If you’re here, you’ve probably heard about medical couriers and are interested in becoming one.
Those specialized delivery couriers handle essential items that save lives, making it a noble job.
But you may not know where to start. Or maybe you are overwhelmed by all those online guides, with each one seemingly having an extra piece of information over the other.
Luckily, you’ll find everything there is to know about the matter in this guide. So if you want to know how to become a medical courier, then read on.
- An Overview of Medical Couriers: A Primer
- What You’ll Need to Become a Medical Courier [& Associated Costs]
- Is it Hard to Become a Medical Courier?
- How to Become a Medical Courier in 6 Simple Steps
- Reasons to Consider Becoming a Medical Courier
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Similar Gigs to Check Out
- Wrapping Up
An Overview of Medical Couriers: A Primer
A medical courier is best described as a specialist responsible for safely and quickly transporting medical equipment from one place to another.
They could either be working as a freelance medical courier or for a medical courier company.
Among the institutions that utilize this medical delivery service are hospitals, labs, clinics, research centers, healthcare facilities, and pharmacies.
The medical supplies delivered could be anything from confidential documents, medical samples, lab specimens, and blood bags all the way to critical medicines, medical records, and even organs.
Because of the importance of such items, anyone working in the medical courier service should abide by the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the HIPAA regulations (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
Besides being responsible for the safety and confidentiality of delivered items, the medical courier must also ensure that everything arrives on schedule, as some deliveries could mean the difference between life and death.
How Much Do Medical Couriers Make?
Since most medical courier jobs are freelance jobs, it’s difficult to estimate an accurate average salary.
What You’ll Need to Become a Medical Courier [& Associated Costs]
Becoming a medical courier isn’t as difficult as many other jobs out there. However, there are still some basic requirements to acquire, such as:
- A registered vehicle: The most important requirement is arguably the vehicle the courier will be transporting medical items with. This vehicle needs to be less than 10 years old, and it should be inspected by the courier company.
- A valid driver’s license: Even a registered vehicle shouldn’t be driven without a valid driver’s license. Getting that is a must.
- A commercial driver’s license (optional): If the courier is dedicated to the job and willing to drive a medical courier van, they’ll have to acquire a commercial driver’s license. The criteria to get such a license will vary depending on the state, but they usually revolve around undergoing a medical exam, a written exam, and a driving test.
- A clean driving record: Since the safety of medical items is a priority, a driver with a history of accidents or multiple fines is a poor candidate for the job. Such drivers will have fewer chances of being accepted by courier companies.
- A background check: Not anyone can be entrusted to safely handle drugs, confidential documents, and, occasionally, organs. Accordingly, all applicants will have a background check before they get the job.
- Medical exams and immunizations: Not all physical conditions allow for consistent driving. Because of that, all applicants should undergo medical examinations and, if not already done, take all immunizations.
- OSHA, HIPAA, and Bloodborne Pathogen certifications (optional): Some establishments require their couriers to have these certifications before they can start working.
- Education: Most people who meet the previous criteria can apply and land the medical courier job. However, those with at least a high school diploma are more likely to get it.
- Physical Strength: Medical couriers are likely to deliver and lift heavy packages. The problem with medical supplies is that they’re often more fragile than other packages. Accordingly, the courier must be strong enough to prevent any fall damage.
How Much Does it Cost to Become a Medical Courier?
If the courier already owns an eligible vehicle and a driver’s license, the cost of becoming a medical courier is virtually nothing.
All they have to do is apply for the job and follow the requirements needed.
However, if they don’t own a vehicle, they should expect an average of $48,000 to buy a new one and around $110 a day to rent one.
Also, should the courier company require certifications, the applicant should expect to pay $29.99 for the HIPAA certificate and $60–$180 to acquire the OSHA card (depending on whether they get the OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 card).
Keep in mind that the aforementioned OSHA prices are for online training only. The in-person training costs around $250 for the 10-hour course and up to $600 for the 30-hour one.
Is it Hard to Become a Medical Courier?
The short answer is no. Becoming a medical courier isn’t hard as long as the applicant doesn’t have an unsatisfactory personal or driving history.
Once the vehicle passes the inspection and the applicant passes the background check and the medical examination, they’re good to go.
