Rural Letter Carrier

Deliver mail on sparsely populated country roads.
picture of Rural Letter Carrier

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$38,000 – $56,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Rural Letter Carriers do?

Letter Carriers are the people who go from door to door, delivering letters and packages to homes and businesses. In the world of mail delivery, Letter Carriers are divided into two categories: rural and city. The type of route you work determines which group you fall into.

As a Rural Letter Carrier, you deliver mail within small towns and cities. Just like a City Letter Carrier, you start your workday early at the post office, sorting mail. Most shifts start at around five or six in the morning, and some even start as early as four.

The sorting done by a Rural Letter Carrier during these early hours lets them get all their mail in order for their shift. You sort mail in such a way that you can walk an ordered route, dropping mail at each house you pass.

When delivering mail, Rural Letter Carriers might go on foot or by car. Most Rural Letter Carriers use cars, and some from really small towns must use their own vehicles instead of official mail cars. When walking, you use a canvas bag that you fill with the mail for that specific neighborhood. Be aware the mail doesn’t stop even when the weather is bad, so (as the mail motto goes) you deliver through rain, sleet, or snow.

On really rural routes, you serve as a traveling post office. You sell stamps, take money for cash-on-delivery packages, and collect signatures for insured mail.

Should I be a Rural Letter Carrier?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Rural Carrier Associate, Rural Route Carrier

    How to become a Rural Letter Carrier

    Most Rural Letter Carriers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9faaaa&chl=no+college+%2892%25%29|certificate+%288%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,92,92
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