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Delivery Driver Career Guide

Delivery drivers spend most of their day driving company products to their proper destinations to be consumed. It is essential for delivery drivers to possess a valid driver’s license and have a clean driving record.

Delivery drivers are primarily responsible for loading, transporting, and delivering various products to customers or businesses in a safe and timely manner. As a delivery driver, you would be required to review orders and paperwork before delivery to ensure orders are correctly packaged and ready to sign off. People working in this position should provide excellent customer service by answering questions and handling any issues that may arise with an order.

Delivery drivers are typically allowed a flexible schedule and are compensated well for the work they do. To succeed as a delivery driver, you should be respectful and prompt when packaging orders and delivering them to customers. An ideal candidate will be committed to satisfying customers and driving safely. If you enjoy being on the road and are a safe driver, then becoming a delivery driver may be a great career opportunity for you. 

Sample job description

We are looking for an energetic and enthusiastic delivery driver to operate vehicles and cargo for our company. As a driver, you must have a clean and safe driving record, follow all laws, and communicate with our company. We offer employee benefits, fully equipped trucks, and more! As a part of our company, you will represent our brand, and we are looking for someone that values customer service and prioritizes safety. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Transport various types of items to different locations and addresses
  • Stick to a schedule and ensure timely completion
  • Load/unload trucks   
  • Inspect, maintain, service, and repair your vehicle
  • Maintain various logs
  • Follow road laws and regulations
  • Track shipments and deliveries
  • Obtain customer signatures
  • Communicate with other drivers and team members while making deliveries
  • Meet delivery deadlines
  • Complete basic vehicle maintenance

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or general education diploma (GED)
  • Driver’s license 
  • No experience is required unless you are looking for a delivery manager position or senior delivery role

Required skills and qualifications

  • Ability to work well under pressure and in unfavorable conditions
  • Ability to work as part of a team 
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Organization and time management skills
  • Familiarity with the routes
  • Being timely without recklessly driving
  • Good physical condition and health 
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to problem solve

Preferred qualifications

  • Driver Certification of Professional Competence (CPC)
  • Three to five years of driving experience

Typical work environment

A delivery driver typically spends almost all of their time at work on the road. Being a delivery driver requires drivers to work in hot, cold, or unfavorable weather conditions. You must also navigate to the assigned address and become familiar with the routes you will drive. Preparing for weather is an important part of being able to load and unload items. Most businesses require uniforms for their drivers and in some instances, they may need to wear protective gear or clothing. Drivers frequently interact with customers and store owners, which requires basic customer service skills.

Typical hours

Delivery drivers can begin a day at work early in the morning or late at night. Most drivers work a schedule of 40 hours per week, yet many jobs offer part time work. They usually have a set schedule every week. 

Available certifications

Delivery drivers can obtain certifications to increase chances of securing a job, including:

  • Commercial Driver License (CDL). The Commercial Driver’s License is a form of driver’s license that is required to operate large or heavy vehicles for commercial purposes. The requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license are to have a valid driver’s license, be at least 21 years old, have two or more years of driving experience, pass background screenings, and be able to operate commercial vehicles. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,000 to $8,000 for a truck driver training course that prepares you for your CDL test. 
  • OSHA Safety Certification. The OSHA Safety Certification is a certificate that proves you have knowledge on safety topics and practices in the workplace. This means that you know how to practice safety in the workplace and can prevent injuries. An OSHA 10 card means you completed 10 hours of OSHA training, but most employers for delivery drivers are looking for an OSHA 30 card, which requires 30 hours of training. 
  • EPA Amusement Operators Safety Certification. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Operator Certification is an equipment safety program to assess risk and prevent potential issues which can be avoided. 

Career path

To become a delivery driver, you must make sure you have a valid in-state driver’s license for the state you are wanting to work in. For some delivery driver roles, you only need a normal license, but if you are wanting to drive large vehicles or trucks, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license. You have to keep a clean and safe driving record as long as you drive. Most positions require a high school diploma or GED and driving experience. You can advance in this career by completing certifications and learning new skills. Learning how to operate different types of vehicles can lead to a better opportunity. With the demand for goods increasing, the employment rates are growing rapidly. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 53-3031

2020 Employment1,506,000
Projected Employment in 20211,581,000
Projected 2019-2029 Percentage Shift 5% increase
Projected 2019-2029 Numeric Shift75,000 increase

Delivery drivers have a positive outlook at 5%. More e-commerce transactions will require drivers to fulfill this growth of deliveries. Self-employed delivery drivers, such as DoorDash, InstaCart, and GrubHub all benefit from the rise in online orders and restaurants that only do online orders. About 163,100 openings in the delivery driver field is the average for the next decade. Delivery drivers are going to continue to be in demand as long as they possess a clean driving record.