The BLS estimates that mail-carrier positions will decrease 12 percent by 2020, but not everyone will be affected, says Jeanette Dwyer, president of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, a union for rural mail carriers.
Rural delivery started because residents "had to have some means of getting their mail out, getting messages from one place to another, and that has not changed," she says. "We're still the cheapest means of doing that for most of America.... That's where I believe the outlook for rural carriers is very good."
Despite sometimes monotonous routes, inclement weather and physical strains of the job, Dwyer says the human connections many mail carriers establish can make the job worthwhile.
"It gives you a sense of satisfaction, particularly on the rural routes where you have elderly customers, veterans and people that you are their only link (to the outside world)," she says.
Mail carriers across the U.S. rake in a median salary of $56,490 per year and don't need a college degree to break into the field. But with recent downsizing of the Postal Service, new opportunities are few, the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association's press office confirms. According to the College Foundation of North Carolina's career portal, mail carriers can use skills such as record keeping, administrative duties and driving abilities in other jobs.