Postal Clerk Job Description
Postal Clerks sort and prepare mail for delivery. They might also be called Mail Clerks or Mail Room Clerks. They might work for large organizations and deliver interoffice mail and prepare packages for shipment through the U.S. Postal Service or other carriers, such as UPS or FedEx. They could also work for the U.S. Postal Service and process mail in a post office. Postal Clerks can also log in incoming mail and packages and order mailroom supplies.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 26 percent decline in jobs for Postal Clerks working for the U.S. Postal Service through 2024. Automated mail systems and online bill payments are will play major roles in this decline.
Postal Clerk Duties and Responsibilities
Whether they are working in the public or private sector, Postal Clerks must perform several tasks to fulfill their job duties. We have reviewed several job listings and found the following among the core Postal Clerk duties and responsibilities.
Sort Incoming Mail
The main responsibility of a Postal Clerk is to sort mail to ensure that it is delivered to the proper locations. This might involve using a sorting machine. They might stamp incoming mail indicating the date and time of its arrival. Postal Clerks will sort mail according to address, individual’s name or by company department.
Distribute Mail and Parcels
Once all incoming mail has been properly sorted, a Postal Clerk will then deliver the packages to each department or individual. This typically involves using a handcart or bin, which is wheeled from one department to another. Postal Clerks who work in a post office might only be responsible for sorting the mail, with Mail Carriers making the deliveries to houses and companies.
While some sorting can be done by hand, Postal Clerks often use machines to complete this task. Postal Clerks also use machines that stamp, label and affix postage and labels to envelopes. They must also use a scale that weighs packages to determine the correct postage due for outgoing shipments.
Keep Inventory of Supplies
For Postal Workers who are employed in corporate mailrooms, it is essential that they maintain an inventory of envelopes, packing tape, boxes and other materials. This would include UPS, FedEx and other carrier supplies.
Postal Clerk Skills
Successful Postal Clerks will have strong organizational and time management skills and an eye for detail. They should have the physical ability to stand on their feet for long periods of time. Strong mechanical skills are helpful, as they might be required to repair and maintain postal equipment. Postal Clerks should be team players who are able to meet deadlines and interact with culturally diverse groups and individuals. In addition to these general skills, a Postal Clerk could be expected by potential employers to possess the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Postal Clerks with these core skills. If you want to work as a Postal Clerk, focus on the following.
- Maintaining records of incoming mail and package deliveries
- Monitoring flow of mail through automated sorting machine
- Sorting mail by hand into bins for proper delivery
- Possessing knowledge of postal regulations and requirements
- Understanding shipping procedures for UPS, FedEx and other carriers
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Postal Clerk toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Provide strong customer service
- Proficient in Microsoft Office applications
Postal Clerk Resources
It is beneficial to conduct research additional information if you are considering a career as a Postal Clerk. Below, we have provided links to online and print resources about this career.
On the Web
Clerk Craft – An online publication from the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), featuring news articles, press releases and information about current issues regarding this profession.
21st Century Postal Worker – A blog focusing on personal stories and challenges facing Postal Clerks.
Postal Employee Network (PEN) – This website offers news and stories for various postal employees, including Postal Clerks. Includes a forum devoted to Postal Clerks.
Postal Clerk and Carrier Exam Cram (473, 473-C, 460) 2nd Edition – A review of what one can expect to find on a Postal Clerk exam for employment with the U.S. Postal Service.
Postal Clerk and Carrier, 23/e – An extensive look at what is needed to prepare for a career as a Postal Clerk.
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