Couriers and Postal Deliverers
Couriers and Postal Deliverers deliver small items such as documents, messages, mail and parcels.
sorting and sequencing items for delivery
delivering mail, parcels, documents and other items to customers' premises and mailboxes
receiving orders for deliveries from customers
collecting signatures and charges for cash-on-delivery orders
issuing and collecting receipts for pick-up and delivery items
keeping records of items received and delivered
maintaining walk books, directories, mail counts, equipment maintenance logs and other delivery records
loading and unloading mail conveyances and internal mail handling equipment
assisting with receipting inward mail, checking wrongly addressed, missorted, undelivered and redirected mail, and processing freepost and underpaid mail
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 73% of people employed as Couriers and Postal Deliverers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 7 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 45 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,237 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,126
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,357
Median hourly earnings are $31, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Couriers and Postal Deliverers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Couriers and Postal Deliverers work in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Couriers and Postal Deliverers||All Jobs Average|
Around 62% of Couriers and Postal Deliverers live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Couriers and Postal Deliverers is 49 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 17% of the workforce. This is 31 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Couriers and Postal Deliverers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||7.7||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Courier or Postal Deliverer. Some workers have a certificate I or II in driving operations.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Couriers and Postal Deliverers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||2.5||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||26.2||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Couriers and Postal Deliverers who are reliable, have good people skills and who can work independently.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Reading work related information.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Talking to others.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Looking for ways to help people.
34%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
34%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
32%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Using maths to solve problems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
29%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
51%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
31%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
28%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
26%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
25%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
24%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
20%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
19%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
18%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
17%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
13%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
10%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
See details that are far away.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
66%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
58%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
55%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
53%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
52%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
51%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
50%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
49%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
47%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
46%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
46%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
45%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
44%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
44%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
44%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
42%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
42%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
42%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
36%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
31%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Talk on the telephone.
96%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Work to strict deadlines.
94%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Use electronic mail.
85%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
83%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work with people in a group or team.
81%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
79%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
78%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
76%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
74%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
73%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
73%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
70%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
70%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
69%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-5021.00 - Couriers and Messengers.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.