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Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a US Postal Service Mail Carrier

One of the more popular US government jobs of the USPS is that of a postal service mail carrier. Your job is basically to deliver mail to homes and businesses in cities, towns, and rural areas. The average pay is pegged at $53,860 a year. For those who are employed fulltime with the USPS, the benefits package is quite competitive as well.

If you are thinking of becoming a US mail carrier then you need to look past the pay and benefits package and consider the overall picture of what this profession is really like. To help you make a sound decision on whether a US postal career as a mail carrier is right for you, here are its pros and cons:

Pros of Becoming a USPS Mail Carrier:

  1. We said we'll look past the compensation package but really, we can't. The first benefit of this position is that the pay is high and the benefits secure your retirement. Aside from the basic pay, you also get paid for overtime work, have health and life insurance, retirement plans, paid leaves, and holidays. And because the USPS is a Federal agency, you get the benefit of security and tenure in your job.
  2. Another advantage of becoming a mail carrier is that you get the chance to travel in order to deliver mail. If you especially love exploring the various nooks and crannies of a city then this is a job that pays you to do just that.
  3. There are no academic requirements for this profession. You just have to pass the eligibility requirements set forth by the USPS but having a degree is not one of these. You also receive training once you get hired.
  4. You generally work without being supervised directly by your boss. Unlike in an office setting where interacting with your superior is unavoidable, a mail carrier basically carries on his or her job without much direct supervision.

Cons of Becoming a USPS Mail Carrier:

  1. Competition is tough as there are more applicants than available positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that a 12 percent decline of mail carriers is expected from 2010 to 2020. You need to ace postal exams to get a shot at employment.
  2. You need to lift and bend parcels and other containers in the performance of your job. This can cause repetitive stress injuries if you're not careful.
  3. You need to deliver mail no matter what the conditions are. Extreme temperatures, wet roads, very cold or very hot weather, among others, can delivering mail not only difficult but dangerous as well. Other outdoor hazards include dogs and reckless drivers.
  4. You usually have to work on Saturdays and overtime may be required in the peak holiday season.