Workers in courier or messenger service are responsible for the pickup and drop-off of deliveries, and may work in a variety of industries. Aside from a high school diploma, most couriers are required to have a valid state driver's license, and may make deliveries with a van, truck, car or motorcycle. The average salary for courier service depends on the employer and the location.
Average Salary Breakdown
The average salary for a courier in the United States is $25,710 annually, or $12.36 per hour. The median salary is $23,770; those couriers in the 10th percentile earn $16,530, those in the 25th percentile earn $19,120, those in the 75th percentile earn $30,050 and those in the 90th percentile earn $37,830.
The two industries with the highest levels of employment of couriers are courier and express delivery services and local messenger and delivery services, of which the former pays $25,920 annually and the latter pays $24,500 annually. Other couriers work for medical and diagnostic laboratories for an annual salary of $26,130, while some work in legal services for an annual salary of $25,260. The highest paying industry for couriers is the postal service, offering an annual mean salary of $52,520.
Wages for couriers and messengers vary from state to state, with Massachusetts leading as the highest paying state for this occupation at an annual average salary of $34,410. Alaska follows closely with an average annual salary of $34,010. Washington, D.C., Connecticut and Washington follow with salaries ranging from $30,500 to $32,170. The metropolitan area of Worcester, Massachusetts-Connecticut, is the highest paying area of all at $37,330, followed by Boston, Massachusetts, at $37,230.
Outlook and Advancement
The Bureau of Labor Statistic expects "little to no change" in the increase of employment of couriers between 2008 and 2018, largely because of the fact that many materials are now transferred digitally. Advancement opportunities are generally limited, although some employers give preference to experienced couriers, offering higher-paying contracts. Other couriers move on to become independent contractors.
Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.