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Details for Couriers and Messengers


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


  • Walk, ride bicycles, drive vehicles, or use public conveyances in order to reach destinations to deliver messages or materials.
  • Load vehicles with listed goods, ensuring goods are loaded correctly and taking precautions with hazardous goods.
  • Unload and sort items collected along delivery routes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sort items to be delivered according to the delivery route.
  • Obtain signatures and payments, or arrange for recipients to make payments.
  • Record information, such as items received and delivered and recipients' responses to messages.
  • Check with home offices after completed deliveries, in order to confirm deliveries and collections and to receive instructions for other deliveries.
  • Perform routine maintenance on delivery vehicles, such as monitoring fluid levels and replenishing fuel.
  • Call by telephone in order to deliver verbal messages.
  • Open, sort, and distribute incoming mail.
  • Perform general office or clerical work such as filing materials, operating duplicating machines, or running errands.
  • Collect, seal, and stamp outgoing mail, using postage meters and envelope sealers.
  • Unload goods from large trucks, and load them onto smaller delivery vehicles.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Related Careers

  • Cargo and Freight Agents
  • Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers
  • Food Servers, Nonrestaurant
  • Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service
  • Parking Lot Attendants
  • Postal Service Mail Carriers
Wages for this career
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