“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
That’s the unofficial motto of United States Postal Service (USPS) workers. Six days a week, excluding holidays, Postal Service workers are doing their job to make sure mail gets to its destination. These positions with the federal government are highly-coveted because they provide good pay, benefits and stability with a well-known, reputable company.
Jobs in the postal industry have expanded, however, to positions outside the USPS. Companies like UPS, FedEX and DLR provide many of the same mail and delivery services. In addition, postal-service retail outlets are starting to pop up around the country, with franchises such as Pak Mail Centers, Going Postal and Mail Boxes Etc., for example now competing for business.
The competition between these companies is intense, and so is the competition for open jobs.
It’s no secret that the USPS is struggling. While development (houses/businesses) continues throughout the country, the growth of technology has greatly affected USPS business, causing layoffs across the country and reducing positions that need to be filled. For example, many people now buy stamps online, reducing the need to go to the post office. Other companies are no longer mailing catalogs, advertisements or brochures, instead offering those same pieces online, reducing the need for material to be mailed. This is having a big affect on postal jobs, and the USPS has considered going to five days a week, instead of six days a week.
While the USPS can mail just about any size package, competition from UPS, FedEx and DLR, as well as retail mail centers, has taken away business.
One good way to get in with the postal industry is to get one of the many temporary/seasonal jobs offered by these companies. The best time is around the Holidays when mail and deliveries is at its peak. This experience can lead to other positions and proving your reputation as a good, reliable worker.
According to information provided by Payscale.com, the median salary for jobs with the USPS included:
According to the USPS web site starting pay for mail carriers is $19 per year, while mail handlers start at $13.92 per hour. Clerks are paid $18.26 to start.
Salaries vary greatly for companies like UPS and FedEx. For example, part-time package handlers can expect between $9-$10 to start, but that could include full benefits. Supervisors can make between $40,000-$60,000 and managers make up to $80,000 to over $100,000 at these companies.
While specific degrees are not required for many USPS jobs, there are some very strict criteria that must be met before one can be considered for employment. One is passing the postal employment exam that all employees must take. Employees must be a citizen of the United States and 18-years-old. They must have basic competency in English and pass a criminal background check and drug test. A medical assessment will be conducted to test if one is suitable for certain positions and those who may be looking for work where they will drive, must have a safe driving record.
This is one profession where on-the-job training and strong performance within the company can lead to climbing the company ladder.
Positions with UPS, FedEX and DHL have many of the same requirements, but each company has different practices and policies for those wishing to gain employment.
These jobs are always in demand. The fact that many postal jobs provide good wages and benefits without requiring a college degree is one reason so many people want to work for these companies. They have good reputations as good places to work, and people take pride in working postal jobs. The industry is changing rapidly with the advance of technology, but the industry is working at keeping up with the changes. Look for job cuts or slow growth at the USPS but also expect new employment opportunities to emerge. In addition, jobs will need to be filled because of retirement and attrition.