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What Are the Duties of the Postmaster General?

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The postmaster general is the official in charge of the United States Postal Service (USPS). The postmaster general runs the postal service just as any CEO of a major corporation would. In a nutshell, the postmaster job is overseeing operations. Duties for this position include everything from managing and hiring to raising the price of stamps. Once a part of the presidential cabinet, this office is now its own entity within the federal government. Although the number of postal employees has declined since 1995 in an effort to cut operating costs, the postmaster general is still responsible for more than half a million employees.

Supervise Operations

The first job of the postmaster general is to supervise the operations of the postal service. This includes the daily business of all incoming and outgoing mail. All mail is labeled and checked over for proper weight and postage. Stamps, postage, insurance and packaging material are all sold. The country's increased homeland security policies have placed an even greater emphasis on mail inspection and security.

Regulating Postage Rates

The second duty that the postmaster general is charged with is the regulation of postal rates. This may be the most aggravating duty of all, as many people get angry when postal rates rise. It is also very difficult to rationalize why rates should be raised in these days of political corruption and government overspending. It’s a stressful and detailed job that is determined by the codes held within the postal profession. The postmaster general takes certain things like the cost of living, rate of pay and the date of the last postage raise when determining if they will raise the postage rate.

Government Liaison

The postmaster general of the United States is also a liaison between the public and the government on all things related to the postal service. The postmaster general helps us as the public to understand what the laws and regulations mean to us and for us, as well as helping us to let the government know what we need. When we have issues with our postal service, such as concerns over wages of post office administrative office personnel or postage rates, it is the postmaster general who takes on this problem and helps to find a way to solve it to everyone's benefit.

Overseeing Postal Service Employees

The postmaster general is also required to oversee the hiring and firing of employees of the postal service as well as evaluation of the work they do. Obviously the postmaster general cannot personally oversee the thousands of postal employees throughout the United States but relies on USPS supervisors. The postmaster general is also responsible for the interactions of the postal service employees and the general public. There have been news stories about the stress level of postal workers, and the postmaster general must make sure the employees in his post office are able to work well with each other and the stresses placed upon them each day.

Overseeing Wages and Benefits

The postmaster general of the United States also has the responsibility of making sure all employees receive their benefits. While the post office is run like a large corporation, the employees make government wages and receive federal employee benefits. They are rewarded with life insurance health insurance, pension and retirement. The postmaster general must also oversee all complaints and carry out all duties related to the disbursement of wages and benefits.


Kelly Banaski-Sons has been a writer since 1991. Her work has been seen in print publications like "The Sacramento Bee," "PREP Magazine," "The Manchester Times" and on websites like Divorce360 and AOL. She is a featured expert for and other websites. She has a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Kaplan University.

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