Ask The Expert: The 5 Best Things About Being a Courier Driver
Pete’s 5 favorite things about being a courier driver and why he left office work. So you’ll know whether to make the jump yourself.
Having a permanent job can give us financial security. But sometimes… don’t you wish you could do what you want when you want it, and still make enough money?
That’s the freedom that being a courier driver gives.
It helps you break away from the 9-to-5 and create a life around doing the things you enjoy, rather than being stuck at a desk.
I’m going to tell you what my 5 favorite things are about being a courier driver and why I left the London rat race behind. This way, you’ll know whether to make the jump yourself.
Here are the 5 best things I like about being a courier driver:
- Personal freedom
- Change of locations
- Interesting people
- Daily variety
- You can make money
Let’s jump in and get to it!
#1 Personal freedom
As a courier, you choose where you want to go and decide when to work.
Working in an office can destroy your soul.
Suppose you commute every day on the train, which can take hours there and back. Then you get into the office, and your whole day is dictated between 9 am and 5.30 pm (often later). You’re told what to do and when (which might be as enjoyable as picking over bits of paper). At the end of the day, you might not feel like you’ve achieved anything. I didn’t think so when this was my day job.
Being a courier driver is not like that. In this game, you are free to do whatever you want.
You can choose your courier jobs: if you fancy a change of location or scenery, it’s up to you. If you’ve done enough for the day and decide you’ve done enough and want to go home, then you can.
And if you don’t work, you won’t get penalized for it.
I used to work on the street markets in London, standing in the street selling stuff. I was my own boss, but there were always market inspectors running the market who would dictate where and when you put things.
This doesn’t happen in independent courier delivery. You might get asked if you have steel toe cap boots or whether you have a high-visibility jacket. But that’s about it.
In courier delivery, you choose what you want to do. If you decide to start multi-stop driving for Amazon, work every hour possible, and then go on vacation for two months, you can.
Freedom is an excellent part of the job.
#2 The change of locations
Being a courier driver, you are going to visit some exciting places.
However, not all of them are good. Shopping centres, distribution centres, and trying to find places in the dark all have their fair share of hazards.
Particularly if you’re on multi-stop courier delivery, such as Amazon Flex, DPD, Hermes, or FedEx. As the name suggests, you’re going to be visiting many places because you can be visiting 100, 150, 200 addresses a day.
You can also go to some fantastic places.
I dropped off the set for Rebecca, the film and delivered Christmas decorations for Selfridges in Oxford Street when the shopworkers were all dressed up, which was great fun.
Sometimes, your addresses will be easy to find. Sometimes, it will be an unnamed cottage, a brewery, distillery, or distribution centre without a sign. If you’re new to being a courier driver, get Circuit Route Planner to help you with this. They’ll give you a free trial to road test it before paying for a subscription.
#3 You meet interesting people
You will get to meet some interesting characters, and there’s a camaraderie that goes with it. When you’ve got that orange vest on, and you’re standing outside, and there’s a cup of tea, and it’s just people chatting and chewing the cud.
Always go in with the right attitude
Be polite, dress the part and try to be kind to your fellow person. In all walks of life, if you go in with the right attitude, you’ll meet some friendly people.
And people are helpful.
If you’re new to courier delivery, somebody will show you if you ask for help.
Pro tip: I always used to say, “I wonder if you can help me?” People seem to really like that as a polite phrase.
#4 No two jobs are the same
One day, you might pick up five pallets of children’s toys; the next day, it could be a kidney machine or tractor tyres. You’ll go to hospitals and airports, cities and villages. You will go to exciting places with exciting things.
Being a courier driver is not like being in an office, sitting at the same desk, and swapping around the same bits of paper every day.
It keeps you interested and on your toes. You will get challenged every day. Some common brain puzzles are figuring out how to get all your packages in the back of your vehicle in a coherent way or strap things down, so they don’t move around in transit.
I love the variety of the job.
#5 You can make money
You can make money if you are willing to put the work in. If you get up early, start at five o’clock in the morning, and run till late at night. You can also make decent money if you start the night before or run at weekends.
Courier delivery is hard work. But there is money in it with an average pay in the U.S. of $34,340 per year or $16.51 per hour.
If you do well, you could even start your own courier service. With just one other person and a truck, it is possible to scale. You have the option to either make money for yourself, not give yourself a headache and just go home and enjoy your life, or you can make a business of it and end up with a fleet of trucks.
5 Best Things About Being a Courier: Driving it home
When you start life as a courier driver, you’ll get personal freedom from the regular hum-drum of 9-5 work. So try experimenting with gig economy apps like Amazon Flex and progress from there.
Soon you should find that:
- You have more freedom
- You get to see interesting places
- The job isn’t dull
- You can make money
With these five things, you could be well on your way to making time for the stuff you enjoy, and money for the life you want.