Delivery Driver: Job Profile and Role

Let’s start with a universally acknowledged fact: most UK residents have ordered from an online shop at least once in their lives. Probably you also. Therefore, you know that your order does not just fly to your house and just lands on your doorstep. No – it takes a delivery driver to bring you your parcel. And maybe this job is a job you are interested in doing.

The following blog will now give you all the relevant information you need to know about the job of a delivery driver. You will find out how much a delivery driver earns and what typical working hours and working duties await you. You will also find out where you can employ for your first job and how you can thrive as a delivery driver.

Short Summary

  • As a delivery driver, you are in charge of the efficient transportation of orders and goods from a (logistics) company to the relevant end customers.
  • As a delivery driver, you are asked to adhere to safety measures and the correct road protocols, thus ensuring that you are not a risk to yourself or others at any point in your delivery journey.
  • As a delivery driver, you are to have and maintain excellent relationships with your customers. This way, you ensure your employer’s and your customers’ satisfaction and uphold your professional image as a delivery driver.

Job description

A delivery driver is in charge of delivering orders to an online shop’s customers. A delivery driver can also be in charge of delivering raw materials and other goods for a company, depending on the exact job description. As a delivery driver, you may also be tasked with loading and unloading your delivery vehicle. You can also be responsible for doing maintenance checks on said vehicle. Besides delivering orders and goods, a delivery driver’s task is to always ensure his/her safety and the safety of others. A delivery driver is also tasked with communicating with employers, suppliers and customers.


  • Security
  • Safe Driving
  • Documentation
  • Route Planning
  • Problem-Solving
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Emergency Response
  • Loading and Unloading
  • Adherence to Regulations
  • Company Policies Compliance

Different types of Delivery Drivers

  • Last-Mile Delivery Driver
  • Package Delivery Driver
  • Bulk Hauling Driver
  • Auto Transporter
  • Courier Driver

The First Deliveries were done on Pony, Foot, and Bike

The delivery of goods has always been an important aspect of business transactions and workings. One of more modern examples was the US-American Pony Express which had slightly disconcerting entry requirements. It was shortly followed by one of the most famous global delivery companies, UPS, which was founded by two teenage boys in 1907. They did their first deliveries on foot and by bike.


Delivery drivers based in the UK can expect annual salaries ranging from £32,100 to £35,200. These numbers refer to full-time delivery drivers. Consequently, your weekly working hours will have an effect on your annual salary in this profession. Moreover, your salary can be influenced by the location, your employer, the company size and your overall work experience.

Working hours

Your working hours can amount to a total of 66 hours a week. There is a limit to the hours you are allowed to drive in one day which must not exceed 11 hours per day. Naturally, these 11 hours are a sort of guideline to give you an idea of how much time you will spend on the road each day. The weekly total also depends on whether you work Saturdays as well. This is mainly dependent on your employer.

Note that the mentioned working hours can be quite likely in peak times, such as the time leading up to Christmas, for example.

If you are thinking about becoming a delivery driver, you must be absolutely sure that these working hours fit into your idea of a healthy work-life balance.


Delivery drivers can find employment at pretty much every company that sells goods and merchandise and which therefore has its own logistics department. This can range from small to medium-sized businesses as well as to big names and corporations, such as Amazon.


You do not need specific academic degrees or an apprenticeship to become a delivery driver. However, doing an apprenticeship can still be beneficial when applying for a job as a delivery driver. Even though it is not a requirement, this kind of education can give you an advantage over your co-applicants. A possible option can be an intermediate apprenticeship to become an express delivery operative. Note that you should have a certain number of GSCEs, including Maths and English.

It is, however, mandatory for you to have a full clean driving licence, meaning that you should not have been involved in any road accidents.

You will also benefit from knowing your way around delivery-relevant software and apps.

The job as a delivery driver could be suitable for you if you have one or more of the following qualifications:


Your personal strengths are part of the skills that make you perfect as a delivery driver. If you choose to work in this profession, you should be reliable and have excellent time management skills. You should also have good communication skills. And do not worry – even if you are not perfect at those skills, you can always develop and eventually master them.

Let’s have a look at a few more soft skills you should have or develop when you want to work as a delivery driver.

Is the delivery driver job a good fit for you? Typically, a delivery driver should have or develop the following skills:

Physical Fitness

Being a delivery driver requires a certain amount of physical fitness. After all, you are loading and unloading parcels and more each and every day. And not all of them are light as a feather. You also need a good fitness level to be a good driver since driving both shorter and longer distances can be physically exhausting.

Communication Skills

Delivering orders involves customer interactions and interactions with your employers and suppliers. Good communication skills are therefore vital if you are planning on becoming a delivery driver and if you want to uphold good relationships with every person involved in your job. If you want to improve this skill, you can always take part in communication courses, for example online.

