Postal mail carriers deliver mail to every business and residence in the country. Routes can cover just a few blocks in a city's central business district, several miles in small towns, or up to one hundred miles in remote, rural areas. Some carriers deliver the mail by foot, others use a vehicle - ...
still others use a combination of the two.
Mail carriers may start work at the post office as early as 4 a.m., organizing the mail for their routes. Once in the field, carriers are on their own to complete their routes on time. Along the way, many have opportunities to meet and talk with people.
Mail carriers work mostly outdoors, in every kind of weather condition. They have to watch for hazards on their routes, such as wet roads or unfriendly dogs. The work is often strenuous. Carriers have to lift and carry heavy packages; some are on their feet for most of the day.
The volume of mail increases dramatically during the holidays and overtime is often required. To be a mail carrier, you must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You must pass a civil service exam, a physical exam and drug test. A valid driver's license and a good driving record is also required.
Local post offices and state employment offices have details and dates for the next round of entrance examinations. Mail carriers work full-time or part-time. Attaining full-time status means a high degree of job security.
Sort mail for delivery. Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Report any unusual circumstances concerning mail delivery, including the condition of street letter boxes.
Maintain accurate records of deliveries.
Leave notices telling patrons where to collect mail that could not be delivered.
Provide customers with change of address cards and other forms.
Sign for cash-on-delivery and registered mail before leaving the post office.
Turn in money and receipts collected along mail routes.
Meet schedules for the collection and return of mail.
Hold mail for customers who are away from delivery locations.
Answer customers' questions about postal services and regulations.
Bundle mail in preparation for delivery or transportation to relay boxes.
Return incorrectly addressed mail to senders.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
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.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
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.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
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.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
AREAS OF 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.
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.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
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.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
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.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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