Last Updated on January 17, 2023
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how to become a mail man
How to Become a Mail Carrier – Job Description, Requirements & Salary
Always wanted to be bring people their mail? Read on to learn about the education requirements, the job duties, the median wages and the job description of a postal service mail carrier.View Schools
Career Information at a Glance
Mail carriers sort incoming letters and packages and deliver them to the customers on their route. They’ll also pick up parcels and letters from customers and take them to the local postal processing center to be sent on their way. Postal service mail carriers do not need a college degree; a high school diploma is sufficient. For a quick overview of the career, see the table below.
|Degree Required||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Training Required||On-the-job training|
|Key Skills||Customer service, physical fitness|
|Job Growth (2020-2030)||-9%*|
|Median Salary (2020)||$51,080 per year*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Do Mail Carriers Do?
Postal service mail carriers handle incoming mail and make sure it’s sorted properly before delivering it to homes and business in the area, usually on a predetermined route. They’ll get signatures for mail that requires it, collect outgoing mail and drop it off at the local processing center. They may complete their route by vehicle, on foot or some combination of the two. Some carriers in rural areas also sell stamps and other mailing supplies.
How Do You Become a Mail Carrier?
According to the United States Postal Service, applicants for a mail carrier position must be 18 years of age, have a high school diploma and be registered for selective service (where applicable). The USPS will do a background check, a medical assessment and a drug screening, along with a check of the candidate’s driving record. If you meet all of these requirements, you’ll be eligible to take the USPS’s test 473.
What is Test 473 for Mail Carriers?
Anyone applying for a mail carrier position with the USPS will be required to take Test 473. Test 473 covers a range of topics that a mail carrier would need to know to carry out their job. That includes checking addresses, completing forms, memory and some personal questions about how the candidate would handle the day-to-day responsibilities of a mail carrier. The postal service requires a minimum score of 70 on Test 473. Failing it will remove you from consideration from the position, while a passing score will move you further along in the hiring process.
How Much Do Mail Carriers Make?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for a postal service mail carrier in May 2020 was $51,080. This field has a wide salary range though, with most carriers earning between $38,060 and $66,900.
Being A Mailman: 25 Pros And Cons
A person who delivers mail is called a Mailman. Mailman typically works on urban and rural routes.
Mailmen usually drive distinctive white vans with the logo of the postal department on the side and deliver to the curbside and building affixed mailboxes.
Mailman may also accommodate alternate delivery points if extreme physical hardship is confirmed.
|Advantages of being a Mailman||Disadvantages of being a Mailman|
|Get plenty of fresh air||One needs to stay fit as a mailman|
|Work independently||Tasks will be carried out by machines|
|Do not have stress||Low social standing|
|Have free weekends||Difficult to start own company|
|Not many extra hours||Dogs may bark at|
|Good work-life balance||Will have to work outdoors|
|Do not have to sit in an office all day long||Mailmen suffer from old-age poverty|
|Does not need a college degree||Become boring in the long run|
|Difficult to change jobs|
Advantages Of Being A Mailman
Get Plenty Of Fresh Air
Being a mailman one can get plenty of fresh air during work. Most postmen use bicycles to do their work as it is faster to get from one house to the other and also cheaper compared to using a car.
It also implies that one will be outdoors all day long while most other people have to work in rather artificial environments and can’t wait until their workday is over.
A mailman has the privilege to work in a rather independent manner. One has plenty of freedom regarding how one wants to structure their day and when to do their work.
It is not true for many other jobs in which the boss will supervise all day long and will always look over the shoulder.
Do Not Have Stress
A mailman does not have plenty of stress as many other people do at work. In turn, one will have a rather relaxed workday since he will not have that much time pressure and can just bring letters to every door in their neighborhood.
Have Free Weekends
By working as a letter carrier, one will also be able to enjoy many free weekends. Most postmen do not have to work on Saturdays and almost no postman has to work on Sundays.
It implies that one will have many weekends that one can spend with their family and friends.
Not Many Extra Hours
Mailmen are not known for making that many extra hours. Moreover, one will still not feel overworked and will still have enough leisure to relax and to reload their batteries.
Good Work-Life Balance
As they will have many free weekends and holidays and also do not have to work many extra hours, they will have a pretty good work-life balance in general as a mailman.
Mailmen do not have to work in the early morning or at night time and this further improves the quality of life
Do Not Have To Sit In An Office All Day Long
A benefit of becoming a mailman is that one can also avoid working in a classical office job. Mailmen do not have to sit in front of a computer screen for many hours a day and can enjoy their time outdoors instead of as a postman.
Does Not Need A College Degree
One does not need any degree for becoming a mailman. One just needs to finish high school and he will be suitable for a career as a mail carrier.
This means that one can save plenty of time and money that many other people have to spend on college degrees to get their dream job.
Disadvantages Of Being A Mailman
One Needs To Stay Fit As A Mailman
Since working as a mailman also implies some physical work since one will often have to get around by bike, one also has to make sure to stay fit and healthy.
Tasks Will Be Carried Out By Machines
Because of our technological progress and the invention of artificial intelligence and machine learning, chances are that many jobs will be outsourced to machines in the near future.
It implies that many jobs in the postal industry will vanish and at some point in time, drones may just automatically bring letters to the balcony or mailbox and postal carriers may no longer be needed.
Low Social Standing
Though postal workers are pretty important to keep our system running, yet they are still not greatly appreciated by many people in society.
People will often talk bad behind their back and even their own family might not understand why one wants to become a mailman.
The society also doesn’t give that respect to the person who is in this profession, thus it will be difficult for a postman to represent himself in a good way.
Difficult To Start Own Company
A problem with being a postman is that one will not be able to work for himself. One will not be able to start own postal service and will have to work as an employee forever. It will always be difficult for a postman to do something new or any innovative work.
Dogs May Bark At
Working as a mailman can also be difficult for one in case you are afraid of dogs. Mailman meets many dogs during their career that will bark at them and will not like them at all. Many of them really look aggressive and intimidating and one should make sure that they are able to handle those situations in a calm but yet effective manner.
Will Have To Work Outdoors
A downside of becoming a mailman is that one has to work under extreme conditions outdoors.
Though it can be nice to work as a postman on nice days, the opposite can be true when it is very hot, raining, or snowing outdoors. As people will still need to get their letters, one will have to work outside.
Mailmen Suffer From Old-Age Poverty
Since one will not make that much money as a mailman, he will suffer from old-age poverty. Mailmen, who don’t know how to save and invest money, will no longer be able to pay rent and other basic expenses once they retire.
Become Boring In The Long Run
Most mailmen get bored with what they are doing in the long run. As they have to do the same work daily and sometimes they have to deliver in the same colony repeatedly. After a while, because of the monotonous nature, a lack of motivation will often be left.
Difficult To Change Jobs
A disadvantage of becoming a postal carrier is that one will also have serious difficulties changing jobs.
Especially if one becomes a postman right after high school and doesn’t have any other qualifications, chances are that he will just get stuck in the postal industry since he will simply lack the skills that are necessary for working in a different field.