Those unfamiliar with USPS may think that all mail carriers are the same. However, there are plenty of differences when it comes to postal service employees. For one, there are two kinds of positions: permanent (career) and temporary (non-career) positions.
City Carrier Assistant (CCA) is an example of a non-career mail delivery carrier. If you want to know about the job requirements, pay and benefits for CCAs, then you’re in the right place. This article will answer all of your questions.
USPS City Carrier Assistant In 2023
USPS City Carrier Assistant (CCA) is an entry-level, non-career track mail delivery carrier. Like career City Carriers, these employees are responsible for delivering and receiving mail from residences and businesses. They may also organize mail by address and assist customers along their delivery routes. CCAs earn $19 per hour on average and routinely work 40+ hours per week.
If you still have questions about being a CCA, including benefits and opportunities for advancement, then be sure to check out the rest of our article.
What Does A USPS City Carrier Assistant Do?
A USPS City Carrier Assistant (often shortened to CCA) is an entry-level, non-career-track mail delivery position.
CCAs are responsible for delivering and receiving mail from residents and businesses. This involves traveling by foot, bike, or postal vehicle.
Some will have a route or routes assigned to them, while others will cover other carriers’ routes in the event of vacation, illness, or scheduled days off.
Employees in this position may also be responsible for…
- Organizing mail by address (also known as casing)
- Assisting customers along their route with postal needs (e.g. providing change of address forms or selling postage stamps)
- Using a portable scanner to track parcels or pieces of mail.
What Are The Requirements For City Carrier Assistants?
Applicants for the City Carrier Assistant position must be 18 years of age or older and must have a high school diploma or an equivalent. They must also be United States citizens or have permanent residency.
In addition, they must be able to pass a drug screening and a criminal background check.
All applicants must take the USPS Postal Exam 474. This is a written exam that tests applicants’ ability to read and sort mail and memorize delivery procedures. There is also a physical part of the test to measure each applicant’s suitability for the position.
If a position requires driving, applicants must have a valid driver’s license, pass a driving test and show a clean driving record.
How Much Do USPS City Carrier Assistants Make?
Hourly wages for USPS City Carrier Assistants vary from state to state, but the average is $19 per hour.
This works out to an average yearly salary of $40,582 per year, however, salaries can range from $27,211 to $60,523.
In addition to their normal hourly wages, CCAs are paid time and a half if they work more than 8 hours in a service day or more than 40 hours in a service week.
What’s more, CCAs are paid double time for all work over 10 hours in a service day or over 56 hours in a service week.
Do City Carrier Assistants Get Any Benefits?
CCAs have a few benefits, including paid leave, paid holidays, access to health benefits, and preferential access to career City Carrier positions. Let’s look at each benefit in a bit more detail.
CCAs earn 1 hour of annual leave for every 20 hours worked, up to a maximum of 13 days per year. Any unused leave at the end of the 360-day work tour is paid out in a lump sum.
USPS pays CCAs for 6 holidays throughout the year. These include New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
If a CCA is scheduled to work on Memorial Day or Labor Day, they will receive holiday pay plus pay for the hours worked.
While normal mail service is suspended on these holidays, Amazon continues to deliver, hence the need for people to work.
New CCAs qualify for health benefits at the end of their 90-day probation period. These benefits can also be used to cover a spouse and/or children.
Finally, senior CCAs are first in line for promotions when career City Carrier positions open up.
How Many Hours Do USPS City Carrier Assistants Work?
USPS’ official CCA job description states that the hours worked varies.
Therefore, it’s impossible to give an exact answer. Actual hours worked will depend on each USPS station, staffing, mail volume, or weather conditions, just to name a few.
At a minimum, CCAs are guaranteed at least four hours of work anytime they are scheduled and report to work. That being said, almost every CCA will work 40 hours per week, if not more.
In fact, some CCAs report working an average of 6-10 hours per day. Per USPS policy, CCAs could be asked to work up to 11.5 hours per day.
How Often Do City Carrier Assistants Work?
Most CCAs work 6 days per week. There are reports of people working 7 days per week, but it seems that USPS recently put a policy into place prohibiting this.
How Many Days Can A City Carrier Assistant Take Off?
On a weekly basis, CCAs have one day off.
In terms of paid vacation time, CCAs can earn up to 13 days of annual leave per year (based on the number of hours worked).
This leave can be used for vacation, sick days or as bereavement days when a family member passes away.
Is City Carrier Assistant A Permanent Job?
City Carrier Assistant is a non-career-track position and is not permanent. Rather, CCAs are hired for a 360-day term. After this term, they will have a 5-day service before being hired for another 360 days (provided their job performance is satisfactory).
While CCA is not a permanent position, it does provide access to a career-track position as a City Carrier.
If and when a permanent position opens up, the most senior CCA at a given branch is first in line for the promotion.
Ascending to the position of senior-most CCA requires employees to be patient, work hard, and maintain good attendance.
Additionally, getting to this position could take monthsor years, depending on when people quit, retire, or are promoted.
Is Being A City Carrier Assistant Worth It?
Now that you know pretty much all there is to know about being a CCA, you may be wondering if it’s a good job.
Of course, the answer to this question is subjective, but if online forums are to be believed, most CCAs aren’t happy in their roles.
Many note lack of training, lack of supervision, and lack of management as challenges in this role.
Others mention a heavy work schedule, lack of work-life balance, and excessive turnover as reasons to avoid this position.
To know more about USPS, you can also see our posts on automotive technician USPS, if it is easy to get a job at USPS, and the USPS orientation.
USPS’ City Carrier Assistants receive decent pay and benefits, however, they will be asked to work long hours under less than ideal conditions. Still, this position is a good starting point if you’re committed to securing a career position at USPS.