Rural Carrier //Rural Carrier Associate //Assistant Rural Carrier

Test required: Virtual Entry Assessment MC - (474) Postal Exam 474

A recent news article stated that the Postal Service hires over 1,500 new employees each week and that most are hired for mail carrier positions. Probably the quickest way to start your Postal career is to apply for a mail carrier job.

Rural Carrier positions are mail delivery jobs. They are one of the two more common open jobs posted on the USPS website. Postal careers are often started by getting one of these jobs.

Many Postal employees will tell you that a Rural Carrier position is the best job to have. They say that you work with less supervision and that you work in a rural environment that is far more enjoyable than an inner-city or metro area.

There are three categories of Rural Carrier positions as listed below. Applicants for all three categories must take Postal exam 474. Depending upon the needs of local Post Offices, you will regularly find job postings for all three categories nationwide. Details on wages, benefits, and hours are provided in individual job postings.

Rural Carrier is a fulltime career position that comes with the famous complete Postal benefits package.

Rural Carrier Associate (RCA) is a non-career long-term relief job that can work directly in to a career position. When a career Rural Carrier position opens up, it is offered to the senior RCA at that particular facility. If there are no RCAs employed at that facility, the Postmaster posts an open job listing for a career Rural Carrier position. RCAs cover for full-time career Rural Carriers when the full-timer is out due to sick leave, vacation leave, days off, etc. Depending upon the size of the facility and the number of full-time Rural Carriers based there, an RCA might work anywhere from only one or two days a week up to over 40 hours a week. If an RCA is based in a smaller facility with limited hours to offer, he/she is often able to get more hours by covering for full-timers at other nearby facilities.

Assistant Rural Carrier (ARC) jobs are similar to RCA jobs except that (1) ARCs are expected to work relief specifically on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays and (2) ARC jobs cannot work directly into career positions.

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