Working as a mailman, also termed as a mail carrier, is an excellent opportunity for people who love to spend time outdoors. Although the job is physically demanding, the remuneration and perks are decent. They can start work with the USPS (United States Postal Service )right out of high school as long as they pass the relevant examinations.
While many people probably picture mailmen spending their day out on the street delivering the mail, the day typically starts at the office as they sort the mail by street and address. This lasts for about 3 hours. The remainder of their day is spent delivering the mail. Mailmen should be able to lift up to seventy pounds. Most sorting trays weigh around fifty pounds, but they may have to deliver packages up to seventy pounds.
While delivering the mail, they’ll carry up to thirty-five pounds on their back as they work what is termed a park and loop route. This means they park the mail vehicle and loop hundred-to-two hundred blocks at a time.
Mail carriers provide the change of address cards or other postal forms as requested and also answer customers’ questions about postal services. Mailmen who deliver in rural places may also deliver postal products.
Mailmen are needed to have a high school diploma and capable of speaking and understanding English fluently.
Once their application is accepted, they must pass a written exam. The exam covers memory and coding, address-cross-comparison forms completion, and personal experience and characteristics.
Once hired, they must pass a physical exam and drug test, and they’ll undergo a criminal background check. They may also be asked to show that they can handle and lift heavy mail sacks.
They receive a passing grade on a road test, and they’re also required to have a safe driving record.
As far as training, they’ll receive on-the-job training, usually less than 30 days. They’ll most likely work alongside an experienced carrier as they begin their route for further training.
According to the United States DOL, the median salary for the mailman is $58,110 per annum (Department of Labor). This means that half the mail carriers make less than this amount and half make more.
Mail carriers spend most of their day outside, which means they’ll encounter various weather types. This may include wet or icy roads or sidewalks and extreme temperatures.
The job itself is not distinctly dangerous, but mailmen may suffer from stress injuries from repeated bending and lifting.
Mail carriers typically work full time. Some carriers may have to work on weekends since mail is delivered 6 days a week. Many mailmen have to work overtime, particularly during the holiday season. Mail carriers cannot refuse to serve overtime if it’s directed or ordered by their management.
[ Read: Learn How to Become a Mailman ]
How Much Do Mailmen Make
Mailmen can expect their income to increase as they gain experience. Here’s a look at some average annual incomes based on years of experience.
- Less than five years: $35,000
- 5 to 10 years: $45,000
- 10 to 20 years: $55,000
- More than twenty years: $58,000
They’ll also have the opportunity to receive extra income through Sunday premium pay and overtime pay.
Careers in Europe: The average mailman compensation in Spain is 30.504 € or an equivalent hourly rate of 15 €.
Careers in Asia: An entry-level mailman (1-5 years of experience) makes an average salary of ¥4,277,888. On the other hand, a senior level mailman (9+ years of experience) makes an average salary of ¥7,189,478.(1)
Job Growth Trend
Job growth for mailmen is estimated to decline by twelve percent. This may be due to automated systems that sort mail directly. These systems minimize the time carriers are needed to spend sorting mail, which allows them to expand the size of their routes. With extended route size, there won’t be a need to employ as many new carriers.
The postal service is also evolving towards using more centralized mail delivery, like cluster mailboxes, which reduces time spent on door-to-door deliveries.