Although e-communication has taken over a majority of the whole process of sending and receiving mails, the need for postal mail services cannot be avoided. A mail carrier employed by the USPS ensures that our letters and parcels are delivered safely and timely. This CareerStint article throws some light on the salary of a mail carrier and the future outlook of this profession.
Founded in the year 1889, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) is the only organization that defends the rights for all the letter carriers in the United States, regarding their wages, benefits, and working conditions. It was because of them that the Postal Reorganization Act was passed in the year 1970, after which the average letter carrier’s pay rose from $8,000 a year to $45,094.
As emotionally attached we are to the whole process of receiving mails by a postal mail carrier, who always makes the experience a more personalized one, the truth is that automated systems of sending and receiving mails, making bill payments, and similar purposes, have severely affected the job outlook of this occupation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the main reason for a decline in future jobs in this field is the usage of automated “delivery point sequencing” systems through which it is possible to sort letter mail directly. This, in turn, will save time of these professionals when it comes to sorting out mails, and hence enable them to cover longer routes when it comes to delivering them. As a result, the need to hire more employees for delivery will reduce, eventually decreasing the job outlook in the coming years. From the year 2012 to 2022, it is likely to decline by 27 percent, as projected by BLS.
The NALC works towards safeguarding its members―membership being open to anyone in this profession―and their rights to bargain over wages, receive fairly increased pay, and helps resolve other employment-related issues that their member letter carriers come across. They have also formulated the letter carrier pay schedule which can be viewed by clicking on the given link.
Median Annual Salary by Experience
There are various factors that affect the salary range; one of them is experience. The following data has been taken from the website PayScale, which evaluates the salary range based on the surveys they conduct with various professionals belonging to the same field, be it employers or employees. According to experience, a mail carrier working with the United States Postal Service (USPS) is likely to earn the following.
|0 to 5 years||USD 41,000|
|5 to 10 years||USD 50,000|
|10 to 20 years||USD 54,000|
|> 20 years||USD 56,000|
According to the same website, the median annual salary of a USPS mail carrier is USD 52,076. The salary range varies between USD 36,932.
Average Salary by State
The state-wise salary listed in the following table is taken from the website Indeed. According to the website, “Indeed Salary Search is based on an index of salary information extracted from over 50 million job postings from thousands of unique sources over the last 12 months.” The following are the average yearly salaries for mail carriers. According to this website, the median salary of a mail carrier is USD 43,000.
- All figures are as of June 2014 and are in US Dollars.
- All figures are average annual salaries and may vary based on education, experience, location, type of employer, and so on.
As per BLS, the competition level in this field is likely to rise greatly. This is because even though there is a significant decline in the number of vacancies in the future, there will be the need to replace those who retire. This is likely to lead to some tough competition because the number of applicants will exceed the number of job openings.
About Becoming a Mail Carrier
The work begins with the process of collecting and delivering the packages. Most of them use the mail van, while some also travel by foot. They don’t simply put the package in the mailbox and leave; they also need to get the recipient’s signature in case of special mails. Collection of postage duty and cash or delivery fees is also one of their duties.
Working overtime is an inseparable part of this job, especially during the holiday season. It is an outdoor job which requires delivering mail safely in all weather conditions. The physical strain of traveling, especially in unfavorable weather, and picking up heavy parcels may cause trouble, which is why, more than educational qualifications, what matters here is the capacity to meet the physical demands that this work has. To become a mail carrier, the applicant must have a good command over the English language, should be a U.S. citizen or have a green card, and must be at least 18 years old. It is also important for the applicant to have a valid driver’s license, and clear the medical drug test, road test, and physical examination. All male applicants should be registered with the Selective Service after becoming 18 years old.