However, if the courier is applying for a reputable courier company that requires some certifications, then the difficulty of landing the job will depend on how hard it is to earn those certifications.
Unfortunately, this could take some time.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Medical Courier?
Sometimes, the applicant could instantly get the job within a week or two. The waiting time often comes if the company requires certifications.
For example, acquiring the HIPAA certificate may take up to 90 days to finish the training and acquire the certificate.
On the other hand, acquiring the OSHA card won’t take as long, as the longest course is only 30 hours. The problem lies in the cost of these courses, which could take some time to save up for.
How to Become a Medical Courier in 6 Simple Steps
Here is the entire process of becoming a medical courier in 6 simple steps:
Step 1: Get a Car and a Driver’s License
Unlike other delivery services, which can be done with bikes, scooters, and even bicycles, having a car is necessary here.
Many of the packages can be heavy and fragile, and the stability of a four-wheeled vehicle is a must in this case.
Step 2: Get a Commercial Driver’s License (Optional)
If the courier is to drive larger vehicles, then acquiring a CDL is a must. That license is also necessary if the courier will be transporting hazardous materials.
Step 3: Ensure That You Have a Clean History
While it’s difficult for someone to have a completely clean driving record, some strikes, like occasional parking and speeding fines, are a lot more tolerable than others.
If the applicant has a history of drunk driving and accidents, the chances of landing the job will be significantly lower.
Step 4: Acquire the Certifications
Some courier companies can accept applicants without any certifications, but reputable ones often ask applicants for HIPAA and OSHA certifications.
A certified medical courier has many more options available than a non-certified one.
Step 5: Participate in a Medical Courier Training Program (Optional)
Medical courier training programs can teach anyone to deliver medical supplies.
They’ll teach everything there is to know about the medical delivery business, how to handle medical packages, medical terminology, and how to organize your deliveries in a timely manner.
While they’re not as required as certifications, they can make life a lot easier.
Step 6: Apply for the Target Company
Once all the previous requirements are present, it’s time to apply for the target company. This step is self-explanatory, as the courier needs to provide all the required information and wait for their response.
Reasons to Consider Becoming a Medical Courier
Here’s why becoming a medical courier could be a good idea:
- Flexibility: Because of how flexible this job is, having it as a second job can provide a decent extra source of income. The ability to stop at any time is also a great bonus.
- Medical couriers are different: Medical specialty couriers aren’t like any other delivery courier. They have better education, better item handling, and better time management. This might even serve to improve the daily lives of these couriers after they take on the job responsibilities.
- The medical courier business is there to stay: After COVID-19, the courier business saw significant growth. In 2023 alone, there was almost a 10% increase in business growth. That’s over 450,000 couriers. Opportunities are growing.
- It’s good money: A flexible business with an average annual salary of $34,500 isn’t an opportunity to dismiss lightly, especially since some of the requirements, like having a car and a driver’s license, can be already there by default.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Become a Medical Courier Even if I Have a Bad Record?
It may reduce your chances, but it doesn’t automatically switch off your chances of becoming a medical courier, especially if you’ve maintained a clean record for a while.
Supplement your application with the required certifications to compensate for the bad record you had at one point.
Can I Become a Medical Courier as a Full-Time Job?
With an average monthly salary of $2,875, it’s possible to get a sustained living out of being a medical courier alone. However, deciding whether that is enough or not is up to you and your needs.
Similar Gigs to Check Out
Here are a few gigs to check out if you think becoming a medical courier isn’t for you:
- How to Become a Grubhub Driver: If you like the delivery business but don’t fancy transporting medical documents and critical items, why don’t you try Grubhub?
- How to Become a UPS Driver: If you have a van and handling multiple packages a day is no issue for you, consider driving for UPS.
The medical courier industry is quickly expanding, and many companies are hiring medical couriers.
Fortunately, by following this guide, you can join that industry, improve your income, and learn a lot more about medicine than before.
Plus, you’ll be making a difference in your community by potentially saving lives.
If you think this information is particularly valuable, let us know your thoughts in the comments.
And feel free to let others know by sharing it; who knows, you may be the reason behind someone landing a job.