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Courier vs. Delivery Driver: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Both couriers and delivery drivers transport goods from one location to another. However, there are several key differences between these two professions. In this article, we compare and contrast couriers and delivery drivers, including job duties, necessary skills and average pay. We also provide information on how to become a courier or delivery driver.

What is a Courier?

Couriers are responsible for the pick-up and delivery of packages, documents and other items. They may use a car, van or motorcycle to make their deliveries, and some may use public transportation. Couriers typically work for delivery companies, but some may be self-employed. They are typically given a delivery route to follow and a schedule to keep. They must be able to lift heavy packages and load them into their vehicle. They must also be able to navigate their way around the city using a map or GPS system.

What is a Delivery Driver?

Delivery Drivers transport goods and packages to businesses and residences within a designated delivery area. They load their vehicles with the items to be delivered and plan the most efficient route to make all of the scheduled stops. Delivery Drivers must be able to lift heavy packages and be comfortable driving for long periods of time. They may use GPS devices to track their location and update their delivery status. Delivery Drivers typically work for courier or shipping companies and may be required to wear a uniform.

Courier vs. Delivery Driver

Here are the main differences between a courier and a delivery driver.

Job Duties

Couriers and delivery drivers have some of their job duties in common. These shared responsibilities include transporting items from one location to another and ensuring the safe transport of the item. The major difference is that couriers perform a transportation service for an item, while delivery drivers transport items within a certain region for a business or individual.

Couriers typically transport packages between locations as part of a courier service. They may work for a courier company or on their own as an independent contractor. Courier jobs often require them to transport items quickly and securely over long distances. Some examples of items couriers transport are documents, medical supplies and electronics.

Delivery drivers usually drive vehicles used by their employer to transport goods and materials. These vehicles can vary depending on what they’re delivering and where they’re going. For example, if they’re driving a food truck, they’ll likely use a car. If they’re delivering flowers, they may use a bicycle or scooter. Delivery drivers may also be called courier drivers.

Job Requirements

Couriers and delivery drivers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the field. However, some employers may prefer candidates with a valid driver’s license and clean driving record. Many couriers and delivery drivers also receive on-the-job training from their employer to learn company policies and procedures.

Work Environment

Courier and delivery drivers both work in a variety of environments. Courier drivers may travel to different locations, depending on the type of courier job they have. For example, couriers who transport medical samples may need to visit hospitals or clinics to pick up and drop off their packages. Courier drivers for package delivery companies may spend most of their time driving between customers’ homes and local post offices or distribution centers.

Delivery drivers typically work within a specific geographic area, such as an entire city or county. They may drive routes that cover several neighborhoods or zip codes. Some delivery drivers may also work overnight shifts, which can involve transporting food or other products from restaurants or grocery stores to storage facilities.


Both couriers and delivery drivers need to have good customer service skills as they will be interacting with people on a daily basis. They also both need to have good organizational skills to keep track of their deliveries. Couriers may need to use GPS systems to navigate their way around, while delivery drivers typically follow set routes.

Couriers tend to make more local deliveries and may be required to ride a bike or motorcycle, so they need to be physically fit. Delivery drivers usually drive a car or van and make longer trips, so they need to have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.


The average salary for a courier is $39,523 per year, while the average salary for a delivery driver is $46,509 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the type of company you work for, your location and your level of experience.


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