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Become A Rural Carrier Associate

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Working As A Rural Carrier Associate

  • 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

  • $225,735

    Average Salary

What Does A Rural Carrier Associate 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 Rural Carrier Associate

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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Rural Carrier Associate Videos

A Day In The Life of a Mail Carrier

USPS RCA: Rural Carrier Associate

Training for Rural Carrier

Rural Carrier Associate Jobs

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Rural Carrier Associate Typical Career Paths

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Rural Carrier Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

62.2%

Male

36.3%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

65.2%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.3%

Carrier

12.1%

French

5.6%

Hindi

4.8%

Portuguese

2.4%

Russian

2.4%

Gujarati

1.6%

German

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Swedish

0.8%

Chinese

0.8%

Romanian

0.8%

Albanian

0.8%

Braille

0.8%

Japanese

0.8%

Mandarin

0.8%

Malayalam

0.8%

Korean

0.8%
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Rural Carrier Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

28.4%

Kaplan University

8.4%

Liberty University

7.8%

Strayer University

6.6%

Ashford University

5.3%

Troy University

4.1%

Saint Leo University

3.8%

Sam Houston State University

3.1%

Hinds Community College

3.1%

Houston Community College

2.8%

Ashworth College

2.8%

Columbia Southern University

2.8%

Southern University and A & M College

2.8%

American InterContinental University

2.8%

A-Technical College

2.8%

Alabama State University

2.5%

Oklahoma State University

2.5%

University of Maine

2.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.5%

Michigan State University

2.5%
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Majors

Business

26.0%

Criminal Justice

10.1%

Health Care Administration

6.5%

Nursing

6.5%

General Studies

6.2%

Accounting

5.7%

Medical Assisting Services

5.2%

Psychology

4.9%

Computer Science

4.1%

Management

3.0%

Nursing Assistants

2.9%

Computer Information Systems

2.5%

Medical Technician

2.5%

Education

2.4%

Cosmetology

2.0%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Information Technology

2.0%

Electrical Engineering

2.0%

Pharmacy

1.9%

Communication

1.8%
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Degrees

Other

36.4%

Bachelors

27.1%

Associate

19.1%

Certificate

7.5%

Masters

5.8%

Diploma

2.6%

License

1.2%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Rural Carrier Associate Videos

A Day In The Life of a Mail Carrier

USPS RCA: Rural Carrier Associate

Training for Rural Carrier

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Top Skills for A Rural Carrier Associate

  1. Delivery Instructions
  2. Sort
  3. Scan Packages
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Selected the most efficient routes in compliance with delivery instructions and fuel policy.
  • Sorted mail into delivery sequence, loaded mail and parcels into Postal truck or personal vehicle.
  • Scan packages at time of delivery as confirmation that item has been delivered.
  • Utilized assigned company vehicle or personal vehicle along assigned route for mail delivery.
  • Work directly with Customer Service managers to fulfill or provide alternatives for expedited orders or those requiring special attention.

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Top 10 Best States for Rural Carrier Associates

  1. Alaska
  2. Nevada
  3. Delaware
  4. New Jersey
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Tennessee
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Connecticut
  9. Arizona
  10. Florida
  • (2 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)

Top Rural Carrier Associate Employers

Jobs From Top Rural Carrier Associate Employers

Rural Carrier Associate Videos

A Day In The Life of a Mail Carrier

USPS RCA: Rural Carrier Associate

Training for Rural Carrier

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