Skip Navigation Determining Interests
Job Descriptions

Mail Carrier

Mail carriers are also known as postal delivery officers, letter carriers, mailmen/mailwomen, or postmen/postwomen. They work for their local postal outlets delivering mail to residences and businesses.  If you are a mail carrier, you will have some clearly defined and repetitive tasks (e.g., sorting through mail and delivering mail).

Education

This job will require a high school diploma and/or a GED certificate.
In addition, postal outlets require the following:

  • That you pass a written test and/or a computer-based test. You will need to contact your local postal outlet to find out more information.
  • A pre-placement physical abilities test such as a vision test, and drug screen.
  • A road test (requiring a valid state driver’s license and safe driving record).

Previous Experience

Previous experience doing similar work (e.g., delivering newspapers or flyers) may be preferred. Although many employers prefer that you have previous experience in the same or similar area of employment setting, it is strongly encouraged that you apply if you have the required education and skills.

Job Duties

  • Arrange mail for delivery at a postal outlet.
  • Deliver mail via postal truck (driving) or on foot (walking) by traveling established routes.
  • Carry mail in a satchel (if delivering mail by foot).
  • Place mail such as letters, packages, and parcels in residential mailboxes or deliver to lobbies or mailrooms of large office buildings.
  • Collect mail that is left in outgoing mailboxes.
  • Return to postal outlet and deliver outgoing mail or undeliverable mail.
  • Your employer may also ask you to carry out additional duties than those listed here.

What’s Your Scene?

This job requires that you are able to work ‘Behind the Scene’. If you are working as a mail carrier, you will not be working with the public on a regular basis, however there will be occasions where you encounter customers.  You may be required to speak with and interact with co-workers (e.g., mailroom clerks) or take direction from supervisors.

Skills / Abilities

Reading Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to read, and follow written instructions and ideas.

Oral Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to understand and follow verbal instructions and ideas.

Manual Dexterity - This job requires the repeated and coordinated use of your arms, hands, wrists, and fingers to sort and deliver mail.

Number and Alphabet Visual Discrimination - The ability to recognize sequences of letters and numbers.

Environmental Demands

Location - Most often you will be working outdoors. This means that you will be exposed to all types of weather (e.g., sun, snow, sleet, and rain).

Lighting Level - You will usually be exposed to natural lighting (e.g., sunlight).

Noise Level - The noise level will usually be low to moderate. If you are delivering mail, you will usually be by yourself.

Work Hours - This job may have part-time or full-time hours. You may have to start work very early in the morning (e.g., 6 am), however, mail carriers typically do not work past 5pm.You will need to check with your supervisor for the schedule.

Amount of Movement - This job typically requires that you stand and walk. You will need to be able to sit, stand, walk, lift, and carry items for this job. For example, you may need to walk from house to house carrying a heavy mail satchel for quite a few blocks.

Cleanliness and Odors - This job setting is generally clean although if you are working outdoors, you may be exposed to the weather elements. You will also want to make sure you keep any work areas (e.g., postal truck) neat and tidy.

Work Attire - Work attire will typically be a uniform.

Structure and Predictability - This job will typically have a higher degree of structure and predictability.  This means that you will usually complete the same tasks each day and you may be able to complete these tasks in the same order each day (e.g., delivering mail along the same travel route).  You will probably know how long each task should take you to complete.  You may work in the same area each day, and you will probably interact with the same people each day.

What's the Pace?

    • Steady:  In most cases, the work pace will be steady, which means that you will always have some work to do.  When the work pace is steady, you are working at a level “5” on a scale of “1” (nothing to do) to “10” (extremely busy, rushed pace).

 
Have you taken our Interests Quiz? You can take this quiz to get suggestions about jobs that may match your general interests.