How Can I Become an Independent Delivery Driver?

Explore the career requirements for independent delivery drivers. Get the facts about job training, key responsibilities, licensure, salary, and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

Independent delivery truck drivers transport various types of freight to both businesses and private homes. Because they work independently, they own their own business and usually their own truck. They also need a variety of skills. The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as an independent delivery driver.

Job TrainingPractical business courses highly recommended; truck driving classes for the inexperienced
LicensureCDL (commercial driver's license) may be required
Other RequirementsReliable truck; background check, drug test and clean driving record; company-specific requirements
Key ResponsibilitiesDelivering a variety of freight to assigned locations; loading and unloading transported goods if required; record-keeping and billing
Median Salary (2013) $29,170 for light truck or delivery service drivers*
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 5% for delivery truck drivers and drivers/sales workers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Requirements For This Career?

An independent delivery driver is also a business owner. This requires handling all aspects of your business, including taxes, budgets and legal matters. You may want to take some introductory business courses or enroll in a business administration bachelor's program to learn more about the responsibilities of business ownership.

Most independent drivers also own a delivery truck. You will need to meet your state's truck licensing, registration and insurance requirements. Depending on the kind of truck you have and the type of freight you carry, a commercial driver's license (CDL) in addition to a CDL endorsement could be necessary.

Enrolling in a truck driver training program might help you prepare for the CDL exam. These programs explore topics like techniques for truck maneuvering, special laws pertaining to heavy-truck operation and technical skills for truck drivers.

Some companies set additional requirements for their delivery service or contract drivers. A clean driving record and some delivery experience could be mandatory. You may also need to pass a criminal background check as well as a drug screening test.

What Are an Independent Truck Driver's Job Responsibilities?

You could be responsible for picking up and delivering various types of freight. You may specialize in delivering one type of freight, such as groceries or flowers; some drivers deliver different types of goods for multiple businesses. Job duties might include loading and unloading freight, using a map or mapping technology, managing schedules to ensure prompt deliveries and keeping delivery logs. In some cases, you may accept payments. You might make deliveries to businesses or customer's homes.

Job opportunities can be found with businesses of all sizes in almost every industry. You may work under contract to provide services for a specified period or work as needed.

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