Postal service workers sell postal products and collect, sort, and deliver mail. They include such positions as clerks and mail sorters, mail carriers, processors, and processing machine operators
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Postal service workers typically do the following:
Postal service workers receive and process mail for delivery to homes, businesses, and post office boxes. Workers are classified based on the type of work they perform.
Mail carriers deliver mail to homes and businesses in cities, towns, and rural areas. Most travel established routes, delivering and collecting mail. They cover their routes on foot, by vehicle, or by a combination of both. Some mail carriers collect money for postage due and COD (cash-on-delivery). Others, particularly in rural areas, sell postal products such as stamps and money orders. All carriers, however, must be able to answer customers’ questions about postal regulations and services.
Postal service clerks sell stamps, money orders, postal stationary, mailing envelopes, and boxes in post offices throughout the country. These workers register, certify, and insure mail, calculate and collect postage, and answer questions about other postal matters.
Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution at post offices and mail processing centers. They load and unload postal trucks and move mail around mail processing centers. They also operate, and occasionally adjust and repair, mail processing, sorting, and canceling machinery.
Although there are no specific education requirements to become a postal service worker, all applicants must have a good command of English. Workers typically receive additional training on the job.
Postal service mail carriers must be at least 18 years old. They must be citizens or have permanent resident status.
All applicants must pass a written exam that measures speed and accuracy at checking names and numbers and the ability to memorize mail distribution procedures. Jobseekers should contact the post office or mail processing center where they want to work to find out when an exam will be given.
When accepted, applicants must undergo a criminal-history check and pass a physical exam and a drug test. Applicants also may be asked to show that they can lift and handle mail sacks weighing 50 pounds. Mail carriers who drive at work must have a safe driving record, and applicants must get a passing grade on a road test.
Most career postal service workers work full time. However, overtime may be required for workers, particularly during the holiday season.
The median annual wage of Postal Service workers was $53,090 in May 2010. (The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.) The lowest 10% earned less than $38,490, and the top 10% earned more than $54,620.