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Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service
SOC Code: 43-9051.00

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

  • 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.

Technology Skills

  • 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

Tools Used

  • 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

Knowledge

  • 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.

Skills

  • 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.

Abilities

  • 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.

Interests

  • 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.

Work Context

  • 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.”

Work Styles

  • 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.

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.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $14.24 hourly, $29,620 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 96,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 9,400

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