Delivery drivers are an essential part of the supply chain. From food deliveries to commercial shipments, delivery drivers transport various goods, products and materials. They also handle various types of deliveries, from cross-country shipments to final mile deliveries. If you’re interested in becoming a delivery driver, there are a few things you need to know. Find out what a delivery driver’s responsibilities are, the job requirements, how much money you could make and what qualities are ideal for a person in this position.
What Does a Delivery Driver Do?
Delivery drivers, sometimes referred to as carriers, are professional transporters that deliver various goods and materials over long and short distances. Delivery drivers are typically employed by corporations, warehouses, delivery service companies, food service companies and more. Their primary job duties include loading, unloading and transporting cargo loads. Carriers transport anything that can be delivered via vehicle — food, packages, materials, supplies and more — depending on the company you’re driving for.
Like what you’re delivering, delivery driver duties can vary depending on the company. In addition to loading and unloading cargo, carriers are typically expected to:
- Drive safely
- Make on-time deliveries to the correct locations
- Know how to safely handle the materials being transported
- Get signatures upon delivery
- Communicate with dispatchers and other drivers
Delivery driver positions can look significantly different depending on the company and industry you’re in. For example, food delivery drivers may only transport one or two orders at a time, trying to make the delivery as efficiently as possible. Warehouse delivery drivers may transport box trucks full of materials on pallets from various clients. In other words, the specifics of what a delivery driver does can vary significantly, ultimately depending on the company the driver works for.
How Do You Become a Delivery Driver?
Becoming a delivery driver is straightforward for most positions. Most delivery driver positions only require a high school diploma or a GED certificate. All delivery drivers need a clean driving record and a valid driver’s license.
Depending on the company and cargo being hauled, some drivers may need a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which requires additional training before being hired. Otherwise, most companies will provide unique training depending on their policies and what you’ll be transporting. For example, some cargo, like food and chemicals, have certain safety requirements that must be followed during transportation.
Some companies may require you to have prior delivery experience, especially if their carriers are hauling cargo that requires certain knowledge, like hazardous chemicals or other sensitive products. However, many standard delivery driver positions don’t require prior experience and are willing to provide you with the necessary training to succeed.
When applying for a delivery driver position, consider whether you’ll need to use your own vehicle or will be given a company vehicle. Some companies use their own fleet of trucks and vans to haul cargo, while others may hire independent contractor delivery drivers that must use their own vehicles. Remember this when searching for positions, especially if you’re against using your personal vehicle or need a certain size van or truck for the company’s needs.
Additional Delivery Driver FAQs
If you’re interested in becoming a delivery driver, you may have some other questions related to these positions. Here are the answers to a few other frequently asked questions about becoming a delivery driver.
Is Being a Delivery Driver Worth It?
While being a delivery driver isn’t for everyone, these positions may be worth it for you. While you may spend a lot of time on the road or long periods away from home, many delivery driver positions offer more flexibility and freedom than traditional jobs. For example, contractor delivery drivers can pick up work around their schedule. As a carrier, you can interact with various types of people and businesses.
Most delivery companies typically allow for career growth. This opportunity means if you complete trainings or earn certificates, you can advance your career as a delivery driver and potentially earn more money.
Do Delivery Drivers Make Good Money?
Delivery driver compensation depends on various factors like experience level, cargo, location, company and more. A driver with several years of experience will likely make more money than a new delivery driver. Drivers with more certifications or positions that require a CDL are also more likely to earn more money. You’ll also likely make more money working for a courier or delivery service than a food delivery service like pizza delivery.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Work as a Delivery Driver?
Most companies look for drivers that are at least 18-21 years old. Some food delivery drivers can be as young as 16, but in most cases, you have to be at least 18. Age requirements are typically at the discretion of the hiring company and will be listed in the job requirements.
What’s the Difference Between a Delivery Driver and a Courier?
Delivery drivers and couriers are similar, both delivering various goods and materials. However, this is all a delivery driver typically does. Couriers can deliver loads and pick them up. For example, a courier may deliver a shipment to a business and pick up an outgoing shipment to be delivered to another location. The courier may then make that second delivery. In contrast, delivery drivers only handle deliveries. As a result, couriers typically have more responsibilities or job duties and may work exclusively with businesses.
What Are Good Qualities for a Delivery Driver?
A good delivery driver should value safety and customer service. When driving between locations, you should prioritize safe driving and abide by state driving laws. This ensures your and other drivers’ safety and the safety of your load. Customer service is another important characteristic of a quality delivery driver. Customers want to deal with friendly, efficient drivers, which means you need to be able to prioritize the customers’ needs.
Become a Delivery Driver for Street Fleet
Delivery drivers are always in demand, as the supply chain would fail without them, which means you can find a position nearly anywhere. If you’re looking for a rewarding position as a delivery driver, consider driving for Street Fleet. We use contracted on-demand delivery drivers like you to provide several different delivery services, including courier and freight delivery. Whether you drive your own car or lease a cargo van from us, there are numerous options and ways to deliver.