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Postal Service Worker Career

Career Description

Postal Service Workers process, sort, and deliver mail and packages as well as provide customer services and supplies in post offices.

Common Work Tasks

  • Sell stamps, money orders, postal stationery,  and mailing envelopes and boxes in post offices throughout the country
  • Weigh packages to determine postage and check that packages are in satisfactory condition for mailing
  • Register, certify, and insure mail and answer questions about postage rates, post office boxes, mailing restrictions, and other postal matters
  • Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution at post offices and at mail processing centers
  • Load and unload postal trucks and move mail around a mail processing center with forklifts, small electric tractors, or hand-pushed carts
  • Deliver mail, once it has been processed and sorted, to residences and businesses in cities, towns, and rural areas
  • Collect money for postage-due and COD (cash-on-delivery) fees and obtain signed receipts for registered, certified,  and insured mail
  • Return to the post office with mail gathered from homes, businesses, and sometimes street collection boxes, and turn in the mail, receipts, and money collected during the day

Other Job Titles

Postal Service Workers are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Postal Service Clerks
  • Postal Service Mail Sorters
  • Postal Service Processors
  • Postal Service Mail Carriers

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
 
There are no specific education requirements to become a Postal Service worker; however, all applicants must have a good command of the English language. Upon being hired,  new Postal Service workers are trained on the job by experienced workers. Many post offices offer classroom instruction on safety and defensive driving.  Workers receive additional instruction when new equipment or procedures are introduced. In these cases, workers usually are trained by another postal employee or a training specialist.

Experience
     
Postal Service workers must be at least 18 years old. They must be U.S. citizens or have been granted permanent resident-alien status in the United States, and males must have registered with the Selective Service upon reaching age 18.

Postal clerks and mail carriers should be courteous and tactful when dealing with the public, especially when answering questions or receiving complaints. A good memory and the ability to read rapidly and accurately are important. Good interpersonal skills are important, particularly for mail clerks and mail carriers who deal closely with the public.

Salary

The median annual salary for a Postal Service Worker is $44,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $50,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $33,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of postal service workers are:

  • Postal Service- $44,030

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  -2%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: -12,000
  • Employment 2006 : 615,000
  • Employment 2016:  603,000
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