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:
Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Examine, sort, and route mail. Load, operate, and occasionally adjust and repair mail processing, sorting, and canceling machinery. Keep records of shipments, pouches, and sacks; and other duties related to mail handling within the postal service.
On the job, you would:
Clear jams in sorting equipment.
Operate various types of equipment, such as computer scanning equipment, addressographs, mimeographs, optical character readers, and bar-code sorters.
Sort odd-sized mail by hand, sort mail that other workers have been unable to sort, and segregate items requiring special handling.
Arts and Humanities
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
put together small parts with your fingers
read and understand what is written
communicate by speaking
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:
Data base user interface and query software
Address Management System AMS
Optical character reader OCR or scanning software
Multi-line optical character reader OCR software
Point of sale POS software
NCR Advanced Store
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.