Mail Carriers


Mail Carriers


Mail carriers, also known as letter carriers, are employees of the United States Postal Service (USPS) or private package delivery companies; at FedEx they are called couriers, and at United Parcel Service (UPS), package delivery drivers. They deliver and collect mail on the specific routes assigned to them. Residential carriers deliver the mail on foot and by vehicle to people in cities and suburbs. Because of the large distances between homes in the country, rural carriers drive their routes to reach cus...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



On-the-job training





Personality Traits



Full-time USPS mail carriers had mean annual earnings of $58,760 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Salaries ranged from less than $35,960 to more than $62,520. Rural carriers receive salaries that are based on a combination of fixed annual compensation and an evaluation of the amount of work required to service their particular routes. They also receive a maintenance allow...

Work Environment

Conditions of work for mail carriers are often strenuous. They must perform their jobs in all types of weather, either on foot carrying a heavy mailbag or pushing a mail cart, or driving in all kinds of traffic and road conditions. For a few hours every day, they work in office buildings, which are usually comfortable. Even when inside, however, carriers must lift heavy bags of mail and be on t...


The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates that employment for USPS mail carriers will decline by 21 percent through 2028. The Postal Service expects mail volume to decrease during the next decade, primarily because of the increased competition from other delivery services, including automated and electronic bill pay and e-mail. Along with a decrease in mail volume will be an increase in the numb...