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Qualifying for the post of mail superintendent in the U.S. involves the sitting of a written exam. Individuals applying to work at the entry level will be listed according to their scores and those with the top three scores will head the list. When a post becomes vacant, one of the top three applicants will be contacted to fill that spot. The other applicants from the list will remain eligible for two years before their application expires. Veterans who were honourably discharged are given bonus points. The post can sometimes be filled by an experienced postal worker who has progressed throughout the various ranks of the system. In Canada the requirements are a high school diploma or provincial equivalent. Interested parties may also be required to have experience in business administration.
A managerial post naturally requires that the individual have some level of competence in certain areas of business and management. Administration and management is a key aspect of the job. These superintendents will need to be equipped with the knowledge of certain business principles that include strategic planning and human resource management to name a few.
Customer care and personal service are also key components of good managerial skills that a leader should possess. Other qualifying attributes for the post include knowledge of production and processing as well as public safety and security.
As is the case with every job, there are certain non-academic skills that an individual should possess if they are to function well in that career. As a leader he or she should be able to think critically, be an active listener, be able to communicate effectively, be socially perceptive and have good time management skills.
Mail superintendents are at the top level of the postal service which means that there is no other level to which they can advance. However, those working as the head of small-to medium-sized post offices can go on to manage a larger facility.