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Mail Processing Clerk Job Description
Mail processing clerks typically work as postal support employees (PSEs) for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Professionals in these positions sort and prepare mail for distribution by a mail carrier. They may also assist in loading mail career vehicles, unloading the vehicles at the end of their shift and filing away mail that couldn't be delivered.
Mail processing clerk duties include sorting and preparing mail for distribution, and hand-sorting letters. USPS PSEs can expect to encounter the following tasks in their daily jobs:
- Preparing mail to load into carrier trucks.
- Loading postal trucks and making sure to pack parcels in delivery route order.
- Loading and operating machinery for mail processing, sorting and canceling.
- Sorting and organizing mail to be delivered.
- Unloading mail trucks after they complete their routes.
- Repairing machines.
- Bundle, label and route mail depending on their destinations, and according to established deadlines and procedures.
- Operating optical character readers such as scanning equipment, addressographs and mimeographs.
- Assisting customers.
- Fixing packages that have been broken or otherwise damaged.
- Checking items' addresses to make sure they are legible and correct.
- Placing mails onto conveyors to be culled and sorted.
- Weighing parcels to determine what the postage costs.
- Operating forklifts and trains to move large boxes and mail items.
Mail processing clerks are responsible for learning everything there is to know about the complex process of sorting mail. This process determines whether packages reach their destinations in an accurate, timely manner, and depends largely on whether mail processing clerks have properly separated and organized the mail at hand. These professionals must also work to keep their business areas fully stocked with necessary supplies, provide service to customers, and learn and abide by safety procedures to keep the workplace free of injuries and accidents.
USPS PSE positions generally require candidates to hold their high school diploma or an educational equivalent. Applicants must usually take and pass an exam to demonstrate their knowledge of post office procedures. This exam ensures that each employee is current on the knowledge required for a mail processing clerk position.
- Mail processing clerk candidates must meet the following requirements to qualify for a PSE position:
- 18 years old at the time of appointment, or 16 with a high school diploma.
- U.S. citizen, permanent resident or a U.S. territory citizen.
- Provide a history of recent employment.
- Ability to pass a drug screening, medical assessment and criminal background check.
- Possess a safe driving record, if applicable.
Mail processing clerks should possess excellent organizational and customer service skills.
Mail processing clerks working for USPS earn an average annual wage of $42,000, which breaks down to $15.97 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent on the earning scale take home approximately $31,000 annually, while professionals in the 90th percentile earn up to $59,000 each year. Entry-level mail processing clerks can expect to make just over $35,000 per year, while late-career employees with more than 20 years of experience earn just under $55,000 annually. Mid-career employees with five to 10 years of experience earn an average annual compensation of $39,000, according to PayScale.
Postal Service Mail Sorters, and Mail Processors Employment and Labor Information 2023
Postal Service Mail Sorters, and Mail Processors Employment Brief:
Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution for the United States Postal Service (USPS). 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 perform other duties related to mail handling within the postal service. Includes postal service mail sorters and processors employed by USPS contractors.
Postal Service Mail Sorters, and Mail Processors Job Description
Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Postal Service Mail Sorters, and Mail Processors.
Postal Service Mail Sorters, and Mail Processors Responsibilities and Duties:
- Open and label mail containers.
- Clear jams in sorting equipment.
- Direct items according to established routing schemes, using computer-controlled keyboards or voice-recognition equipment.
- Train new workers.
- Accept and check containers of mail from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors.
- Weigh articles to determine required postage.
- Cancel letter or parcel post stamps by hand.
- Check items to ensure that addresses are legible and correct, that sufficient postage has been paid or the appropriate documentation is attached, and that items are in a suitable condition for processing.
- Distribute incoming mail into the correct boxes or pigeonholes.
- Search directories to find correct addresses for redirected mail.
Typical Daily Tasks of Postal Service Mail Sorters, and Mail Processors:
- Handling and Moving Objects: Package objects for shipping.
- Performing General Physical Activities: Load materials or equipment. Unload materials or equipment.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates.
- Getting Information: Obtain personal or financial information about customers or applicants.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Attach identification information to products, items or containers.
- Processing Information: Sort mail.
- Controlling Machines and Processes.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings.
Postal Service Mail Sorters, and Mail Processors Skills and Requirements:
- Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Installation Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
- Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Equipment Selection Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- DatabasesUsing a computer application to manage large amounts of information, including creating and editing simple databases, inputting data, retrieving specific records, and creating reports to communicate the information.
- Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Postal Service Mail Sorters, and Mail Processors Salary and Wages:
Average Salary: 58,450. Education: typical education requirements include High school diploma or equivalent.
Data from May 2023 courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program.
Brenna Swanston is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She previously reported for the Sun newspaper in Santa Maria, California, and she holds a bachelor's in journalism from California Polytechnic State University.