It should come as no surprise that lab couriers deliver laboratory materials, but these workers aren't driving mail trucks on a regular route -- lab couriers deliver specimens, documents, equipment and supplies specifically to processing and testing sites. Most spend their days in and out of health care environments such as hospitals, doctor's offices or medical centers. Day-to-day, this fast-paced job offers a lot of independence and plenty of variety.
Lab couriers spend a lot of time behind the wheel as they pick up items and make deliveries. These pros are often responsible for the transport of biohazardous materials and specimens, some of which have to be delivered in special packaging or under specific temperature conditions. In some cases, lab couriers are tasked with keeping track of inventory and supplies at medical sites, which includes monitoring and restocking items on-site.
Organizational and Administrative Duties
For each pickup and delivery, couriers make a log according to their employer's policies. Depending on the employer's system, these logs can be physical, digital or both. Likewise, couriers calculate supply costs and order volumes when restocking laboratory and medical supplies. Some lab couriers work at one location, such as a large hospital. These couriers often pull double duty as lab assistants, handling tasks such as data input, answering phones, delivering messages and processing specimens.
Some lab couriers also act as representatives for medical supply companies. These couriers take on the added responsibilities of acting as customer service reps while they make their deliveries. A courier isn't much without her wheels, so it's typically her job to arrange for the maintenance of her vehicle. On occasion, lab couriers have to take part in additional training or initiatives provided by their employers.
Qualifications and Skills
Despite a long list of responsibilities, working as a lab courier is usually an entry-level position. Most employers only require a high school diploma and a driver's license. If you want to tackle this gig, you'll need strong customer service skills, the ability to work unsupervised and a solid sense of timeliness. Also, it doesn't hurt to be a great driver who can lift at least 20 pounds.
Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.