Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Here’s How to Start a Career as a Postal Carrier

In my expertise, america locations too nice an emphasis on getting a university schooling.

I do know a number of good pals who dropped out of school as a result of it was not for them, but they are going to be drowning in pupil mortgage funds for the following decade. Past my anecdotal proof, the newest knowledge from the Nationwide Heart for Training Statistics exhibits that the within the U.S., the common faculty commencement price is simply 59% — that implies that greater than 40% of scholars who enter faculty go away it with much less cash, but no diploma.

What I want each mum or dad, each trainer and each mentor would inform excessive schoolers is that there are nice jobs that don’t require a level — jobs that could be higher suited to college students’ strengths, and jobs they could discover extra fulfilling.

One of many coolest and most rewarding jobs you may get sans faculty diploma is that of a mail provider for america Postal Service (USPS). Mail carriers spend their days retrieving, sorting and delivering mail to properties and companies. The job is each bodily and mentally stimulating and part of one thing very large: The USPS is the second largest employer in america.

A postal profession additionally means you’re in good firm. A number of well-known individuals all through historical past have labored as postal carriers for the USPS, together with Walt Disney, William Faulkner and The Workplace’s Steve Carell.

Are You the Proper Match for a Mail Provider Place?

Bicycles mair carriers use when they are on their downtown route.
Being a mail provider doesn’t require a university diploma. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Earlier than making use of for a gap within the postal service, take a while to find out whether or not the job could be a superb match for you. Does the wage line up together with your life-style? Will you benefit from the day-to-day of being a mail provider? Do you could have the required abilities to excel?

What Mail Carriers Do and How A lot They Make

Mail carriers spend their days amassing mail for supply, sorting via mail and delivering mail to its closing vacation spot. Some staff within the postal service additionally handle the desks at publish workplaces, promoting stamps, companies and extra.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median wage of a postal employee at $56,790 as of Might 2016.

What Expertise You Will Want

At the beginning, mail carriers want sturdy consideration to element, as they’re accountable for delivering particular mail to particular individuals day by day. Mail carriers additionally should be morning individuals, as their days may begin as early as four a.m.

To ship mail on completely different routes, mail carriers depend on automobiles and their very own two ft. Meaning, as a mail provider, you should be a assured, law-abiding driver and in good bodily well being. Are you prepared to stroll a number of miles a day? Are you prepared to try this whatever the climate — within the sweltering warmth and the biting chilly, in rain, sleet, solar and snow?

In the event you possess these abilities, you might be a powerful candidate for a mail provider place.

The Rewards of Being a Mail Provider

A profession in america Postal Service is extra than simply good pay and advantages, although USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer does level out that each are very aggressive.

Past pay and advantages, mail carriers get pleasure from an excessive amount of autonomy. “Our carriers inform us that they love the autonomy of the job. They’re out on their very own and in a position to work together immediately with our clients,” says Partenheimer.

He additionally cites the chance to keep in form and to work your means up the ranks as high rewards of beginning a profession as a mail provider. “A lot of our high executives began out as letter carriers or labored in our crops, together with our present and previous Postmaster Generals.”

How Do You Turn out to be a Mail Provider?

Two mail carriers begin their shift at the Postal Office.
Mail carriers start their shifts at america Postal Service workplace. The USPS is the second largest employer in america. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Turning into a mail provider shouldn’t be a simple course of, as it’s a extremely aggressive job. Take every step critically and apply exhausting for the take a look at and interview to make sure success.

Training Stage and Primary Necessities

To use for a mail provider place, you will have to acquire your highschool diploma or G.E.D. U.S. residents 16 and up are certified for the place, assuming youthful candidates have acquired their diplomas forward of the standard college schedule.

Past that, no formal schooling is required to turn out to be a mail provider, although notes that candidates will need to have primary competency in English. Additionally, you will want an energetic driver’s license with a superb driving file and should move a drug screening.

Lastly, you will have to be in first rate bodily form. The job could require you to raise heavy objects upwards of 70 kilos, and you’ll have to spend whole days in your ft and strolling.


To be thought of for a job within the postal service, you should move Check 473. In keeping with, this written examination consists of 5 timed sections, together with tackle checking, coding, types completion, reminiscence, and private traits and expertise stock. The take a look at is roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes lengthy.

To move, you will have to rating no less than a 70, however as this can be a extremely aggressive job market (extra on that later), you will have a a lot stronger rating to higher your possibilities of gaining employment.

A fast Google search of “Check 473” will unlock pages and pages of search outcomes devoted to check prep. Some are free and a few are paid (in all probability for good cause). Ensure to check exhausting for the take a look at; you possibly can even go to your native publish workplace to ask for ideas from employees there or simply ask your individual mail provider the following time they make a supply.

The official Check 473 Orientation Information for Main Entry-Stage Jobs PDF from the USPS is probably going your greatest useful resource as you put together for the examination.

Interview Course of

After making use of on-line for an open place, anticipate an interview. describes the interview course of in three elements: an introductory part, which includes the start small discuss; the center, which is the meat and potatoes of the interview, by which you’ll be requested related questions; and the top, which is your alternative to ask questions of the interviewer.

A professional tip from somebody who has performed interviews: All the time have related inquiries to ask. Asking questions exhibits that you’re , and ensuring these questions are sensible and related demonstrates that you just perceive the place and are well-suited to tackling points that the position may face.

Some Recommendation

I requested Partenheimer to supply recommendation for anybody contemplating changing into a mail provider.

Consider the Postal Service not when it comes to only a job, however as a profession. Whether or not you wish to be a provider in your whole profession or discover different alternatives, the Postal Service affords many alternatives for development,” Partenheimer says. “And if employed as a provider, give your self time to regulate to the necessities of the place and don’t turn out to be annoyed or really feel overwhelmed.”

A Be aware on the Job Outlook for Mail Carriers

The USPS is a humongous group concerning hiring and staff. In 2016, it noticed $71.four billion in working income and delivered almost 154 billion items of mail, in keeping with the USPS.

That mentioned, e mail, social media, video conferencing and the applied sciences of tomorrow are uprooting the postal service trade. In keeping with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for mail carriers is predicted to say no by 13% between 2016 and 2026. Past that, the way forward for this profession path could also be even bleaker.

This decline in postal service staff means jobs might be much more aggressive. Nonetheless, take this with a grain of salt, as know-how is affecting careers in virtually each trade, and your expertise as a mail provider now could make you higher suited to a different profession path down the highway.

Regardless of this projected job progress — and because of the good pay, aggressive advantages and difficult but pleasing job position — a profession as a mail provider is a powerful selection, particularly in the event you lack a university diploma and haven’t any want to pursue one. Get began in your software in the present day by making use of on-line.

Timothy Moore is an editor and freelance author based mostly out of Nashville. The very best piece of mail he ever acquired was the reimbursement examine from his insurance coverage firm after a fireplace (sure, actually) as a result of, as an avid Penny Hoarder, he enjoys having cash to pay for issues.

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