How To Become A Mail Carrier: Education & Requirements

The U.S. Postal Service is an institute within the executive department of the U.S. government. It operates the nation’s postal system, including letter carriers and post office boxes.

The USPS has been active in global trade since its founding in 1775, making it one of America’s oldest public institutions. This article will highlight how to become a Mail carrier, including the educational requirements.

About A Mail Carrier

As a mail carrier, you will be responsible for delivering mail to the post office and packages to customers. You’ll also deliver advertising mail, magazines, and newspapers.

As a carrier in the United States or Canada, you must have a valid driver’s license if driving a truck or van with two axles weighing more than 26000 lbs. or three axles weighing more than 40000 lbs. If your vehicle has four wheels, then it must be registered with the state Department of Motor Vehicles before starting work as an employee of the USPS (United States Postal Service).

Steps To Become A Mail Carrier

If you have intentions to become a Mail Carrier, it is recommended to follow the steps below:

Step 1: Get A High School Diploma

As a mail carrier, you need to have a high school diploma or GED. There are various ways you can get your diploma:

  • You can take the GED test and earn the equivalent of an Associate’s degree from a university. This will give you the necessary skills for being able to pass the certification test for becoming a mail carrier.
  • Suppose this option is too expensive for your budget. In that case, there’s another way that may interest some people: online courses offered by universities and community colleges around the country where they teach courses that prepare students for licensing tests such as those required by state agencies such as USPS (United States Postal Service). These courses typically cost between $100-$200 per month depending on whether they’re part-time or full-time options available depending on what time zone applies most. Courses will be taught at least once per week during regular working hours only during weekdays only, Monday through Thursday evenings, 8 pm – 11 pm Friday nights, 6 pm – 9 pm Saturday mornings, 7 am- 10 am Sunday mornings, 9 am-11 am (not Sunday mornings).

Step 2: Complete Any Necessary Post Office Requirements

Once you’ve decided to become a mail carrier, several additional requirements may need to be met before you can start the application process. These include:

  • Passing an exam administered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). This exam is required before being eligible for employment as a mail carrier; it tests knowledge about federal regulations and best practices in delivering mail safely and efficiently. Candidates who pass this exam will also receive training on operating vehicles such as trucks and vans used to deliver packages across towns or rural areas. 
  • Holding a valid driver’s license issued by your state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These licenses allow applicants access to public streets so they can deliver packages within residential neighborhoods without having to worry about getting into accidents while driving around town. It would result in losing their jobs if something bad happened during deliveries due to too much damage caused during accidents caused by bad weather conditions like rainstorms/hailstorms etc. 

Step 3: Begin Working As A Mail Carrier

Get a job with the post office and start by delivering mail to your local area.

Learn from other mail carriers who may have more experience than you do.

Step 4: Consider Additional Training And Certifications

The U.S. Postal Service offers a variety of training and certification programs for individuals interested in becoming mail carriers. In addition to the USPS Certified Mail Handler (CMH), which is an entry-level position that allows you to deliver packages up to 20 pounds, there are three additional types of CMHS:

  • USPS Certified Mail Carrier. 
  • USPS Certified Mail Clerk, who can work as both a clerk or carrier depending on their experience level; this position requires at least five years’ experience but not more than ten years prior experience working with parcels or packages at your location before applying for this certificate (you’ll need to provide proof of these qualifications).
  • USPS Certified Mail Administrator oversees the day-to-day operations and logistics required by each branch office; this certificate requires at least three years of experience working as either a clerk or carrier before applying for it (you’ll need evidence supporting your eligibility).

What Skills Does One Need To Become A Mail Carrier?

To become a mail carrier, you need to have certain skills and abilities. These include:

  • Physical strength. You will be responsible for delivering the mail on your own or with your coworkers. You’ll need to be able to lift heavy loads and move them from place to place without injuring yourself or others.
  • Good vision and hearing. Mail carriers must be able to see clearly at all times; this means wearing safety glasses if necessary (or just sunglasses). It’s also important that they have good hearing so they can hear when people call out their names while delivering their route. This is especially true in residential areas with little light pollution during night hours. 
  • Sense of direction—the ability to know where each destination is located inside an area like a neighborhood or city blockhouse/blockade; this helps ensure timely delivery when something happens, like someone being injured by falling off a ladder while trying to deliver packages. 
Read Also: How Do I Get A Behavioral Health Technician (BHT) Certification In Arizona

What Are the Duties And Responsibilities Of A Mail Carrier

A Mail Carrier has several duties. Some things they do is:

  • Deliver mail to the correct address.
  • Sort mail by destination and deliver it to its final location.
  • Load mail into mailboxes and pick up outgoing mail from the post office, if applicable.
  • Deliver outgoing packages to recipients who have requested them (if you are a carrier). This can mean delivering packages to different addresses within an area or even across town if they aren’t delivered directly to the recipient’s home or business address. This may be done via bicycle, van, or truck, depending on how much time is needed for each delivery method or how convenient and reliable your chosen method is in terms of availability during busy periods. These periods could be holidays when other carriers might not be available due to vacation schedules being booked up before Christmas/New Year’s Eve, etc. 

