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Can you make 100k as a mailman?

The job of a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service (USPS) is an honorable profession that provides an important public service. Many people wonder if it is possible to earn a six-figure salary as a postal worker. The short answer is yes, it is possible, but not common.

The average annual salary for postal service mail carriers is around $51,000 per year. However, there is opportunity for overtime pay and career advancement that can boost earnings. With many years of service and promotion to supervisory roles, some mail carriers are able to earn over $100,000 per year.

USPS Pay Scales

The USPS has clear pay scales that allow mail carriers to earn more based on seniority and promotions. Here is an overview of the salary ranges:

Position Pay Scale
Rural Carrier Associate $19.06 – $25.01 per hour
City Carrier Assistant $18.92 – $19.91 per hour
Rural Carrier $51,971 – $74,037 per year
City Carrier $42,702 – $64,893 per year
Carrier Technician $53,433 – $71,121 per year
Postmaster Relief $57,912 – $76,704 per year
Postmaster $77,043 – $103,333 per year

As you can see, the higher ranked postmaster positions have potential for six-figure salaries exceeding $100k per year. But it takes many years of service, good performance reviews, and passing exams to reach these levels.

Overtime Pay Potential

One of the biggest factors that can boost a mail carrier’s earnings is overtime pay. The standard USPS work week is 40 hours for city and rural carriers.

But there is frequently opportunity for overtime hours beyond 40 hours per week, especially during busy seasons. Overtime pay is 1.5 times the base hourly wage. So carriers can earn $27 – $40+ per hour during overtime.

If a carrier averaged 10 hours of overtime per week, at an overtime rate of $30/hr, that would mean an extra $15,600 in annual pay. This can bump many carriers solidly into the six-figure range if they work enough overtime hours.

Advancement Opportunities

The highest paying USPS jobs are management and supervisor roles. Here are some of the top paying postal jobs:

Position Salary Range
Postmaster General $276,840 per year
Deputy Postmaster General $198,345 – $276,840 per year
Chief Postal Inspector $189,507 – $276,840 per year
Area VP Postal Operations $182,818 – $276,840 per year
District Manager $122,088 – $176,300 per year
Postmaster EAS-26 $103,104 – $120,128 per year

To reach these high levels takes many years of service, strong performance, and passing civil service exams. But those mail carriers who are ambitious and want to advance their careers can work into management ranks and achieve six-figure salaries.

The highest paid employee at USPS is the Postmaster General who earns over $276k per year. So career advancement can definitely pay off.

Location Matters

Salaries for mail carriers can vary depending on which part of the country they work in. The cost of living in different cities and regions affects postal pay.

For example, a mail carrier in San Francisco or New York is likely to earn 10-15% higher wages than the national average. And carriers in small rural towns will be on the lower end of pay scales.

Overtime opportunities can also vary greatly depending on mail volume in each location. Busy metropolitan areas tend to have more demand for overtime hours during peak seasons.

So location should be considered when looking at postal salaries. Urban mail carriers are more likely to hit six figures through overtime earnings.

Benefits and Perks

Aside from good wages, the USPS offers postal employees outstanding benefits:

  • Health insurance (medical, dental, vision) with USPS contributing 75% of premiums
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and childcare
  • Commuter reimbursement for transit costs up to $270 per month
  • Uniform allowance paid by USPS
  • Paid holidays and vacation days

These benefits can add tremendous value beyond just the base salary. Health insurance alone is a huge perk, covering most family members at only 25% of premium cost to the employee.

Other perks include not having to furnish your own vehicle or pay for fuel costs. USPS provides mail carriers with a postal service truck for deliveries. And uniforms are provided and maintained by USPS as well.

When you factor in the stability, benefits, and perks of being a postal employee, the overall compensation package can be quite impressive.

Pros of Being a Mail Carrier

If you want to earn a $100k income as a mail carrier, here are some of the biggest pros:

  • Job security – The USPS provides very stable government careers that are not likely to ever get outsourced or eliminated.
  • Clear advancement path – Promotions are based on seniority and exams, providing a clear trajectory to higher pay.
  • Federal retirement pension – USPS carriers get a federal pension after 20 years of service.
  • Early retirement options – Many carriers are able to retire in their 50s if they start early enough.
  • Weekends and holidays off – These are standard days off for most postal employees.
  • Great benefits – As noted earlier, the healthcare, insurance and other perks are valuable.
  • No micromanaging – Mail carriers spend their days working independently without a boss looking over their shoulder.

For those who don’t mind working outdoors and logging many miles on their feet, a postal service job provides financial security that’s hard to beat.

Cons of Being a Mail Carrier

However, there are also some tough cons that come with being a mail carrier:

  • Physical nature of work – It’s an active job with lots of walking, lifting, bending and fit requirements.
  • Weather conditions – Rain, snow, heat and other weather can make the job miserable at times.
  • Repetitive motions and risk of injury – Doing the same motions daily can lead to chronic pain and health issues.
  • Long hours – Overtime is often mandatory during busy seasons resulting in constant 60-hour weeks.
  • Work-life balance challenges – Postal employees have less control over their schedules than other careers.

Before pursuing a postal service career, these cons should be seriously weighed. The job places major physical demands on carriers and requires an incredible work ethic.


In summary, reaching a six-figure income as a mail carrier takes some effort but can certainly be attainable for the right individuals. It requires a long-term commitment to the career, consistent overtime hours, passing exams, and earning promotions over many years.

For those willing to put in the hard work, a postal service job can provide financial security and a stable career with good benefits. But the physical demands and time requirements of the job should not be underestimated. Working conditions and hours are difficult.

Overall, making $100k as a mailman is possible but not common. Only the top few percent of carriers will reach this salary level after many years on the job. It takes immense dedication over an entire career to earn the highest postal service salaries.