Postal Service Mail Carriers
SOC: 43-5052.00


Sort mail for delivery. Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
297,400 employed

Projected (2024):
219,400 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Carrier
  • Carrier Associate
  • Carrier Driver
  • City Letter Carrier
  • City Mail Carrier
  • Clerk Carrier
  • Collector
  • Delivery and Mail Sorter
  • Letter Carrier
  • Letter Carrier Technician
  • Mail Carrier
  • Mail Carrier and Clerk
  • Mail Carrier Technician
  • Mail Deliverer
  • Mail Messenger
  • Mail Rider
  • Mail Sorter and Delivery
  • Mailman
  • Parcel Post Carrier
  • Parcel Post Delivery
  • Postal Carrier
  • Postal Mail Carrier
  • Postman
  • Registered Route Associate
  • Route Carrier
  • Rural Carrier Associate (RCA)
  • Rural Letter Carrier
  • Rural Mail Carrier
  • Rural Route Carrier
  • Rural Route Mail Carrier
  • Special Delivery Mail Carrier
  • Special Delivery Messenger
  • USPS Letter Carrier (United States Postal Service Letter Carrier)

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Obtain signed receipts for registered, certified, and insured mail, collect associated charges, and complete any necessary paperwork.
  • Sort mail for delivery, arranging it in delivery sequence.
  • Deliver mail to residences and business establishments along specified routes by walking or driving, using a combination of satchels, carts, cars, and small trucks.
  • Return to the post office with mail collected from homes, businesses, and public mailboxes.
  • Turn in money and receipts collected along mail routes.
  • Sign for cash-on-delivery and registered mail before leaving the post office.
  • Record address changes and redirect mail for those addresses.
  • Hold mail for customers who are away from delivery locations.
  • Bundle mail in preparation for delivery or transportation to relay boxes.
  • Leave notices telling patrons where to collect mail that could not be delivered.
  • Meet schedules for the collection and return of mail.
  • Return incorrectly addressed mail to senders.
  • Maintain accurate records of deliveries.
  • Answer customers' questions about postal services and regulations.
  • Provide customers with change of address cards and other forms.
  • Report any unusual circumstances concerning mail delivery, including the condition of street letter boxes.
  • Register, certify, and insure parcels and letters.
  • Travel to post offices to pick up the mail for routes or pick up mail from postal relay boxes.
  • Enter change of address orders into computers that process forwarding address stickers.
  • Complete forms that notify publishers of address changes.
  • Sell stamps and money orders.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Delivery unit computers
  • Handheld computers
  • Mail distribution cases
  • Mail relay boxes
  • Mail sorting trays
  • Passenger vehicles
  • Portable barcode scanners
  • Postal vehicle tire chains
  • Route cases
  • Small trucks
  • Time clocks
  • Wheeled carts
  • Address Management System AMS
  • Automated Data Collection System ADCS
  • Delivery operations information system DOIS
  • Delivery Routing System DRS
  • Electronic Time Clock ETC
  • End of Run Report EOR
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Time and Attendance Collection System TACS

  • office and administrative support

    industry stats

    SOC: 43-0000

    Total Employed: 21,846,420

    Average Annual Salary: $36,330