Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service

Description

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.

Tasks

  • Seal or open envelopes, by hand or by using machines.
  • Affix postage to packages or letters by hand, or stamp materials, using postage meters.
  • Verify that items are addressed correctly, marked with the proper postage, and in suitable condition for processing.
  • 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.
  • Sort and route incoming mail, and collect outgoing mail, using carts as necessary.
  • Weigh packages or letters to determine postage needed, using weighing scales and rate charts.
  • Determine manner in which mail is to be sent, and prepare it for delivery to mailing facilities.
  • Lift and unload containers of mail or parcels onto equipment for transportation to sortation stations.
  • Wrap packages or bundles by hand, or by using tying machines.
  • Fold letters or circulars and insert them in envelopes.
  • Remove from machines printed materials such as labeled articles, postmarked envelopes or tape, and folded sheets.
  • Add ink, fill paste reservoirs, and change machine ribbons when necessary.
  • Start machines that automatically feed plates, stencils, or tapes through mechanisms, and observe machine operations in order to detect any malfunctions.
  • Read production orders to determine types and sizes of items scheduled for printing and mailing.
  • Mail merchandise samples or promotional literature in response to requests.
  • Inspect mail machine output for defects; determine how to eliminate causes of any defects.
  • Remove containers of sorted mail/parcels, and transfer them to designated areas according to established procedures.
  • Contact delivery or courier services to arrange delivery of letters and parcels.
  • 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.
  • Operate computer-controlled keyboards or voice recognition equipment in order to direct items according to established routing schemes.
  • Adjust guides, rollers, loose card inserters, weighing machines, and tying arms, using rules and hand tools.
  • Accept and check containers of mail or parcels from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors.
  • Release packages or letters to customers upon presentation of written notices or other identification.
  • Answer inquiries regarding shipping or mailing policies.
  • Use equipment such as forklifts and automated "trains" to move containers of mail.
  • Sell mail products, and accept payment for products and mailing charges.
  • Operate embossing machines or typewriters to make corrections, additions, and changes to address plates.

Knowledge

Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Telecommunications
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
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.

Skills

Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Operations Analysis
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.

Abilities

Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.

Work Activities

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Interests

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.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
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.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

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.
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.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Addressing Machine Operator
Addressograph Operator
Advertising Inserter
Canceling Machine Operator
Dead Mail Checker
Direct Mail Clerk
Distribution Clerk
Envelope Sealer Operator
Express Clerk
Folding Machine Operator
Insert Operator
Inserter Operator
Inserting Machine Operator
Mail Caller
Mail Censor
Mail Clerk
Mail Distributor
Mail Machine Operator
Mail Opener
Mail Reader
Mail Room Clerk
Mail Sorter
Mail Technician
Mail Weigher
Mailer
Mailer Apprentice
Mailing Clerk
Mailing Machine Operator
Mailroom Clerk
Mailroom Supervisor
Office Copy Selector
Packaging Specialist
Parcel Post Clerk
Pneumatic Tube Operator
Production Worker
Radio Message Router
Registered Mail Clerk
Sealing and Canceling Machine Operator
Shipping Clerk
Slot Tag Inserter
Stock Clerk
Trust Mail Clerk
Tube Operator
Tube Station Attendant
Wing Mailer Machine Operator
Wrong Address Clerk

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$12.93 hourly, $26,900 annual.
Employment (2008):
102,410 employees