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What are the key qualities and skills required to be a successful courier?

Whether you plan to become a short or long-haul successful courier, taking a job in the delivery sector comes with its benefits. You can make your own schedule, have the freedom to travel, and determine what types of freights you want to deliver, making it a fun and flexible position.

While courier positions are considered entry-level, the job comes with many difficulties. You’ll need quite a few skills to cut down on driving time, stay organized, and remain focused.


What is a Courier, and How Much Do They Earn?

A successful courier is either a company or an employee of said company. Both couriers and successful courier drivers are distinguished from mail services as they offer premium features such as express services, swift delivery times, tracking, security, signature, specialization, and more.

Courier drivers handle a large volume of packages and have to be great drivers, fit, organized, and personable to provide excellent customer service. Becoming a courier driver is easy: just get a high school diploma, a driver’s license, and certification for speciality trucks or items.

On average, courier drivers make $34,000-$37,000 per year, which translates to $16-$18 an hour. If you work as a medical equipment delivery driver or courier, you’ll make much more.

To understand the courier industry, read our Courier Services: A Complete Guide for 2023 blog post.

The Top Skills You’ll Need to Become a Courier Driver

Like any other profession, courier drivers need a certain set of skills and traits to perform well at their jobs. Here are 15 skills we think every courier driver should put on their resume.


1. Delivery Service Experience

Although placing “delivery service” on your resume seems redundant, it’s actually required to bypass Applicant Tracking Systems. If at any point you assisted in delivering medical supplies or biological specimens to and from a lab, you should mention this experience plainly.


2. Experience With Large Couriers

If you also have experience with large couriers, like FedEx or UPS, that will really help you get another job. Putting phrases like “followed FedEx guidelines” or “delivered FedEx packages” will get you noticed right away. Plus, those large couriers typically uphold high-level practices.


3. Time-Management Skills

Time-keeping is the number one concern for any courier. While the job is flexible, you still need to abide by a tight, sometimes overly strict schedule. Missing one step in your delivery process can cause you to be behind for the rest of the day, so you’ll have to watch the clock carefully.


4. Using a Company Vehicle

It’s one thing to drive your own vehicle to pick up and drop off packages; it’s another thing altogether to use a company vehicle for the same purpose. If you’re able to maintain, clean, and fill up your company vehicle with gas regularly, it proves you’re a responsible employee.


5. Following Safety Policies

Every company has its own code of conduct and rules that contribute to a workplace’s safety. Most operational, security, and safety policies are given to companies by the Department of Transportation regulations. If you can follow these rules, other businesses will trust you.


6. Problem-Solving Skills

Even the most streamlined routes can be rife with literal potholes and traffic accidents, so you’ll need to have multiple plans in place in case problems arise. If you can plan a new route, get in touch with the customer, or reschedule deliveries on the fly, you’re definitely a problem-solver.


7. Following Traffic Laws

To become a courier, you need to have a clean driving record, but even bad or inexperienced drivers can seem like good employees on paper. Courier companies want drivers who can follow a long list of driving laws, so they’re less likely to be held liable for your mistakes.


8. Efficient Delivery

If you have a proven track record of efficient delivery, you’re seen as effective, predictable, and reliable. Those are all great qualities to have. A great way to present these strengths on your resume is by saying you can provide efficient delivery to businesses and residents.


9. Focus and Concentration

Most of us can drive over short distances, but not all of us can stay focused on one task for several hours. Day or night, couriers have to tackle highways, small streets, and long distances every single day. You have to be capable of paying attention to the road over long periods.


10. Fantastic Driving Skills

It may go without saying, but all successful courier drivers need to be great drivers. Whether it’s rain or shine, wet or dry, clear or cloudy, calm or stormy, you need to maintain safety compliance under constantly changing, often difficult traffic, weather, and road conditions at all times.


11. Demonstrates Proficiency

What separates you and other courier candidates? Proficiency. When a worker “demonstrates proficiency,” it means they are about to perform the responsibilities of their job at a high level. If you’re a courier driver that knows how to handle sensitive equipment, you’ll be sought after.


12. Basic Customer Service

Couriers speak to customers daily, even if all of their deliveries are contactless. That’s because couriers will communicate with customers to change delivery times, give required information, and maintain delivery records. You’ll need to be courteous and friendly to your customers.


13. Answering Customer Questions

Maintaining excellent customer relationships requires answering questions accurately and promptly. Some of your customers will ask you where their package is, and you’ll need to convey how long it will take you to deliver it. Company knowledge is also necessary.


14. Client Recruitment

Couriers aren’t necessarily salespeople, but they can use negotiation skills to suggest different products or services. For example, if a customer didn’t like how long the delivery took, even though it was on time, the courier can suggest expedited services for their next package.


15. Flexibility and Adaptability

Courier jobs are more flexible than they’ve ever been. You’re no longer tied to large companies, so you can choose to work independently, either with a rideshare company or a small startup. At the same time, you’ll have to adjust to your client’s needs to get an influx of package deliveries.