City Carrier Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Carrier Assistant, or City Mail Carrier Assistant, is responsible for delivering mail and receiving mail from residents and businesses. Their duties include traveling by foot, bike or postal vehicle, organizing mail by address and delivering parcels and envelopes to the correct addresses.

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City Carrier Assistant Duties and Responsibilities

A City Carrier’s primary job responsibilities relate to delivering and picking up mail for their assigned addresses and ensuring that it is not lost or harmed in the process, as well as assisting customers with additional postal needs. A few other duties and responsibilities for a city carrier assistant include:

  • Receiving mail from the distribution center and organizing it into an efficient system for sequential delivery
  • Delivering mail in a vehicle or on foot along a predetermined route, maintaining the established schedule
  • Collecting any outgoing mail on the route and returning it for sorting and delivery
  • Maintaining the route even during adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow or extreme heat
  • Assisting customers along the route with their postal needs, including providing change of address forms when requested or selling postage to customers requiring it
  • Using a portable scanner to track certain parcels or pieces of mail

What does a City Carrier Assistant do?

City Carrier Assistants typically work for the United States Postal Service to deliver mail to residents and businesses within a particular area. They use their knowledge of the area and postal laws to maintain timely and professional mail services. Their job is to interact directly with residents on a daily basis and answer questions about the mail services they offer. They also correct addresses on parcels or envelops for residents to receive at their new address. They may also use electronic scanners and other technologies to confirm delivered packages and obtain signatures from recipients.

City Carrier Assistant Skills and Qualifications

A qualified City Carrier Assistant must be both independent and capable of working well with others. Carriers require both the ability to maintain motivation and efficiency while away from the office as well as an upbeat personality to be friendly toward individuals they meet while completing their delivery route. Other skills and qualifications may include:

  • Reliability to consistently make deliveries on time
  • Physical conditioning to walk extended routes while carrying a fully loaded bag for on-foot routes
  • Strong interpersonal skills to greet customers on the route
  • Perseverance, even in the face of extreme weather

City Carrier Assistant Salary Expectations

The average mail carrier earns $19.10 per hour while delivering. City Carrier Assistant positions are competitive in the field and often include the opportunity for consistent overtime pay as well, which allows carriers to significantly improve their annual earnings. Salaries can range depending on location, experience and the company’s needs.

City Carrier Assistant Education and Training Requirements

City Carrier Assistant employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. Employers also usually require applicants to complete a drug screening and criminal background check prior to beginning the position. 

Applicants take a written exam to test their ability to read and sort mail as well as memorize delivery procedures, along with a physical test to determine their suitability for the position. People seeking a position that requires vehicle-based delivery must present a valid driver’s license and pass a check on their driving record.

New City Carriers complete training on the job, usually during the first month. Some new employees, may spend a period shadowing an experienced carrier for first-hand instruction. This allows the new hire to learn tips and tricks the veteran has learned in their years that make the job more efficient.

City Carrier Assistant Experience Requirements

Although prior experience in a delivery role is a plus for applicants, it is not a requirement for those seeking City Carrier assistant positions. The on-the-job training program is sufficient for inexperienced applicants to learn the job.

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Frequently asked questions about City Carrier Assistants


What is the difference between a City Carrier Assistant and a Rural Carrier?

The difference between a City Carrier Assistant and a Rural Carrier is the environment they work in and the delivery methods they use. For example, City Carrier Assistants typically work in cities or towns, whereas Rural Carriers typically work in rural areas or suburban neighborhoods. Their work environments also affect the way they deliver and collect mail. 

Because City Carrier Assistants work in areas with buildings close to one another, they typically park their vehicle and collect as much mail as they can to deliver to a few blocks of their route. Once they finish delivering to a portion of their route, they need to walk back to their vehicle or postal office to collect the next group of mail for delivery. They continue this process until they complete all deliveries. 

In contrast, Rural Carriers need a vehicle to transport mail to residential properties. In some situations, they might not even need to get out of their vehicle and drive right up to a set of mailboxes to deliver mail. However, they may park their vehicle to walk around and deliver mail to suburban neighborhoods.


What are the daily duties of a City Carrier Assistant?

On a typical day, a City Carrier Assistant arrives at their postal office location early in the morning. They sort through the mail for their particular route and place them in bins in their vehicle. Throughout the day, they park their vehicle and place mail items in their carrier bag. They walk to each resident or business and place mail in designated mailboxes or mail slots. If a package requires a signature, they notify the recipient and obtain a signature before moving to the next property. Once City Carrier Assistants distribute all the mail for their route, they return their vehicle to the postal office.


What qualities make a good City Carrier Assistant?

A good City Carrier Assistant is someone who prioritizes organization to deliver parcels to the correct locations. City Carrier Assistants should also have a personable nature that enables them to interact positively with members of the public and their coworkers. Further, a good City Carrier Assistant needs to have a degree of physical stamina that enables them to walk long distances with a heavy mailbag.


Who does a City Carrier Assistant report to?

City Carrier Assistants typically report to a Supervisor at their local postal office. Supervisors provide City Carrier Assistants with mail routes, work schedules and general instructions about their role as a Mail Carrier. City Carrier Assistants contact their supervisor if they encounter situations on their mail route or need to call out sick.

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