Postal workers are civil servants who work for the independent agency of the U.S. Federal Government’s executive branch. They are responsible for providing postal service in the United States and some of these locations can be fairly rural (think about the small towns in Alaska). The Postal Service is represented by two labor unions, the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Postal Mail. These unions comprise more than 600,000 thousand employees with Postal Clerks, Carriers, and Mail Processors. If you enjoy interacting with people and keeping the mail moving, this may be the job for you!
How to Become a Postal Service Worker
A High School diploma or the equivalent is typically required to become a postal service worker. However, there are some exceptions. The Postal Service provides on-the-job training, so no experience is necessary. You need to meet the age minimum requirement of 18 years and have proof of citizenship and a driver’s license is required. Next, you must submit your application and complete the required screening which entails passing the job-specific test. Exams for the U.S. Postal Service have a high failure rate, but don’t give up hope! You can take practice tests and get comfortable with the questions. There are also Postal Exam Preparation courses that you can do. The Post Exam 473 requires a minimum of 70-100 points on average. It is worth it to invest the time to prepare for the exam to quickly move forward with the interview process.
You can advance your career in the Postal Service by applying for a Full-Service Certification (FSC). Obtaining the Certification demonstrates your mail ability and knowledge and increases your marketability. The Postal Service looks favorably on someone with an IT Certification and can help with job security, more money, and career flexibility. You can also consider getting certified online. Studying online has the advantage of learning at your own pace and saving time. The online certification is cost-effective and has an interactive learning environment with networking opportunities.
The Postal Service wants people that are honest, outgoing, and organized. They also favor veterans. Postal service workers also need to have customer service skills, patience in stressful situations, excellent verbal communication, listening skills along with the ability to work independently and well with others. Postal service jobs can be highly competitive. If this career sounds good to you, then go for it, and good luck!
Postal Service Worker Job Description
The job description of the Postal Worker depends on the duties and responsibilities and there are many different positions at the post office. We’ll cover a Postal Clerk, Mail Carrier, and Postal Service Mail Worker.
Postal Clerk Job Description
Let’s start with a Postal Clerk. A Postal Clerk typically works at the counter inside the Post Office and works more closely with the public than other postal employees. It’s vital that they are friendly and have a pleasant demeanor. They collect letters and parcels for mailing and sell stamps and other postal products, like envelopes, stationery, and boxes. They get the signatures of customers who mail registered, certified, or insured mail. They also answer customer questions, such as how to mail a package overseas with a customs form, what restrictions are in effect for delivering packages, and when their mail can be expected to reach its destination. The Postal Clerk also may sort incoming letters and packages and distribute incoming mail from postal trucks. They operate different postal equipment, like weighing scales, printers, and other machines. They usually work six days a week inside the postal building and hold regular post office hours to include Federal holidays off.
Mail Carrier Job Description
A Mail Carrier does not spend their day-to-day hours in the post office. Instead, they deliver and collect mail within their designated route. They get signatures for registered, certified, or insured mail and collect money for cash-on-delivery or other services. When requested, they provide change of address cards and answer questions that the public may have. A mail carrier works in cities, towns, and rural areas and travel on foot or drive a vehicle, or both. A mail carrier may get to know people they deliver to regularly. They typically work 4-6 hours a day part-time, six days a week, and in various weather unless conditions are dangerous. Mail carriers that drive and walk during their route, may walk 18.6 miles a day, depending on their hours and route. Therefore, they need to be physically fit to do the job.
Postal Service Mail Worker Job Description
A Postal Service Mail worker works less with the public. They sort, process, and operate machinery pertinent to the job. They prepare the incoming and outgoing mail for distribution at the post office and mail processing centers. Mail workers have the task of loading and unloading letters and parcels from the postal trucks and operating various machinery like sorting machines.. It is the job of the postal employee to move mail around the processing center for proper distribution. What about all those letters to Santa Claus? These postal service mail workers make sure those letters get to Santa! Postal service workers usually work six days a week and are on their feet for several hours. They need to be physically able to lift the mail to and from postal trucks and during busy season can work overtime, especially on holidays.