Summary Report for:
43-9051.00 - Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service
Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. 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, Postal Clerk
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | 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
- 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.
- 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
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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
- 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, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Interest code: CR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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 (2020)||$15.35 hourly, $31,920 annual|
|Employment (2019)||88,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||8,300|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "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.