Postal Mail Carrier  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sorts mail for delivery, and delivers mail along an established route by vehicle or on foot.

This career is part of the Business, Management and Administration cluster Administrative Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Obtains signed receipts for registered, certified, and insured mail; collects associated charges; and completes any necessary paperwork.
  • Sorts mail for delivery, arranging it in delivery sequence.
  • Delivers mail to residences and business establishments along specified routes by walking and/or driving, using a combination of satchels, carts, cars, and small trucks.
  • Returns to the post office with mail collected from homes, businesses, and public mailboxes.
  • Turns in money and receipts collected along mail routes.
  • Signs for cash-on-delivery and registered mail before leaving the post office.
  • Records address changes and redirects mail for those addresses.
  • Holds mail for customers who are away from delivery locations.
  • Bundles mail in preparation for delivery or transportation to relay boxes.
  • Leaves notices telling patrons where to collect mail that could not be delivered.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Rural Mail Carrier -- Delivers mail along established route outside town or city corporate limits.
  • Letter Carrier --
  • Postman --