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Details for Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators


Description

Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Examine, sort, and route mail by State, type of mail, or other scheme. Load, operate, and occasionally adjust and repair mail processing, sorting, and canceling machinery. Keep records of shipments, pouches, and sacks; and other duties related to mail handling within the postal service. Must complete a competitive exam.

Tasks

  • Direct items according to established routing schemes, using computer controlled keyboards or voice recognition equipment.
  • Bundle, label, and route sorted mail to designated areas depending on destinations and according to established procedures and deadlines.
  • Serve the public at counters or windows, such as by selling stamps and weighing parcels.
  • Supervise other mail sorters.
  • Train new workers.
  • Distribute incoming mail into the correct boxes or pigeonholes.
  • Operate various types of equipment, such as computer scanning equipment, addressographs, mimeographs, optical character readers, and bar-code sorters.
  • Search directories to find correct addresses for redirected mail.
  • Clear jams in sorting equipment.
  • Check items to ensure that addresses are legible and correct, that sufficient postage has been paid or the appropriate documentation is attached, and that items are in a suitable condition for processing.
  • Open and label mail containers.
  • Rewrap soiled or broken parcels.
  • Weigh articles to determine required postage.
  • Move containers of mail, using equipment such as forklifts and automated "trains."
  • Sort odd-sized mail by hand, sort mail that other workers have been unable to sort, and segregate items requiring special handling.
  • Accept and check containers of mail from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors.
  • Load and unload mail trucks, sometimes lifting containers of mail onto equipment that transports items to sorting stations.
  • Cancel letter or parcel post stamps by hand.
  • Dump sacks of mail onto conveyors for culling and sorting.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

Skills

Related Careers

Wages for this career
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