Educational Requirements To Become A Mail Carrier

Some educational requirements to become a Mail carrier include the following:

  • High school diploma: In order to become a mail carrier, you must have a high school diploma or GED. Some states also require that you have taken the local civil service test, which tests basic literacy skills and math ability.
  • College degree: If you’re looking to enter the postal field with less than four years of education but want to work as a letter carrier, then some states may allow this option. However, most require at least an associate’s degree in general studies or business administration.
  • Post office exam: If your state doesn’t require any additional qualifications for becoming a mail carrier (aside from having completed the eighth grade), then there are still some things that could help increase your chances of landing an interview with one of these companies—namely passing their written exam. It usually consists of 100 multiple-choice questions about customer service and safety procedures. However, suppose this is something new territory for someone interested in pursuing careers within this industry. In that case, they should probably start practicing now so they don’t feel unprepared for those tests later down the road.

Does A Mail Carrier Need A License?

Yes, mail carriers need a license. The United States Postal Service (USPS) requires all its employees to be licensed and trained to deliver mail on your route.

This includes:

  • A written exam that tests your in-depth knowledge of local laws and regulations;
  • A physical exam that screens for health issues related to delivering the mail; and
  • The USPS conducts background checks before hiring you as a carrier.

Experience And Training Requirements Of A Become a Mail Carrier

To become a mail carrier, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be able to lift and carry mailbags weighing up to 70 pounds.
  • You should be able to work independently without being supervised by anyone else.

Tips To Become a Mail Carrier

Some tips can assist you in becoming a Mail carrier. Some things you can do is:

  • Choose a career that you are passionate about.
  • Be prepared to work diligently and make sacrifices.
  • Be prepared to be on your feet all day, every day, for years.
  • Be prepared to be on call 24/7 and respond when called into action by supervisors or managers who want their mail carriers in their offices at the crack of dawn so they can tell them what the weather is like or how much snow there is outside right now (and whether or not it’s safe enough).
  • And finally, if all this sounds like fun, and it should. Remember, never quit before you’ve tried everything. 


1. What Skill Would A Mail Carrier Need?

The most important skill for mail carriers is reading. Understanding sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

2. How Much Weight Does A Mail Carrier Carry?

Most carriers drive to the route. Up to 35 pounds of mail on one shoulder.

3. How Do You Become A Letter Carrier?

Upon acceptance, applicants must undergo a criminal background check and pass an exam and drug test. Applicants may also be asked to demonstrate that they can lift and handle heavy mail bags.

4. Is It Hard To Get Hired As A Mail Carrier?

Becoming a mail carrier is not a smooth process as it is a highly competitive job.

5. How Long Is A Postman Shift?

In terms of working hours, full-time postmen/women can expect to work up to 40 hours per week from 5.30 am to 1 pm.

6. Do Postmen Carry Guns?

No individual on U.S. Postal Service property can carry or store firearms, grenades, or other dangerous or deadly weapons, either openly or concealed, except for official purposes.

7. Is Postman Job Stressful?

A good job, getting harder to do in your work hours, but a nice job and pretty stress-free overall. 

8. What Disqualifies You From Being A Mail Carrier?

An applicant who is found ineligible on any factor—age, Selective Service System registration, driving record, qualifying test, driver’s license check, drug test, or English proficiency—is notified in writing that he is ineligible.

9. How Long Is The Postal Exam?

The proctored assessment will last approximately 90 minutes and must be done at an approved location by trained personnel.

10. How Many Steps Does A Mail Carrier Take In A Day?

Mail carriers walk, on average, an astonishing 1,906 steps per hour or about 15,248 in an 8-hour day.


Becoming a mail carrier is a rewarding career that offers many opportunities. You’ll be able to make a difference in people’s lives by delivering mail and packages while helping keep our community safe and secure. The hours are flexible, so you can work part-time or full-time as your schedule allows. 

You can also choose between working for private companies, the USPS, or both. If you want to do this but aren’t sure where to start, check out our website for more information. 

Leave a Comment