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Summary Report for:
43-5052.00 - Postal Service Mail Carriers

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

Sample of reported job titles: City Carrier, City Carrier Assistant (CCA), City Letter Carrier, City Mail Carrier, Letter Carrier, Mail Carrier, Rural Carrier, Rural Carrier Associate (RCA), Rural Mail Carrier, Rural Route Carrier

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

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

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Automobiles or cars — Passenger vehicles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bar code reader equipment — Portable barcode scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Carts — Wheeled carts See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Small trucks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mailboxes — Mail relay boxes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Non metallic baskets — Mail sorting trays See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Portable data input terminals — Delivery unit computers; Handheld computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Safety chains — Postal vehicle tire chains See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Storage racks or shelves — Mail distribution cases; Route cases See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Time card machines — Time clocks See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Address Management System AMS; Automated Data Collection System ADCS; End of Run Report EOR See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — Delivery operations information system DOIS See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Human resources software — Time and Attendance Collection System TACS See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Map creation software — Delivery Routing System DRS See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Operating system software — Microsoft Windows See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Time accounting software — Electronic Time Clock ETC See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Collect deposits, payments or fees. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Enter information into databases or software programs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate vehicles or material-moving equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Obtain written authorization to perform activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Package objects for shipping. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain financial or account records. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Explain regulations, policies, or procedures. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sort mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide notifications to customers or patrons. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sell products or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Deliver items. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Route mail to correct destinations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Report maintenance or equipment problems to appropriate personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Arrange insurance coverage. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare outgoing mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Record shipping information. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 88% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 70% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 65% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 51% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 61% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 73% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 74% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 62% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 53% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 54% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 41% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 32% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 43% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 29% responded “About half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 34% responded “Limited freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 32% responded “Less than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 57% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 34% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 30% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 47% responded “Less than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 29% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 39% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 50% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
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.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, forest firefighters, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
78   High school diploma or equivalent Help
15   Less than high school diploma
7   Some college, no degree

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Interests

Interest code: CR

  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2015) $28.02 hourly, $58,280 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 297,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Decline (-2% or lower) Decline (-2% or lower)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 57,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 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.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Postal service workers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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