Couriers, messengers and door-to-door distributors (NOC 1513)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Couriers, messengers and door-to-door distributors pick up letters, parcels, packages, newspapers, flyers/other items and deliver them to homes, businesses/other establishments. People with these jobs work for local and global courier companies, corporate delivery services and other organizations in the private and public sector. They may also be self-employed. 

Some couriers specialize in food delivery services – picking up food from multiple restaurants to deliver to homes, offices and other businesses. 

Watch the video below to see what it's like to be a courier.

Common job titles
  • bank messenger / runner
  • copy runner, courier service
  • courier
  • courier, mail
  • delivery person - parcels / packages
  • delivery person, advertising / newspaper

Duties

Couriers, messengers and door-to-door distributors:

  • Pick up messages, letters, envelopes, parcels, packages, cheques, securities and other items from customers and hand-deliver them within a set period of time
  • Collect payment for items delivered
  • Record deliveries
  • Speak with customers and others that they meet on their route
  • May drive a vehicle (car, van or truck) or ride a bicycle
  • Inspect vehicle at the start and end of each shift to report any damage
  • Load and unload packages into vehicle or bicycle
  • Plan delivery schedule and travel routes

Work environment

People in this career do much of their work outdoors and experience different weather conditions. Some couriers and messengers walk or use bicycles to pick up and deliver items. Others may use a vehicle – which can range from a small car to a large truck – and at times may deal with busy traffic conditions. They interact with others, speaking with customers, people on their route and the dispatcher. 

Work may be full-time, part-time or seasonal. Shift work may be required on nights and weekends.

Couriers, messengers and door-to-door distributors use technology for many administrative tasks, such as mapping out deliveries, using GPS for directions and providing customers with proof of delivery. People with these careers must be comfortable using technology to record deliveries and document issues that may arise.

Insights from industry

Good communication and time management skills are helpful for people in these jobs. The ability to remain calm under pressure is also considered an asset. Couriers, messengers and door-to-door distributors, at times, need to get through heavy traffic, find parking and deal with road closures when delivering time-sensitive items. Having good customer service and people skills is useful when facing frustrated or angry customers.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

With experience, there is the opportunity to move into dispatcher or supervisory positions. There may also be opportunities to work in other delivery occupations.

Additional resources