Skip navigation

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

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

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

Tasks

  • Keep money drawers in order, and record and balance daily transactions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Weigh letters and parcels, compute mailing costs based on type, weight, and destination, and affix correct postage. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Obtain signatures from recipients of registered or special delivery mail. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Register, certify, and insure letters and parcels. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sell and collect payment for products such as stamps, prepaid mail envelopes, and money orders. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Check mail to ensure correct postage and that packages and letters are in proper condition for mailing. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Answer questions regarding mail regulations and procedures, postage rates, and post office boxes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Complete forms regarding changes of address, or theft or loss of mail, or for special services such as registered or priority mail. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide assistance to the public in complying with federal regulations of Postal Service and other federal agencies. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sort incoming and outgoing mail, according to type and destination, by hand or by operating electronic mail-sorting and scanning devices. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Cash money orders. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Rent post office boxes to customers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Put undelivered parcels away, retrieve them when customers come to claim them, and complete any related documentation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide customers with assistance in filing claims for mail theft, or lost or damaged mail. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Respond to complaints regarding mail theft, delivery problems, and lost or damaged mail, filling out forms and making appropriate referrals for investigation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Receive letters and parcels, and place mail into bags. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Feed mail into postage canceling devices or hand stamp mail to cancel postage. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Transport mail from one work station to another. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Set postage meters, and calibrate them to ensure correct operation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Post announcements or government information on public bulletin boards. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Automatic postal or mailing machine — Automated mail processing equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bin handlers — Bin stackers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Box sealing tape dispensers — Packaging tape dispensers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Carts — Mail transport carts See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cash box trays — Money drawers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Dollies — Warehouse dollies See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Franking or postage machines — Postage meters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hand trucks or accessories — Hand trucks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mailing bags — Mail bags See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Material handling racks — General purpose mail containers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Optical character recognition systems — Optical character readers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale workstations See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Postal scales — Mail scales See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rubber stamping stamps — Hand stamps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Security tag detacher — Security device removers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Security tags — Security devices See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sorters — Barcode sorters; Doubles detectors; Electronic mail sorting devices; Sorting machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Stamp canceling machines — Stamp cancelers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Accounting software — Budgeting software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Delivery operations information system DOIS * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Human resources software — Time and Attendance Collection System TACS * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Inventory management software — Inventory tracking software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Point of sale POS software — NCR Advanced Store See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Time accounting software — Electronic Time Clock ETC * See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

back to top

Knowledge

  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

back to top

Skills

  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

back to top

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.

back to top

Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions. See more occupations related to this activity.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Execute sales or other financial transactions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect deposits, payments or fees. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Obtain written authorization to perform activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain financial or account records. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Explain regulations, policies, or procedures. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sort mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sell products or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Deliver items. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Respond to customer problems or complaints. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Calculate shipping costs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Weigh parcels to determine shipping costs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assist individuals with paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Load materials or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Arrange insurance coverage. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare outgoing mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Refer customers to appropriate personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Verify shipping documentation. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Store items. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust office equipment to ensure proper operation. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Receive shipments. See more occupations related to this activity.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 92% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 56% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 77% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 74% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 57% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 44% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 58% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 59% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 43% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 54% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 41% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 62% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 51% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 47% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 47% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 40% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 32% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 38% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 27% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 29% responded “Limited freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 28% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.

back to top

Job Zone

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)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
83   High school diploma or equivalent Help
5   Less than high school diploma
5   Associate's degree

back to top

Credentials

Find Apprenticeships

back to top

Interests

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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.

back to top

Work Values

  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.

back to top

Related Occupations

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $26.72 hourly, $55,590 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 67,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 10,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "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.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top

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 external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

back to top