vehicles. Hence a courier driver is an excellent position for a part-time gig as you don’t need many qualifications to start, plus you can take a shift of package deliveries and still do another job.

However, to be a great courier driver takes time and discipline. You have to show up consistently and deliver as many packages as possible in a limited time. Safe and confident driving to ensure no packages get destroyed is a valuable skill too.

You should have comprehensive knowledge of delivery routes and be able to traverse traffic to get packages to their recipients. Good customer service skills are vital as you will be interacting with the recipients of the boxes. You do need to be strong as you might need to handle heavy packages during delivery.

Becoming a courier driver is an easier task than remaining one. If you work as a part-time driver working on something else, the chances are you will not be a driver for long.

If you are a company employee, you will have to strictly adhere to company policies as there is a lot of competition for your job.

Making Money as a Courier

You can either make money as a full-time employee of a delivery company or a part-time gig. The hours will be longer as a salaried employee, but the pay is better, and you will get employee benefits from the company. On the other hand, working for a delivery service as a part-time gig gives you plenty of freedom.

For the freedom you will get working as a part-time courier driver, you will give up the benefits that a salaried employee would have. How to make money as a delivery driver will depend on why you need the job. As a full-time employee, you will receive a typical hourly wage with little chance of promotion unless you gain managerial skills.

There is a chance of receiving tips from the recipients of the packages, which can be an excellent addition to a courier driver’s income. Being a great communicator and providing excellent customer service is a prerequisite for making money in this way.

Making money as a delivery driver as a part-time gig will be difficult when the demand drops. In these circumstances, deliveries will be reduced, and companies tend to fire part-time drivers first.

The safety of being a salaried employee on a contract is beneficial when business slows down because you may still keep your job even while making fewer deliveries.

There are few ways to make money as a delivery driver; hence many people only do it as a part-time gig as it helps them in the short term to pay some bills and earn an income.

Working for Local Small-Scale Company Vs. Major Delivery Companies?

As a courier driver, there is a significant difference when working for a small, local company instead of working for a multinational delivery company like FedEx or DHL.

The large companies will often pay better because they make more money. The ability to scale delivery is crucial to growing a delivery business, and large companies can enjoy advantages of scale.

Working for a major delivery company will involve delivering more packages across more considerable distances, hence longer working hours. You can make substantial money doing long-distance deliveries to places where airplane shipping cannot be done.

Working for a large company may also require you to be part of a union which may mean paying membership fees. Many full-time courier drivers work for major delivery companies.

On the other hand, local small-scale delivery companies will favor part-time gig workers. The amount of demand and the products they deliver do not warrant full-time employees. Therefore, they will hire part-time drivers for the job whom they may ask to use their private cars for delivery.

Working for a small-scale company probably means fewer benefits and less pay than working for a large company. However, you can enjoy setting your own hours and working a shift that is convenient for you.

How Does the Choice of Company Affect the Pay-Scale?

As stated above, working for a major delivery company often means making more money than a local small-scale company. Therefore, the choice of a company does affect the pay scale. Though the money might be more, the hourly rates might not be so different.

You have to evaluate every company individually if you want to become a courier driver. Each company will have different rates and policies. It is up to you to decide the company that makes the best deal for you.

The same goes for choosing a company when working part-time.

In conclusion, the requirement for becoming a courier driver is the same whether working full-time or part-time. Everything else is different, including pay, staying a driver, and the freedom you have. If you want to make money as a courier driver, you must decide which is best for you.


About the Author


Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.

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