What is a Mailman?
A mailman is known also as a Mail Carrier, Postman, Letter Carrier, term that is used in the American English. As for an individual that is a woman and it’s working on the same position the term refers to her as Mailwoman or Postwoman. A mailman is one the employees who works at the Postal Office or at the Postal Service. His or her main duty is to deliver in time any correspondence or mail, along with parcel posts to various businesses as well as residences.
All across US, Mail Carriers are perceived as Letter Carriers that are divided into three categories. The first one is comprised of the City Letter Carriers that are represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers, followed by the second category that is comprised of the Rural Letter Carriers. They are those that are represented by the National Rural Letter Carriers. The last category is comprised by the Highway Contact Route Carriers that are seen as individual contractors.
Job Description of a Mailman
The USPS delivers weekly thousands of packages and letters all across the country regardless of the weather conditions that are often present. A mailman is a postal office employee that has the main duty to deliver in time letters as well as packages in various rural and urban areas in the US. All the mailmen that are carrying mail in rural as well as urban areas have plenty of common responsibilities, and have their set routes where they deliver.
They usually arrive early in the morning at the Postal Office and they start by organizing the mail for their routes. Still with the new technology evolving so fast, their work is easier since the computerized equipment has reduced the time that mailmen spend in sorting. With other words their work is mainly on the field delivering.
Mailmen usually drive a mail truck in various populated areas when they are on their routes. Others will walk and will use a satchel to carry the mail. In rural populated locations, these professionals use their own car or vehicle for which they gain mile reimbursement.
If a mailman will deliver a package at a house where nobody is at home, they are going to leave a note that will inform the residence of that specific address from where they can pick up the package. Once all the deliveries are ended and their itinerary routes are completed they will have the job to take the collected mail from homes and offices to the Post Office. All the mail once is taken to the Post Office will be sorted and delivered.
Those who work in the rural areas have a lot more responsibilities then those who work on urban areas due to the job nature. This is mainly because those in the first category are responsible for selling postage stamps, as well as be able to assist their costumers that need to have their mail insured or send it certified.
Mailmen need to know the laws and information related to the postal service so they can answer costumer questions. Usually all the postal customers are provided where needed with address change cards and with other available and important documentation. Their job responsibilities involve as well obtaining signature form the mail recipients for the insured, registered or certified mail. If postage has not been paid yet these professionals will have the duty to collect the payment.
How to Become a Mailman?
There are several steps that you’ll need to pursue when you are choosing a career path to become a mailman. In this situation, you’ll need little to less education. One important fact is that the job description along with the applications for a job, the necessary requirements to fulfill, and the pre-employment screening process for these professionals will vary from location to location. Still the steps have a general attribute that is common when becoming a mailman.
- Decide if this is the proper job for you
Before you go any further with the application forms and the whole process, make sure that this job is really what you’ve wanted. Start by doing some online research on what it means to be a mailman. You can also find information directly, if you’ll actually find a mailman and discuss with him or her about the daily job routine in their working lives.
The best part of a working day for a mailman is during morning, starting a daily job from 7 a.m. and then ending it at 3 p.m., waking up that early you’ll avoid a lot of the rush-hour traffic and you’ll be the perfect fit for this career. Every typical day for these professionals is one that is very intensive and tiring. The main reason is that you’ll have to do a lot of lifting and walking. If by any chance you are not a person who enjoys being physically active or you’re dealing with some health issues that will make this job a lot difficult if not impossible for you to perform then this job might not be the one for you.
A mailman should have great skills when it comes to driving since this will be an active part of your job. If by any chance you are the type of individual prone to accidents or you’ll find this activity very stressful for you then you’ll have to take into consideration other jobs as well. Working as a mailman means that you’ll need to deliver on any road and on any weather condition, whether it is hot or cold.
- Search for a job
Once you’ve decided that this is the right path for you, it’s good to start searching. With the new technology advancing a lot of openings are now posted on online application systems. It is very easy, just visit the website that is appropriate for these jobs and make sure to use the search function in order to find the nearest job to your home.
Available job positions are listed by the USPS also known as the United States Postal Service, Australia Post and Canada Post. These mailman or mailwoman positions are posted on the organizations websites under the section of Career or About Us. The majority of positions in the UK are posted on the Royal Mail, company website while there are other positions posted in other places. To find open positions you can use the webpage from Royal Mail under Careers as well as the website that is sponsored by the government that is called Universal Jobmatch.
