Post Office Careers Outlook
Competition for jobs in the Postal Service is strong. The U.S. Postal Service expects employment to decrease due to the growing efficiency of mail processing and delivery through automation. Comparatively few postal employees leave their jobs for other occupations before normal retirement age. Although the USPS annual mail volume is 212 billion pieces, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that postal clerk and mail carrier jobs are expected to decline through 2014. Employment growth among distribution clerks will be slowed by the increasing use of automated materials handling equipment and optical character readers, bar-code sorters, and other automated sorting equipment. However, the expected increase in mail volume will require additional clerks. This increased mail volume will not necessarily mean more jobs for mail carriers. The use of the delivery point sequencing system, which allows machines to sort mail directly to the order of delivery, should decrease the amount of time carriers spend sorting their mail, allowing them more time to handle long routes. More widespread use of cluster boxes is also expected to cut down on the number of door-to-door deliveries increasing carrier productivity and leading to a small employment decline for these workers.
Due to contract negotiations between the Teamsters Union and UPS, many more full-time positions at UPS should be available in the coming years. Although many part-time positions will be combined to make these new full-time jobs, UPS will still hire many part-timers to sort packages. Competition for jobs in the private delivery industry is not as tight as it is with the government Postal Service. With the expansion of delivery services, such as Federal Express, UPS, and DHL, staffing continues to rise. Private companies are also more likely to consider young people without work experience, or with only summer job experience. It is easiest to move up from inside the company, rather than applying for a middle management position after gaining work experience elsewhere. Moving into the private delivery service becomes much more difficult as position rank increases.
As private firms expand into international delivery, employment abroad becomes an option for management staff. Although ground delivery staff may be hired from the host country, the development and management staff may be selected from U.S. employees. The international market is increasing rapidly and will develop new opportunities for hiring.
Related Career Fields:
- Aircraft Mechanics
- Airplane Dispatchers
- Mail Carriers
- Postal Clerks
- Route Drivers
- Truck Drivers
For More Information:
- American Postal Workers Union
- National Association of Letter Carriers
- National Postal Mail Handlers Union
- National Rural Letter Carriers Association
- American Society of Transportation and Logistics
- Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
- United Parcel Service of America
- U.S. Postal Service