You’ve probably seen a newspaper (or Craigslist) ad for process server jobs that looked something like this:
Process Server Jobs
Hiring now! Must have reliable car and iPhone or Android cell phone with unlimited data. $20 fee for background check and four-hour orientation class. Make $12-$15 per serve. Good process servers make $200+ daily.
I see ads like this posted every few weeks, and I can’t help but laugh. Here’s what they’re not telling you:
- To make $200 per day, you’d have to serve 14 papers at $15 per serve. Even under the best conditions, you’re looking at a 14-20 hour workday. Imagine traffic.
- Now take that $200 you made and subtract the gas you burned running all over town, your insurance premiums, the wear and tear on your car, not to mention food or coffee or energy drinks. How much is left?
- Here’s where it gets worse: Most process server jobs—minus a handful of government positions—will consider you an independent contractor. That means you have to withhold and file your own taxes. And you can forget about getting any benefits.
I don’t mean to discourage you. It’s just that many of these paper-mill process server jobs exploit their employees for a short-term gain. When it’s all said and done, you’re making about $7 an hour, sometimes less.
Now imagine working for yourself and billing the client directly—without the middle man—charging a very reasonable fee of $35-$45 per serve. You’d only have to serve 5-6 papers a day to gross $200. That’s a lot better than hustling for the other guy, right?
It all comes down to how you want to use your time.
And if you think you can’t get clients, you’re wrong. I started with absolutely nothing and went around handing business cards out to everyone I knew. A week later my first client called, then another. I built a simple website, and it wasn’t long before I was serving multiple papers a day.
Being successful in this business is about getting out there and making things happen. There’s no boss to tell you what to do. You gotta be the boss, each and every day.