The mailing industry in the US employs more than 8 million people. In particular, the US Postal Service delivers mail to over 150 million addresses across the country, making it the largest mail distributor in the world. Working as a postal service employee offers you an opportunity to serve people and businesses, and to connect the nation through mail packaging, distribution and delivery.
What Does a Postal Service Worker Do?
Postal service workers can be employed in various capacities as:
- Mail processors and sorters, administrative workers and mail carriers
- Mailsorters and processors, who are in charge of receiving mail from trucks, sorting them out and sending the mail to their respective delivery districts
- Administrators, who usually work indoors (in the post offices) and sell stamps, postal stationery, weight parcels, and register mails. They also handle customer queries
- Mail delivery workers, who do the foot work by physically distributing mail to hundreds of addresses in a specific delivery district
Postal mail carriers earn slightly more than their postal administrative counterparts and mail sorters and processors. You would expect to earn the follow rates:
To become a postal service employee you must comply with the following requirements:
- A high school diploma
- Have an eye for details and an ability to master a lot of information within a short time. To this end, you must pass a competency exam.
- Be able to check that mail has been addressed correctly and is delivered to the right address because the work entails going through many letters, parcels and addresses.
- Possess a valid drivers license, especially for a mail delivery job that entails moving from one location to another.
New recruits will typically receive on-the-job training to familiarize them with various work processes such as procedures for collecting and delivering mail, mail delivery procedures, and sorting out mail.
A postal workers job setting largely depends on the nature of work. Postal mail carriers spend most of their working hours outdoors delivering mail to different addresses. Mail delivery entails walking or driving around neighborhoods each day of the week, except Sundays. Postal clerks and mail processors usually work indoors.
Both mail carriers and processors spend a lot of time carrying moderately heavy weights as they deliver and distribute letters and parcels.
Career Growth and Job Prospects
The Postal Service reported a net loss of $354 million in the first quarter of 2014. The introduction of technology to sort and distribute mail, and the increasing use of email and cluster mailboxes all contribute to the steady decline of employment opportunities for postal service workers.
However, private competitors such as UPS and FedEx are expanding their operations to stay competitive in the market. These alternative mail service providers may offer feasible employment opportunities for those who want to work in the mail industry.
If you are excited about meeting people and working in the outdoors and indoors too, then a career as a postal service worker would be a great fit for you.
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