What Do Postal Service Mail Carriers Do?
Mail Carriers are responsible for delivering mail to every household and business in the nation. Each carrier has their own individual route that covers anywhere from a few city blocks, to a hundred country miles. Some routes are completed by walking, while others require a vehicle. Carriers work outdoors and perform strenuous tasks in all seasons and weather conditions. They work alone and must be trustworthy and able to work independently.
Postal Service Mail Carriers Skills and Abilities
Mail carriers work with the public, providing an essential service to individuals and businesses. Good communication skills and attention to customer service are important in this job. Carriers are the every-day face of the Postal Service, and must always give courteous service. Understanding the mail system as a whole is essential in your providing effective assistance to clients. You must also be able to effectively manage your own time and work according to a schedule. If your route depends on a vehicle for completion, you must have good driving skills and a safe driving record.
Postal Service Mail Carriers Duties
You can expect to deliver mail as well as sort and pick up outgoing letters on a daily basis. You will be relied upon for accurate record keeping as you make scheduled stops along your route. Some of your record keeping duties may include:
- Arranging insurance coverage
- Maintaining financial or account records
- Obtaining written authorization before performing activities
- Preparing documentation relating to contracts or regulatory compliance
- Recording shipping information
Carriers often deliver time or content sensitive deliveries, such as certified or insured packages. Communicating with co-workers, superiors and subordinates will be an important part of your tasks, and will help keep you on schedule each day. Physical strength is required for this position, as you will be expected to lift, carry, stoop, balance and climb during your duties.
Postal Service Mail Carriers Tools and Technology
Postal Service Mail Carriers often use vehicles for transporting themselves and their deliveries. Those with walking routes use wheeled carts. Each type of carrier makes use of barcode scanners and portable data terminals to keep track of stops along their route and to ensure they are on schedule for their pickups and deliveries. Carriers use a variety of sorting equipment to keep mail organized throughout the day. You may also use some of the following computer software during the course of this position:
- Database query or address management software
- Time accounting software
- Delivery routing or map creation software
- Human resources software designed to collect time stamps and record working times
Education and Training for Postal Service Mail Carriers
In order to obtain a position as a Postal Service mail carrier, you must have a high school diploma. You will then be required to pass a civil service exam, drug test and physical exam to ensure you are able to perform the required duties. There is a short training period to learn the technology, routes and procedures once you are hired for this job.
Postal Service Mail Carriers Salary
For this position, the annual median salary across the nation is $57,200, which is the equivalent of $27.50 per hour. Although some make less than this, few make more. The top ten percent of wage earners in the category average $58,400, annually.
Postal Service Mail Carriers Jobs by Geography
There is a downward national trend in the availability of these careers. Although there are projected to be 10,270 annual available jobs, that is a 27% decrease. Tennessee, however, has a high demand for mail carriers, with a 22% increase predicted over the next ten years. California, Texas and New York employ the highest number of Postal Service mail carriers.