The mail carrier job description calls for an individual who is willing to work out in the elements to deliver letters, parcels and more to consumers and businesses. This individual works directly for the United States Postal Service and may be called upon to run urban or rural mail routes.
The mail carrier is responsible for delivering various types of letters, certified mail, parcels and packages to home and business owners either on foot or via mail truck.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Mail Carrier
- Delivers mail in all its forms to homes and businesses in cities, towns and rural areas.
- Travels a directed route to deliver mail and collect mail that consumers and businesses want to send.
- Covers a route on foot, by vehicle or by a combination of the two.
- Collects money for postage and COD or Cash-On-Delivery orders.
- Sells products like stamps and money orders, especially in rural areas.
- Answers customer questions regarding the postal service and regulations.
- Provides change-of-address cards and information upon consumer request.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Displays excellent oral communication skills for speaking directly with the public, providing information and selling products and services.
- Exhibits professionalism and a strong work ethic for ensuring that mail gets delivered on time and in a friendly, courteous manner.
- Shows strong organizational skills for making routes as efficient and quick as possible.
- Can use and understand various documents, particularly when it comes to understanding when a signature is necessary or when cash should be collected upon delivery.
- Demonstrates the ability to work long hours in all kinds of weather, stand on his or her feet and walk many miles per day regularly.
- Displays the ability to perform and work well with very limited supervision.
Education and Experience
There are no education requirements outside of a high school diploma or GED in order to become a mail carrier, but there is a very specific set of guidelines. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and they must complete a training course in regard to memorizing names and numbers, mail carrying and handling procedures, and proficiency in memorizing street names and addresses. Individuals must also possess a valid driver’s license and have a clean driving record.
A mail carrier works mostly outdoors in various types of climates. They face hazards of all types including weather-related and environmental, but the job itself is not incredibly dangerous. These individuals must be able to lift 50 pounds regularly, so injuries from repetitive lifting are common. A mail carrier will often walk 20 or more miles during the day in the course of delivering letters and packages, but many urban mail carriers do not have to leave their mail trucks unless they need a signature or cash on delivery.
The average mail carrier salary in the United States is $53,860 per year. The exact amount of money a mail carrier earns depends on factors such as location, amount of education, amount of experience and proficiency at the job. Mail carriers who work within large office buildings rather than the postal service tend to earn less at an average of about $30,000 per year.