Most of us are familiar with the bank teller who processes deposits and withdrawals. We also know of the bank employees who open accounts and set up loans. However, the banking industry has employment opportunities that take place behind the scenes. The mortgage payment or car payment that is mailed to the bank every month is opened by a machine that sorts and processes the mail. Because most banks have thousands, if not millions of customers, it is essential that mail sorting be done quickly and accurately.
Definition of the Job
A sorter operator in the banking industry is the person who helps sort the bank mail by operating the equipment that opens, captures and processes customer payments and other customer communications. The individual identifies, sorts and secures mail containing checks, correspondence, plastics and cash. The sorter operator might also be required to document account information to expedite processing. If mail was received torn or if a notice was returned because of an incorrect address, the operator would need to route those manually.
The sorter operator sets up the sorting machine daily. This includes any preparations and updates the machine needs to complete the duties for the day. The sorter operator is also responsible for maintenance of the machine, which includes trouble-shooting errors, rejections, jams and any other issues that arise. The machine must continue to run quickly and accurately throughout a shift so keen technical skills are desired.
The job can be physically demanding. Sorters must be able to continuously lift 25 lbs. as they sort and transfer mail. Candidates for the job must be willing to stand for long periods and work in a fast-paced production environment. While operating the equipment requires only basic computer and phone skills, 95 percent of the time the sorter operator is standing.
Sorter operators must have a high school diploma or the equivalent and they must have good communication skills. Any and all issues with the machines need to be reported quickly and accurately because the issues could affect customers' accounts. Prior machine-operating experience is preferred.
The sorter operator can expect to be paid an average of $8 to $9 per hour depending on the bank, as of 2010. As the operator gains experience and expertise with the machinery, an increase in pay is likely.