Mail carriers are a significant part of the postal system across the entire globe.
They are ensuring important parcels and letters are delivered in an efficient and timely manner on sunny days or during inclement weather.
Not everyone has the skills to become a mail carrier as it can be a demanding job.
If you are interested in becoming a mail carrier and want the inside scoop about the career and if you should join this section of the workforce, then keep reading to learn more!
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being a Mail Carrier
- Cons of Being a Mail Carrier
- Pros and Cons of Being a Mail Carrier – Summary Table
- Should You Become a Mail Carrier?
Pros of Being a Mail Carrier
There are many advantages of becoming a mail carrier, including:
1. Every Day is Different
While you may follow the say routes every day, there are no mundane or routine days as a mail carrier.
Each day presents a new excitement or drama.
Also, you get to meet a variety of new people, have exposure to neighborhoods and towns, and get to visit new places.
Having such an unpredictable day gives those looking to avoid boring jobs an excellent career opportunity.
Even during tough times, your mail route will be exciting and different every day, so it is a great escape from your personal life!
2. Excellent Work-Life Balance
Most mail couriers work a traditional 40-hour week, with overtime available during seasonal package rushes.
However, most of the year is the typical 9-5 job, five days per week with some Saturdays.
This gives you plenty of time to spend with your friends and family.
Some postal workers report working lengthy hours, but that also depends on the location.
Generally speaking, mail carriers do not overexert themselves while at work.
3. Low Education Requirement
Having a low education requirement is one of the greatest benefits of becoming a mail carrier.
Most mail carriers only require a high school diploma to get started.
Those who wish to move into more management positions in the future may need higher degrees, but those who want to get out into the working world immediately after high school graduation can do so as a mail carrier.
The post office will require interviews like at any job, but entry into this position is not a major hassle.
4. People Receive You Well
Since you are bringing products, documents, and other items to residents of your area, most are eager to see you and receive their anticipated deliveries.
That means you will be treated well upon arrival which makes it easy to meet others.
You rarely have a negative day while on your route.
Also, many residents tip their mail carriers at the end of the year, which can provide a nice bonus.
5. Stay Physically Active
Mail carriers are constantly on the move so leading a sedentary lifestyle does not exist for them.
You get to ride or walk to residents’ homes, drop off their items, and move on to the next house on the street or block.
In some cases, you are required to transport heavy objects up a flight of stairs.
You are also carrying heavy items throughout the day, so if you are searching for a career path that helps you remain fit and mobile, then this is an excellent option.
6. Strong Stability
People will always need their mail delivered.
While the post office has cut back on jobs recently, most mail carriers have a long and relaxing career since it is considered working for the U.S. government.
Also, you receive excellent benefits since you’re constantly on the move and outside.
Additionally, the mail never stops, regardless of what is going on in the world, so there will never be days where there is not enough work.
7. You are the Boss
One of the greatest benefits of this career is the absence of an annoying boss looking over your shoulder all day.
While you will have a superior, your day will mostly be spent outside of the post office and on your route delivering mail.
Your primary goal is to deliver the mail to those on your route, which you cannot do couped up in an office all day.
Therefore, you will not have much time to interact with your boss since there’s so much work to be done.
That means you escape the horrors of having a mean boss.
Cons of Being a Mail Carrier
Before applying and jumping right into the position, there are disadvantages to becoming a mail carrier, including:
1. Can be Stressful at Times
While mail carriers typically have a stress-free career, that is not always the case.
Since you will be driving the mail truck from the warehouse, you are subjected to traffic, delays, and other annoyances.
Also, while walking your route, there will be construction, sidewalk problems, and other obstacles, especially in major cities, which could impede you from doing your job.
Therefore, if you do not have the patience for these types of hassles, then finding a different path may be best.
2. Dogs will Bark at You
Since you will be outside every day as a mail carrier, you need to get used to dogs barking at you.
When dogs see a strange individual entering their property, they feel the need to protect their territory.
You will meet numerous dogs on your route, some that will like you, and others that will not.
Many will appear intimidating and aggressive, so you must be prepared to manage these situations before becoming a mail carrier.
If you have had an unpleasant experience and are afraid of dogs, then becoming a mail carrier may not be the best option.
3. Low Future Growth
Unfortunately, while the mail is always flowing and mail carriers are always needed, with the growing use of paperless billing and other online auctions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting a sharp decline over the next decade.
Therefore, if you want to become a mail carrier, you will likely have fewer jobs and more competition in the future.
For this reason, you should get your foot in the door now to secure a spot!
4. Low Pay
One of the greatest disadvantages is the low pay since no higher education is required.
The average mail carrier in the U.S. makes around $40,000 per year, depending on location.
However, there is room for growth and those with experience earn more but expect less pay at the entry level.
Since you can rise through the ranks, the higher you move, the more money you will earn.
5. Must be on Time
Mail carriers are performing a time-sensitive job with items needing to be delivered within a short window.
Therefore, you must be accurate and quick when delivering parcels or letters.
To ensure you hit that window, you must always be on time for the job.
However, most positions need you to be on time for specific shifts, meetings, or events, so it is not that much different from traditional job requirements.
6. Physically Demanding
As mentioned, becoming a mail carrier is physically demanding.
There is an endless amount of walking on your route every day, which can be stressful at times.
There may be some weeks where heavy lifting is the requirement for every house, which is physically exhausting.
If you are not interested in this level of physical activity, then another career path might be the best option.
7. Will Encounter Bad Weather
Some events are just out of your control, like the weather.
When winter rolls in or on rainy days, you are still required to deliver the documents or parcels, which can be brutal.
On these days of inclement weather, you will likely wish you were somewhere else.
That means you must prepare for these moments and if you are, then they will not be a major issue.
However, if you do not like the sound of being outside in inclement weather then you may wish to reconsider this career path.
Pros and Cons of Being a Mail Carrier – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Mail Carrier
|Cons of Being a Mail Carrier
|Every Day is Different
|Can be Stressful at Times
|Excellent Work-Life Balance
|Dogs will Bark at You
|Low Education Requirement
|Low Future Growth
|People Receive You Well
|Stay Physically Active
|Must be on Time
|You are the Boss
|Will Encounter Bad Weather
Should You Become a Mail Carrier?
These pros and cons should weigh heavily into whether becoming a mail carrier is the right decision for you.
If you enjoy being outside and physically active with the opportunity to be social and meet a variety of individuals, then becoming a mail carrier may be the best career choice for you.
However, if you are concerned with inclement weather, low growth and pay, and are not interested in physically demanding jobs, then this likely will not be a good fit.
Becoming a mail carrier is a choice and depends on what you want to get out of the job if other attributes besides money are important.
If not, there are plenty of other career paths from which to choose that can help you earn a living wage.