- Job requirements for a career as Mailman
Your qualifications in general as a mailman will be determined by your physical abilities, driving routines and skills accomplished in the first place by your driving record as well as your good reading ability. To understand better let’s take a look at the postal organizations requirements. For instance, United States Postal Service requirements involve that all the applicants must be 18 of age, or 16 years old but with a high school diploma, and they must be citizens or legal residents of the US.
Each mailman must be able to lift up to 70 lbs, that is 32 kilos, and depending on the position that they are going to occupy have a clean and safe driving record. In order to become a mailman each successful applicant must pass the Exam 473 that usually involves passing a criminal background check, test of specific aptitude, drug screening and medical assessment. The veterans of the US armed forces will receive a preferential selection.
Canada Post asks that all future mailmen will be able to lift up packages that weight 50 lbs or 22.7 kilos and be able to carry loads that weight around or up to 35 lbs or 15.9 kilos. They must also be able to climb stairs on harsh weather conditions as well as possess a valid driving license with three years of safe driving record. The applicants’ evaluation will involve also some skills that are required on the working field such as the costumer services and the organizational skill.
On the other hand Australia Post requirements involve various and different abilities for various types of postal delivery officers that are dependent on specific transportation mode they use, including walking. On a common field all the applicants must carry up to and lift 16 kilos, about 35 lbs, as well as possess great interpersonal communicational abilities and skills.
In the UK, mailmen are asked to lift up to 16 kilos that is almost 35 lbs, and be able to pass the test for aptitude. A delivery driver position can only be fulfilled by applicants that possess a UK driving license and have no more than 6 points of penalty.
- Required Documentation
In order to become a mailman you’ll need some documentation that will attest the fact that you are a legal US citizen such as your social security number, along with information related to your past employment and education records. There is the possibility that you’ll need to have a valid driving license.
To be able to claim veteran preferences, in the US you must present proof of the past service or to have a digital copy of your certificate of release or discharge from an active duty.
- Application completion
Filling out your online employment application is not a big deal but you’ll need attention to every detail and a quiet spot along with a good internet connection. Since not all the internet browsers are supported make sure to find the one that is compatible with. If difficulties appear when you are trying to display a webpage then try a different browser that will open it. There are plenty of applications that require Java to be enabled.
If for instance you don’t have access to the internet or you do not possess a home computer you can easily apply by using the tools that are available at the local libraries. Another important tip that you’ll need to take into consideration is to be aware of the postal exam scams. They usually claim USPS positions for a testing fee. Keep in mind that in order to take this exam there is not a testing fee involved. If by any chance you’ll encounter such scams make sure to announce the main authorities that are dealing with such cases, like the Federal Trade Commission, the US Postal Inspection Service as well as the state attorney general.
- Pre-employment screening: Exam 473
All the entry-level Mailmen in the US take the exam 473. Guides for this exam are to be found in local libraries along with online resources such as websites that will allow you to purchase them. The Exam 473 comprises sections that will address short term memory, personality along with accurate form completion, address checking and mail coding. There are not any specific answers but getting accustomed with the exam format will allow you to be more relaxed and score the best.
- Exam completion
All successful and qualified applicants in the US are invited to take an online version of exam 473 after completing their screen and via email application. The timeframe in which this is done is usually between 3 to 7 days. If the online assessment was passed the applicant must then schedule an onsite exam at the testing center that is usually appointed by the personal zip code. Both of the onsite and online versions have a timeframe of 90 minutes to complete.
For instance, if you’ve passed the Exam 473 but you weren’t offered a job, then for 6 years you do not have to retake the exam. If you’ve scored below the eligibility threshold, then you will be allowed to take the Exam 473 after 120 days.
- Last part: Interview
The interview is the most important part when getting a job. Make sure that you are ready and be aware that general interview skills will be required depending on the job that you’ve applied for. If for instance a mailman position has fitness requirements make sure that your body is in a healthy condition and you are well rested.
If in the application process there is a drug screening make sure to avoid alcohol or elicit substances some weeks before your interview. Avoid foods such as poppy-seeds or over-the-counter medication such as cough syrup that can falsely influence a positive during a drug screen. Announce the laboratory of all the medications that you’ve used to take in the past or you are taking now, that might falsely influence such as the majority of antidepressants.
Work Environment and Schedule
As a mailman or mailwoman your working day usually starts early in the morning. Those professionals who deliver in the business quarters usually need to be present at work at around 4 a.m. while those who are working in the city areas will usually work overtime. All their day is spent outside working on their routes on bad or good weather.
In this job the drawback is that you can get various injuries either from slipping on ice, or by being attacked by a dog. Many of wounds are usually done by the heavy loads they must lift up and by a constant bending plenty of Mailmen can get the carpal tunnel syndrome. The work environment for a mailman is usually outdoor, since they are the ones who deliver mail to homes and businesses.
