Summary Report for:
43-9051.00 - Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service
Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Use hand or mail handling machines to time stamp, open, read, sort, and route incoming mail; and address, seal, stamp, fold, stuff, and affix postage to outgoing mail or packages. Duties may also include keeping necessary records and completed forms.
Sample of reported job titles: Insert Operator, Inserter Operator, Mail Clerk, Mail Handler, Mail Machine Operator, Mail Processor, Mail Reader, Mail Sorter, Mailroom Supervisor, Postal 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
- Wrap packages or bundles by hand, or by using tying machines.
- Verify that items are addressed correctly, marked with the proper postage, and in suitable condition for processing.
- Remove containers of sorted mail or parcels and transfer them to designated areas according to established procedures.
- Sort and route incoming mail, and collect outgoing mail, using carts as necessary.
- Affix postage to packages or letters by hand, or stamp materials, using postage meters.
- Determine manner in which mail is to be sent, and prepare it for delivery to mailing facilities.
- Accept and check containers of mail or parcels from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors.
- Seal or open envelopes, by hand or by using machines.
- Weigh packages or letters to determine postage needed, using weighing scales and rate charts.
- Operate embossing machines or typewriters to make corrections, additions, and changes to address plates.
- Inspect mail machine output for defects and determine how to eliminate causes of any defects.
- Remove from machines printed materials such as labeled articles, postmarked envelopes or tape, and folded sheets.
- Release packages or letters to customers upon presentation of written notices or other identification.
- Operate computer-controlled keyboards or voice recognition equipment to direct items according to established routing schemes.
- Answer inquiries regarding shipping or mailing policies.
- Lift and unload containers of mail or parcels onto equipment for transportation to sortation stations.
- Contact delivery or courier services to arrange delivery of letters and parcels.
- Place incoming or outgoing letters or packages into sacks or bins based on destination or type, and place identifying tags on sacks or bins.
- Clear jams in sortation equipment.
- Mail merchandise samples or promotional literature in response to requests.
- Adjust guides, rollers, loose card inserters, weighing machines, and tying arms, using rules and hand tools.
- Read production orders to determine types and sizes of items scheduled for printing and mailing.
- Sell mail products, and accept payment for products and mailing charges.
- Start machines that automatically feed plates, stencils, or tapes through mechanisms, and observe machine operations to detect any malfunctions.
- Insert material for printing or addressing into loading racks on machines, select type or die sizes, and position plates, stencils, or tapes in machine magazines.
- Stamp dates and times of receipt of incoming mail.
- Add ink, fill paste reservoirs, and change machine ribbons when necessary.
- Use equipment such as forklifts and automated "trains" to move containers of mail.
- Fold letters or circulars and insert them in envelopes.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Addressing machines — Mail addressing machines
- Automated storage or retrieval systems — Automated filing systems
- Automatic postal or mailing machine — Electronic mailing machines; Mail handling machines; Mail processing machines
- Carts — Mail carts
- Cash registers — Electronic cash registers
- Desktop calculator — 10-key calculators
- Digital duplicators — Digital duplicating machines
- Dollies — Warehouse dollies
- Franking or postage machines — Postage marking machines; Postage meters
- Hand trucks or accessories — Hand trucks
- Inkjet printers — Computer inkjet printers
- Laminators — Lamination machines
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Letter folders — Letter folding machines
- Mail opening machines — Automatic envelope opening machines
- Mail sealing machines — Automatic envelope sealing machines
- Microfiche or microfilm viewers — Microfilm viewing equipment
- Non metallic baskets — Mail sorting trays
- Non metallic bins — Mail bins
- Personal computers
- Photocopiers — Copy machines
- Postal scales — Mail scales
- Scanners — Computer data input scanners
- Sorters — Mail sorting equipment
- Special purpose telephones — Multiline telephone systems
- Time stamping machines — Date stampers
- Tugger — Motorized tuggers
- Two way radios — Mobile radios
- Tying machines — Package tying machines
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — Financial accounting software
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access ; Recordkeeping software
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Mailing and shipping software — Postal Explorer
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- 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).
- 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.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Detailed Work Activities
- Package objects for shipping.
- Weigh parcels to determine shipping costs.
- Unload materials or equipment.
- Operate office equipment.
- Verify shipping documentation.
- Inspect items for damage or defects.
- Sort mail.
- Route mail to correct destinations.
- Prepare outgoing mail.
- Analyze shipping information to make routing decisions.
- Obtain written authorization to perform activities.
- Receive shipments.
- Operate computers or computerized equipment.
- Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
- Attach identification information to products, items or containers.
- Coordinate shipping activities with external parties.
- Maintain office equipment in proper operating condition.
- Adjust office equipment to ensure proper operation.
- Read work orders to determine material or setup requirements.
- Send information, materials or documentation.
- Collect deposits, payments or fees.
- Sell products or services.
- Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
- Operate vehicles or material-moving equipment.
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 86% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 79% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 68% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 54% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 67% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 15% responded “More than half the time.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 25% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 26% responded “Important results.”
- Time Pressure — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 29% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Physical Proximity — 74% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Spend Time Standing — 70% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 19% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Letters and Memos — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 21% responded “Important.”
- Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Very serious.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 18% responded “Less than 40 hours.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 28% responded “Important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 73% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment
- Spend Time Sitting — 39% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 32% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 38% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 22% responded “Less than half the time.”
|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 orderlies, forest firefighters, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Not available||Less than high school diploma|
|Not available||Associate's degree|
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.
- 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.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- 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.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- 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 (2015)||$13.74 hourly, $28,570 annual|
|Employment (2014)||105,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||21,400|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.