How to Become a

Laboratory or Medical Courier

The complete career guide to be a Laboratory or Medical Courier: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $29,130
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 5.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Laboratory or medical couriers pick up and deliver medical materials from doctors’ offices, hospitals, and laboratories. They may deliver packages containing a variety of blood, tissue, and other samples needed for laboratories to conduct tests used to evaluate patients’ health and other conditions.


What is a Laboratory or Medical Courier?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in laboratory or medical courier roles:

  • Drive around a delivery area, stopping at various doctor’s offices, hospitals, and laboratories to pick up and deliver medical supplies, samples, and pharmaceuticals
  • Navigate through a variety of traffic patterns and drive in varying weather conditions
  • Operate a cell phone, scanner, and/or computer system to check in pickups and deliveries, and acquire needed signatures
  • Operate a GPS navigation system for efficiency in delivery routes

A Day in the Life

Laboratory and medical couriers are responsible for transporting medical samples, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment between different types of healthcare facilities, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, and laboratories. Many healthcare providers lack the specialized equipment needed in-office to conduct testing on samples taken from patients, so they contract the testing work out to medical laboratories. Laboratory and medical couriers pick these samples up and deliver them to the appropriate laboratories.

Often, the samples being collected and delivered by a medical courier are crucial for a patient’s health, so attention to detail and organizational skills are crucial. Laboratory and medical couriers must ensure that samples are properly cared for during transport and delivered to the correct facility. They must also be careful and skilled drivers—accidents can be detrimental for any samples or equipment being transported because they could be destroyed in even a minor accident.

Laboratory and medical couriers may receive their schedule of deliveries upon arrival at work each day or in a dispatch method, or they many have a circuit that they follow regularly. When picking up and delivering samples and equipment, couriers must scan or check in the receivable, mark packages as delivered, and obtain signatures from the individuals accepting deliveries. This allows the lab courier to keep thorough records of what was picked up and delivered from and to each facility every day.

Typical Work Schedule

Most laboratory and medical courier positions are full-time jobs, and most jobs are conducted during normal business hours. Because couriers are most often carrying medical samples and supplies between facilities that operate during normal business hours, they typically work day shift schedules and weekdays. However, shifts and days required may vary based on employer.

Typical Employers

Laboratory or medical couriers may be hired by a variety of employers. They may work for medical laboratories, hospitals, large doctor’s offices, or medical research facilities. Additionally, many also work for laboratory courier services that are contracted for courier work by healthcare facilities.


How To Become a Laboratory or Medical Courier

A high school diploma is a sufficient level of education for most laboratory or medical courier positions. A clean driving record is important, as well as a potential courier’s reliability and ability to stay organized. Employers may look for couriers who have experience in other delivery roles to establish a functional knowledge of navigating the area, or they may look for individuals with prior professional healthcare experience to ensure that candidates understand how to care for and transport samples.

For individuals without prior professional healthcare experience, a certificate focused on healthcare from a community, technical, or vocational college could be useful when applying for open medical courier positions. Laboratory couriers are required to transport bodily fluids and other potentially hazardous materials, and medical certificate programs can ensure aspiring couriers are trained in properly—and safely—handling and transporting these materials.

Individuals who transport pharmaceuticals as part of their role as a laboratory or medical courier may also need to undergo background checks and receive security clearance. Because pharmaceuticals may include controlled substances, it’s critical that couriers are trustworthy, and prior drug or trafficking charges will make it highly unlikely that couriers will be hired to transport pharmaceuticals.


Laboratory or Medical Courier Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$21,670

Average

$29,130

High Range

$43,740

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$10/hr

Average

$14/hr

High Range

$21/hr

How do Laboratory or Medical Courier salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Laboratory or Medical Courier's can make an average annual salary of $29,130, or $14 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $21,670 or $10 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #716 Nationally for All Careers


Highest Education Among Laboratory or Medical Couriers

  • 0.3%   Doctorate
  • 1.6%   Masters
  • 11.5%   Bachelors
  • 10%   Associates
  • 32.2%   College
  • 36.8%   High School
  • 7.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

92,900

2024 Est. Jobs

97,700

Job Growth Rate

5.2%

Est. New Jobs

4,800

How does Laboratory or Medical Courier job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 4,800 jobs for a total of 97,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 5.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #429 Nationally for All Careers


What Companies Employ The Most Laboratory or Medical Couriers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 18,200 -600 -1%
Local messengers and local delivery 10,300 400 0%
Medical and diagnostic laboratories 9,600 3,300 3%

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