Pros and Cons of Being a Mailman
Like in any other job you’ll find that there are advantages and disadvantages that are present in the working field. To be able to decide better if this is the right job for you or not, take a look at the pros and cons listed below. The main pros linked with a mailman position is the fact that you don’t need to worry about the educational background since there are just a very few requirements. Usually every employment offers job training on the spot.
Your daily work routine is performed without any supervision. Another pro that will allow you to better weigh the opportunities, which are retirement benefits, and paid vacations along with government health. On the other side the cons in this job are linked with your health condition. During lifting and bending there is the possibility of injuries. The mail delivery can be heavy and you can encounter various difficulties during a bad weather condition. Your working schedule will involve Saturdays as well as overtime hours during holidays. The job can be stressful many times and you’ll stand a lot of your time on your feet.
The employment job prospected is projected with a 26% decrease in the employment rate for the next couple of years. It’s a percentage that is not that satisfactory but if you really think that this is the best job for you, then nothing will stop you from getting a position.
The average income that was established for a mailman, according to the BLS was $51,392 per year, with a median salary that got somewhere around $46,992 per year and up to $55,532 per year. The lower points in the earnings of these professionals reached only at $40,469 per year and even less, while the highest points in the incomes were quoted somewhere around $56,723 per year.
The salaries can be increased according to the overtime that is worked by mailmen, the season and the work volume that they undertake. Mailmen that have a full-time job besides the granted annual compensation are able to receive benefit packages that usually include insurance, paid vacation, retirement saving plans and others.
The income can also vary according to the geographical factor, each state offering various and different salaries. The highest earnings were considered to be in the District of Columbia and Hawaii with an estimated average of $53,812 per year and $53,805 per year, respectively. Another state that provided higher earnings was California with an estimated average of $53,462 per year. On the lower side salaries for mailmen could be found in Missouri with an average of $49,942 per year and Mississippi where the earnings were estimated at $48,805 per year.
Salary of a Mailman in 2016
In 2016, in the United States, the incomes of mailmen or mailwomen vary greatly according to several factors that influence and affect the earnings. The most encountered ones are linked with the geographical location as well as with the years of experience in the field. The vast majority of individuals who work on this position are men rather than women. This group is also impacted by the career duration in the field.
The median income for mailmen in the US has an average estimated at $50,143 per year according to the salary data information provided by PayScale. The starting point in the salaries of these professionals is situated from $30,316 per year and up to $61,021 per year with a granted bonus that usually reaches at $1,013. This will lead in the end to a total payment that is comprised from $30,232 and up to $58,952 yearly.
The experience level is very important when we are talking about the compensations of these professionals. An entry-level mailman with less than 5 years on the field can expect to take home around $34,010 per year, while one with 5 years and up to 10 years of experience will gain around $43,010 per year.
Experienced mailmen with 10 and up to 20 years on the working site can expect to earn around $54,010 while those who are considered to be the veterans of this career with more than 20 years of activity will receive around $56,010 per year. According to Indeed.com, the average income for a mailman is estimated to reach at $37,010 per year.
Mailman Salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom
In Canada, the average yearly income for a mailman is estimated at C$52,552 per year, with an hourly rate that reaches at C$24.14 per hour. Since the geographical factor is a very influential one, the incomes vary from area to area. For instance in Calgary, AB the earnings tend to start from C$55,010 and go up to C$58,010 yearly.
In Australia, the average income for a mailman is estimated at AU$46,578 per year, with an hourly rate that is estimated at AU$23.28 per hour. In Sydney, Australia the incomes of these professionals are comprised from AU$46,010 and up to AU$49,010, while in Melbourne, Australia the earnings tend to be start from AU$45,010 and go up to AU$52,010.
In the UK, a mailman income has the main yearly average estimated at £20,984 per year with a monthly earning that get somewhere around £1,306. The incomes also depend on the location where one of these professionals is hired. For instance, those who are located in London, UK can expect an income that starts from £18,010 per year and goes up to £24,020 per year. Mailmen that are working in Bristol, England can expect to have their incomes start from £17,010 per year and go up to £19,010 per year.
Conclusion on Mailman Salary
Becoming a mailman can be a challenging choice since the competition is lot of times high due to the number of applicants that usually encompass the job openings.
If you think that this is the suitable job for you and you are prepared to handle the daily challenges that might occur on various types of weather conditions then you are on the right track. A mailman position will not require a lot of education but you’ll still need to have certain skills to be able to succeed along with other documentation. Working as one can be very satisfactory especially if you have fitness abilities as well as good communicational skills.