Mathematical Skills

As a delivery driver, you will need to evaluate quantities, weights, and measurements. These not only apply to every single parcel but also to the dimensions of your delivery vehicle. Having the necessary mathematical skills will enable you to evaluate all the relevant measurements and to do an excellent job as a delivery driver.

Career Path

It might take you up to three years to get all the necessary qualifications and skills to become a delivery driver. After that, you can gain your first experience by doing your first deliveries or by loading and unloading delivery vehicles. This first job can be at a small and local delivery company. After a few years and with a clean driving record, you can think about applying to bigger companies or about starting your own delivery or logistics business.

Educational Background

Lots of employers will prefer candidates who have completed an intermediate apprenticeship in an appropriate field. For this, you should have the required number of GSCEs and the according grades. Note that Maths will be one of the required GCSE subjects.

Gaining Experience

You will gain your first experience during your first delivery. Considering it is your first job, it is quite likely that not everything will go according to your plan. This is not a big deal since those hiccups enable you to learn and improve. With time, you have gained sufficient experience and insights to avoid your beginner’s stumbles and to excel as a delivery driver.

Continuous Learning

Being willing to learn new things is part of your job as a delivery driver. There will always be new updates on safety measures, and new routes that might make your delivery journeys shorter and more time-efficient. These are only two examples that require continuous learning as a delivery driver. Your learning curve should also encompass relevant delivery and organisational software and apps that are vital for your profession.

A Day in the Life of a Delivery Driver

Your job title tells you a lot about your daily working life. Yes, you will spend a lot of time on the road, bringing parcels and other deliveries from one place to another. But driving and delivering are not the only things that shape the working day of a delivery driver. Let’s take a look at what else happens in the day of a delivery driver.

Review Orders

Reviewing your day’s orders is an important organisational step before you get into your delivery vehicle. Review which order(s) need(s) to go where and which of these orders are more or less in the same postcode. Also, check that you have all the day’s orders ready to be loaded into your delivery vehicle. All done? Then let’s go to the next part of your day as a delivery driver.

Pre-Trip Inspections

Before you get into your vehicle and start it, you need to make sure that it is in working order. Do all the electronics work? Are the tyres shipshape? Do you have enough petrol for all your delivery journeys? Ensuring a full tank and the safety of your vehicle is another important part of your daily responsibilities as a delivery driver.

Prepare Reports

When you are done with your deliveries, all that is left is the preparation of reports. These reports detail which deliveries you have made and to whom. Your reports will also include possible issues, such as breakages, complaints and the inability to deliver a parcel. Your reports also should detail the state of your delivery vehicle and if there are things due for maintenance and inspection.

Tips for Thriving as a Delivery Driver

You have soaked up all the information we have given you so far? Then you will definitely also be interested in valuable tips for thriving as a delivery driver. After all, you want to be a brilliant delivery driver, do you not? Let’s take a look, then, at three important ways to ensure thriving as a delivery driver:

  • Staying organised
  • Efficient route planning
  • Working on your customer service

Staying Organised

Being and staying organised is important if you want to thrive as a delivery driver. Excellent organisational skills will ensure that you are always on top of all your deliveries and all the paperwork connected to them. Being organised also improves your professional image. This way, both your employer and your customers know that you are reliable and that you can be trusted with their orders.

Efficient Route Planning

Since you spend a lot of time on the road, you should always plan the most efficient routes. This involves checking possible road works, traffic jams and alternatives to jammed roads. You should also plan the shortest routes possible. This way, you can contribute to your arriving on time. This way, you are also fuel- and cost-efficient.

Working on your Customer Service

No recipient appreciates a parcel being dumped in front of their house since this increases the risk of an order getting lost. Customers also do not appreciate rude and unfriendly delivery drivers. Being friendly, empathetic and polite are requirements for a good and professional delivery driver. Continuously working on your customer service skills is therefore an important tip to thrive in this profession.

Other jobs that are similar and might also interest you:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a delivery driver earn?

In the UK, full-time delivery drivers get paid between £32,100 and £35,200 per year. Besides the number of weekly working hours, a delivery driver’s annual salary is influenced by the location, the employer, the company size and the level of work experience.

What qualifications do I need to become a delivery driver?

There is no mandatory educational background to become a delivery driver. You can do an intermediate apprenticeship, for example as an express delivery operative. Even though this qualification is not a must-have, it can be beneficial for you when applying for your first job as a delivery driver. What you must have, however, is a full clean driving licence. You should also be familiar with delivery-relevant software and apps.

What is the job of a delivery driver? 

The job of a delivery driver is to deliver goods and orders to various end customers. These can include private persons and companies. The job of a delivery driver can be loading and unloading a delivery vehicle. One of the requirements of a delivery driver is to ensure the safety of all parties involved. He or she also needs to be reliable and trustworthy and should have sufficient communication skills to deal with all kinds of customers.