Summary Report for:
43-5051.00 - Postal Service Clerks
Perform any combination of tasks in a post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail rack or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage.
Sample of reported job titles: Bulk Mail Technician, Clerk, Distribution Clerk, Part Time Flexible Clerk (PTF Clerk), Postal Clerk, Sales and Distribution Clerk, Sales and Service Associate (SSA), Sales Associate, Window Clerk, Window/Distribution Clerk
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Keep money drawers in order, and record and balance daily transactions.
- Weigh letters and parcels, compute mailing costs based on type, weight, and destination, and affix correct postage.
- Obtain signatures from recipients of registered or special delivery mail.
- Register, certify, and insure letters and parcels.
- Sell and collect payment for products such as stamps, prepaid mail envelopes, and money orders.
- Check mail to ensure correct postage and that packages and letters are in proper condition for mailing.
- Answer questions regarding mail regulations and procedures, postage rates, and post office boxes.
- Complete forms regarding changes of address, or theft or loss of mail, or for special services such as registered or priority mail.
- Provide assistance to the public in complying with federal regulations of Postal Service and other federal agencies.
- Sort incoming and outgoing mail, according to type and destination, by hand or by operating electronic mail-sorting and scanning devices.
- Cash money orders.
- Rent post office boxes to customers.
- Put undelivered parcels away, retrieve them when customers come to claim them, and complete any related documentation.
- Provide customers with assistance in filing claims for mail theft, or lost or damaged mail.
- Respond to complaints regarding mail theft, delivery problems, and lost or damaged mail, filling out forms and making appropriate referrals for investigation.
- Receive letters and parcels, and place mail into bags.
- Feed mail into postage canceling devices or hand stamp mail to cancel postage.
- Transport mail from one work station to another.
- Set postage meters, and calibrate them to ensure correct operation.
- Post announcements or government information on public bulletin boards.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Automatic postal or mailing machine — Automated mail processing equipment
- Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners
- Bin handlers — Bin stackers
- Box sealing tape dispensers — Packaging tape dispensers
- Carts — Mail transport carts
- Cash box trays — Money drawers
- Dollies — Warehouse dollies
- Franking or postage machines — Postage meters
- Hand trucks or accessories — Hand trucks
- Mailing bags — Mail bags
- Material handling racks — General purpose mail containers
- Optical character recognition systems — Optical character readers
- Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale workstations
- Postal scales — Mail scales
- Rubber stamping stamps — Hand stamps
- Security tag detacher — Security device removers
- Security tags — Security devices
- Sorters — Barcode sorters; Doubles detectors; Electronic mail sorting devices; Sorting machines
- Stamp canceling machines — Stamp cancelers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — Budgeting software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Delivery operations information system DOIS *
- Human resources software — Time and Attendance Collection System TACS *
- Inventory management software — Inventory tracking software
- Point of sale POS software — NCR Advanced Store
- Time accounting software — Electronic Time Clock ETC *
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Detailed Work Activities
- Execute sales or other financial transactions.
- Collect deposits, payments or fees.
- Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance.
- Obtain written authorization to perform activities.
- Maintain financial or account records.
- Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
- Sort mail.
- Sell products or services.
- Deliver items.
- Respond to customer problems or complaints.
- Calculate shipping costs.
- Weigh parcels to determine shipping costs.
- Assist individuals with paperwork.
- Load materials or equipment.
- Arrange insurance coverage.
- Prepare outgoing mail.
- Refer customers to appropriate personnel.
- Verify shipping documentation.
- Store items.
- Adjust office equipment to ensure proper operation.
- Receive shipments.
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 92% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 56% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 77% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Deal With External Customers — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Standing — 58% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 51% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 47% responded “40 hours.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 47% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 32% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 38% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 27% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 29% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Letters and Memos — 28% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related 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.|
|Job 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.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|83||High school diploma or equivalent|
|5||Less than high school diploma|
Interest code: CR
- 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.
- 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.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$26.72 hourly, $55,590 annual|
|Employment (2012)||67,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Decline (-3% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||10,200|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Postal Service Workers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.