Developments in technology and the growth of alternative delivery systems have shrunk demand for U.S. mail services, but despite fewer job openings than in past years, a great many people are still needed to run the U.S. Postal Service. Postmasters and mail superintendents lead operations of post offices and manage workers. They supervise mail processing, resolve customer complaints, and handle typical management duties such as hiring, training staff, and setting schedules. Mail sorters, processors and processing machine operators prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. They sort and route mail to its destination, either by hand, or using machinery, including forklifts and automated conveyors to move large sacks of mail or unload trucks. Sorters and processors make sure the correct postage has been used, and keep records of mail shipments. Mail carriers represent the largest group of postal service employees. They typically sort mail and arrange it in order of their delivery route, then deliver the mail on foot, or by car. They also collect mail and deliver it to the post office. Mail carriers answer customers’ questions, provide forms, and keep an eye out for unusual circumstances on their route. Postal service clerks sell products, including postage stamps and money orders. They weigh packages and mailers, apply correct postage, collect money from customers, and advise them on mailing methods. There are also mail clerks and mail machine operators who work for private organizations. They prepare outgoing mail, and handle incoming mail. They wrap and weigh packages, and transfer containers of mail. Mail-related occupations typically require a high school diploma. Management and supervision level positions require related work experience. Mail carriers must be able to lift and carry heavy mailbags, and walk across a variety of surfaces in all types of weather conditions. They also encounter hazards such as traffic and animals.
What they do:
Perform any combination of tasks in a United States Postal Service (USPS) post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail rack or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage. Includes postal service clerks employed by USPS contractors.
On the job, you would:
Weigh letters and parcels, compute mailing costs based on type, weight, and destination, and affix correct postage.
Check mail to ensure correct postage and that packages and letters are in proper condition for mailing.
Sort incoming and outgoing mail, according to type and destination, by hand or by operating electronic mail-sorting and scanning devices.
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Delivery operations information system DOIS
Point of sale POS software
NCR Advanced Store
high school diploma/GED or some college usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.