Messenger Job Description

Messengers pick up and carry messages, packages and other items to specific locations. Travel can be accomplished by foot, bike, motorcycle, vehicle or public transportation. Messengers are trusted for their ability to make deliveries as ordered with their in-depth knowledge of the preferred practices of the industry or their employers.

Depended on for their efficiency, Messengers have to plan the best routes for their deliveries. Messengers can find work in courier and messenger companies, as a staff member in a specific company or as a sole proprietor of their own business. Demand for Messengers is expected to increase up to 9 percent through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, with a maximum of 4,999 job openings each year due to new businesses and firms needing messenger services.


Messenger Duties and Responsibilities

To accomplish their main goal of picking up and delivering documents or goods, Messengers perform various duties. We examined various job listings to identify these primary Messenger duties and responsibilities.

Maintaining Confidentiality

Messengers are often tasked with transporting documents dealing with all types of sensitive and confidential information. A strict commitment to deliver the documents without viewing or revealing any of the information is necessary. Companies and businesses depend on the integrity of Messengers as they handle this type of material.

Physical Tasks

Due to the nature of the job, Messengers must routinely make movements that involve their whole body. They may walk or ride a bicycle for picking up or delivering, which requires more energy and movement than driving a vehicle. Stooping, lifting and balancing may be required. Handling fragile or cumbersome materials could be part of their daily tasks as they load and unload deliveries.

Planning and Executing Routes

Efficiency is key to the success of Messengers. When working in a large city, a messenger must be able to plan routes that will allow for the fastest travel. Messengers must be able to use mapping applications to plug in addresses and successfully follow the directions to their destinations. In the event that a route is compromised, Messengers must be able to choose alternate routes that will help them get their designated locations as quickly as possible.

Managing Unforeseen Circumstances

Messengers need to act as problem solvers at times. At the pickup or drop-off locations, they may encounter difficulties. Documents and goods may not be ready at pickup locations. There may be confusion regarding addresses. Packaging may be damaged. The prescribed route may have detours or delays.


Messenger Skills

Successful Messengers must possess excellent organizational and communication skills. They have an eye for detail and a dedication to accuracy. They are excellent managers of their time and can successfully make it to your various destinations via a variety of routes. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are looking for Messenger candidates who possess the following skills and abilities:

  • Remembering key information to complete pickups and deliveries such as codes for entering buildings and routine routes
  • Observing all traffic rules on prescribed routes to ensure safe delivery of documents and goods
  • Determining which packages and documents are to be picked up or delivered and verifying the destination addresses
  • Organizing packages and documents by order of stop to prevent possible confusion and a delay in planned timing for routes
  • Obtaining signatures, appropriate documentation and payments for items picked up or delivered
  • Checking with the home office to report and confirm successful deliveries and check on new assigned delivery orders
  • Keeping accurate logs or records for verifications of ordered deliveries
  • Completing required paperwork with accuracy and attention to detail within a timely manner

Tools of the trade: Messengers use various tools in their daily work. To become a Messenger, you should be skilled in using the following:

  • Bar Code Reader Equipment – Experience with and knowledge of bar code reader equipment to efficiently process pickups and deliveries
  • Global Positioning Systems – Knowing how to program routes into a GPS and modify them as needed
  • Office Machinery – Messengers need to be experienced in using all different types of office equipment such as laser printers and fax machines, photocopiers, tablets, computers, postage meters and paper-shredding machines
  • Driving Different Vehicles and Operating Mechanical Equipment – Familiarity and proficiency with different types of vehicles is key. Messengers may have to drive mopeds, passenger vehicles or pallet trucks as part of their job. In addition, they may have to operate hydraulic lifts to facilitate the delivery or pickup of heavy items


Messenger Education and Training

According to our analysis of online job postings, employers are seeking Messenger candidates who have at least a high school diploma and are 21 years of age. Some employers require a valid driver’s license if the messenger will be operating a motor vehicle. People interested in becoming messengers can gain experience via part-time or summer internships with companies or businesses in their area.


Messenger Salary

The median annual salary for Messengers, categorized by the BLS as Couriers and Messengers, is approximately $28,170. Messengers in the 10th percentile earn about $19,000 annually, while the highest paid make in excess of $44,000 per year. Messengers in Montana, New Jersey and California earn the highest mean annual rate in the U.S. – $36,220, $35,220 and $33,790, respectively.

Messenger Resources

We checked the Web to find the top industry resources to help you explore a career as a Messenger. From relevant books to industry groups, this list offers plenty of sources of helpful information.

New York State Courier and Messenger Association – Founded in 1945, the NYSCMA is focused on making a positive impact on the messenger and courier industry in the state of New York. The association offers networking and education opportunities for those in the industry.

Florida Messenger Association – The FMA’s mission is to create a positive impact on the messaging and courier industry in Florida and beyond. It offers information on new industry trends, products and services in the industry.

Starting and Managing a Courier Service by Johnny Carasquillo – This guide offers instruction on how to get a courier business up and running within days and make a potential income of at least $40,000 during the first year.

How to Become a Self-Employed Courier by Phillip Dale – A step-by-step guide that instructs readers how to start their own successful courier business by offering tips such as how to use the internet to find repeat jobs and how to obtain government funding to start your business.

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