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Career profile Postal Clerk

Also known as Bulk Mail Technician, Clerk, Distribution Clerk, Part Time Flexible Clerk (PTF Clerk), Postal Clerk, Sales Service Associate (SSA), Sales and Distribution Clerk, Sales and Service Associate (SSA), Window Clerk, Window/Distribution Clerk

Postal Clerk

Also known as Bulk Mail Technician, Clerk, Distribution Clerk

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$37,760 - $64,260 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Service Orientation
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Sell and collect payment for products such as stamps, prepaid mail envelopes, and money orders.
  • Weigh letters and parcels, compute mailing costs based on type, weight, and destination, and affix correct postage.
  • Keep money drawers in order, and record and balance daily transactions.
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What does a Postal Clerk do?

Postal Clerks perform any combination of tasks in a United States Postal Service (USPS) 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.

In addition, Postal Clerks includes postal service clerks employed by USPS contractors.

What kind of tasks does a Postal Clerk perform regularly?

Postal Clerks are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Weigh letters and parcels, compute mailing costs based on type, weight, and destination, and affix correct postage.
  • Check mail to ensure correct postage and that packages and letters are in proper condition for mailing.
  • Sort incoming and outgoing mail, according to type and destination, by hand or by operating electronic mail-sorting and scanning devices.
  • Obtain signatures from recipients of registered or special delivery mail.
  • Answer questions regarding mail regulations and procedures, postage rates, and post office boxes.
  • Transport mail from one work station to another.

The above responsibilities are specific to Postal Clerks. More generally, Postal Clerks are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
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.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
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.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is a Postal Clerk salary?

The median salary for a Postal Clerk is $50,150, and the average salary is $51,200. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Postal Clerk salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Postal Clerks earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Postal Clerks earn less than $37,760 per year, 25% earn less than $38,980, 75% earn less than $62,990, and 90% earn less than $64,260.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Postal Clerks is expected to change by -7.7%, and there should be roughly 5,800 open positions for Postal Clerks every year.

Median annual salary
$50,150
Typical salary range
$37,760 - $64,260
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-7.7%

What personality traits are common among Postal Clerks?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Postal Clerk are usually higher in their Conventional interests.

Postal Clerks typically have very strong Conventional interests. 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.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Postal Clerk tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Postal Clerks moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Postal Clerks moderately 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.

Lastly, Postal Clerks moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Postal Clerks must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, integrity, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Postal Clerks, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
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.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Postal Clerks need?

Working as a Postal Clerk usually requires a high school diploma.

Postal Clerks need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Postal Clerks

  • 2.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 33.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 35.7% completed some college coursework
  • 12.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 13.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.6% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Postal Clerks

Postal Clerks may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, mathematics, or administrative knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Postal Clerks might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Postal Clerks

Postal Clerks must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Postal Clerks need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Postal Clerks, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Postal Clerks

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Postal Clerks frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and service orientation to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Postal Clerks, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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