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Become A Postal Mail Carrier

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Working As A Postal Mail Carrier

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $68,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Postal Mail Carrier Do

Postal service workers sell postal products and collect, sort, and deliver mail. 

Duties

Postal service workers typically do the following:

  • Collect letters and parcels
  • Sort incoming letters and parcels
  • Sell stamps and other postal products
  • Get customer signatures for registered, certified, and insured mail
  • Operate various types of postal equipment
  • Distribute incoming mail from postal trucks

Postal service workers receive and process mail for delivery to homes, businesses, and post office boxes. Workers are classified based on the type of work they perform.

The following are examples of types of Postal Service workers:

Postal service mail carriers deliver mail to homes and businesses in cities, towns, and rural areas. Most travel established routes, delivering and collecting mail. Carriers cover their routes by foot, vehicle, or a combination of both. Some mail carriers collect money for postage due. Others, particularly in rural areas, sell postal products, such as stamps and money orders. All carriers must be able to answer customers’ questions about postal regulations and services and, upon request, provide change-of-address cards and other postal forms. 

Postal service clerks sell stamps, money orders, postal stationery, mailing envelopes, and boxes in post offices throughout the country. These workers register, certify, and insure mail, calculate and collect postage, and answer questions about other postal matters. They also may help sort mail.

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution at post offices and mail processing centers. They load and unload postal trucks and move mail around processing centers. They also operate and adjust mail processing and sorting machinery.

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How To Become A Postal Mail Carrier

A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become a postal service worker. All applicants for these jobs must take a written exam. 

Education

Although there is no specific postsecondary education requirement to become a postal service worker, all applicants must have a good command of English.

Postal service mail carriers must be at least 18 years old. They must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident-alien status. Males must have registered with the Selective Service when they reached age 18.

All applicants must pass a written exam that measures speed and accuracy at checking names and numbers and the ability to memorize mail distribution procedures. Jobseekers should contact the post office or mail processing center where they want to work to find out when exams are given.

When accepted, applicants must undergo a criminal background check and pass a physical exam and a drug test. Applicants also may be asked to show that they can lift and handle heavy mail sacks. Mail carriers who drive at work must have a safe driving record, and applicants must receive a passing grade on a road test.

Training

Newly hired postal service workers receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting less than 1 month. Those who have a mail route may initially work alongside an experienced carrier.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Postal service workers, particularly clerks, regularly interact with customers. As a result, they must be courteous and tactful and provide good client service. 

Physical stamina. Postal service workers, particularly carriers, must be able to stand or walk for long periods.

Physical strength. Postal service workers must be able to lift heavy mail bags and parcels without injuring themselves.

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Postal Mail Carrier Typical Career Paths

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Top Skills for A Postal Mail Carrier

  1. Delivery Sequence
  2. Deliver Packages
  3. Heavy Parcels
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Set up route, arrange mail in delivery sequence and accurately deliver mail.
  • Sorted mail for delivery and arranged in delivery sequence for delivery to residences/businesses along specified routes.
  • Delivered mail to residences and business establishments along specified routes.
  • Provided excellent customer service skills and demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Deliver mail to residences and business establishments along specified routes by driving and walking, using a combination of small trucks.

Postal Mail Carrier Demographics

Gender

Male

51.4%

Female

36.8%

Unknown

11.9%
Ethnicity

White

61.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

13.5%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Uyghur

16.7%

Chinese

16.7%

Turkish

16.7%

Carrier

16.7%

Dutch

16.7%

Mandarin

16.7%
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Postal Mail Carrier Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.8%

Community College of the Air Force

10.3%

Miami Dade College

7.7%

Chaffey College

5.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.1%

Columbus State Community College

5.1%

Technical College of the Lowcountry

5.1%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

5.1%

Houston Community College

5.1%

Benedict College

5.1%

Old Dominion University

5.1%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

5.1%

Bay Path College

5.1%

Pima Community College

2.6%

Springfield Technical Community College

2.6%

Central Georgia Technical College

2.6%

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

2.6%

ECPI University

2.6%

Alabama Southern Community College

2.6%

University of the District of Columbia

2.6%
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Majors

Business

33.7%

Criminal Justice

7.6%

Psychology

6.5%

Health Care Administration

6.5%

General Studies

5.4%

Biology

4.3%

Nursing

4.3%

Computer Information Systems

3.3%

Accounting

3.3%

Computer Science

3.3%

Pharmacy

2.2%

Management Information Systems

2.2%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

2.2%

Finance

2.2%

Interior Design

2.2%

Medical Assisting Services

2.2%

Computer Applications

2.2%

Computer Networking

2.2%

Supply Chain Management

2.2%

Automotive Technology

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

37.4%

Bachelors

28.1%

Associate

20.9%

Certificate

7.9%

Diploma

2.2%

Masters

1.4%

Doctorate

1.4%

License

0.7%
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