Are you about to apply for a job with the United States Postal Service?
USPS is one of the largest employers in the United States and has a reputation for being a very good place to work. One of the main roles that are open to enter-level candidates is the job of Mail Handler. Although you do not have a degree to secure this role, you need to have strong attention to detail. Hiring managers actively search for trustworthy candidates who have excellent communication skills.
So, let’s learn all about the role of a USPS Mail Handler and how you can apply.
- About The Job
- Education And Experience
- The Work Environment
- Essential Skills
- The Salary
- Alternative Positions At USPS For You!
- Final Thoughts
About The Job
Working as a Mail Handler for the United States Postal Service carries a lot of responsibility. It is essential to make sure that mail is processed correctly and reaches the recipient. Let’s take a closer look at the main tasks that are associated with this interesting job.
This role involves sorting mail at a post office location and making sure it is ready to deliver. You need to quickly sort the letters and parcels into different categories and put them into boxes or bags. It is essential to check for errors and be able to identify them quickly.
Preparing packages for mailing
If letters and parcels are damaged in any way, it is necessary to repair them before they are mailed. It may be necessary to remove stamps and seal envelopes so that they are ready for delivery. This includes stamping envelopes with additional postage when necessary.
Working with equipment
In addition to sorting machines, you will work with other types of equipment while doing this job. This includes carts, dollies, hand trucks, and pallets. You will also use tools like scales, sorters, and postage meters to make sure mail is correctly sorted.
You will be assigned a particular area to deliver mail to. It is important to plan your route so that you get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible. If recipients are not home to sign for packages, you will leave notes with instructions on how to collect them.
You will also collect items from the homes and businesses of customers in your assigned area. This includes letters, packages, bills, and other items that need to be delivered.
Interacting with customers
You will assist customers with their correspondence, including checking that mail has been delivered. When customers have an issue or complaint, you need to be able to resolve it smoothly. It is important to follow the United States Postal Service rules and regulations when doing this.
It is important to keep track of the requests and complaints from customers. You will also maintain records of both incoming and outgoing mail, including the number of pieces delivered each day. It is also necessary to fill out delivery forms and make sure that all details are correct.
Education And Experience
You need to hold a high school diploma or a GED to apply for this job. Some employers may prefer to hire applicants who have completed a mail processing program at a technical school or community college.
You will receive on-the-job training from a supervisor or manager once you have secured the job. This will teach you how to operate sorting machinery and other equipment safely and efficiently. You will also be required to pass a number of set tests to earn certification. You can work toward certification in your spare time while already performing the role.
Hiring preference usually goes to candidates who have experience working in a fast-paced environment and handling money. Applicants should have experience serving customers and using computers. The ideal candidate should also have experience selling products and be willing to learn new skills.
It is necessary to be at least eighteen years old and have a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record. You should have access to reliable transportation and be willing to travel to different locations. Hiring preference is likely to go to applicants who can cover various shift patterns and are willing to work overtime.
The Work Environment
Working as a mail handler is a full-time role, and you will be expected to work at least 35 hours a week. You may also be asked to work overtime during particularly busy periods. However, shifts rarely exceed more than eight hours a day.
You will spend the majority of your time in a post office branch sorting and routing mail. This involves standing for several hours at a time and using large and potentially dangerous machinery. You may also need to load mail trucks from time to time.
You need to be punctual, reliable, and trustworthy to do this job. Employees are expected to have a strong work ethic and a positive work attitude. Let’s take a look at the other key skills and attributes you need to do this job well.
Attention to detail
One of the most important parts of this job is being able to identify tiny errors in addresses and other details. Being able to catch these errors quickly helps to ensure that the issues do not become bigger. You need to be able to focus on repetitive tasks for long periods without making mistakes.
Customer service skills
You need to be polite and friendly at all times when dealing with customers. You need to be focused on their needs and provide them with the best service possible. This helps to make sure that customers have a positive experience and that potential issues are minimalized.
It is important to be able to communicate clearly when giving instructions and conveying messages. This is particularly important when you are reporting an error or a customer complaint. You need to be able to keep detailed records and be able to answer questions.
When you find an issue with a letter or parcel, you need to work out the best solution. You often need to do this quickly to preserve the integrity of the post.
Physical strength and stamina
If you need to be able to lift and carry mail bags, which can often weigh as much as fifty pounds. It is important to be able to do this without injuring your back. You also need to be able to stand for long periods and work in all types of weather conditions.
The starting salary for this role is usually $14 per hour, which translates to $28,000 per year. The salary is sure to increase once you have gained experience and essential skills. After a couple of years, it is possible to earn $18 per hour or $36,000 per year. You will also receive overtime pay, night shift differential, and Sunday premium pay for covering certain shifts.
Although this is an entry-level job, there are excellent career advancement opportunities. You will be given the chance to take part in a range of training programs that are designed to develop your skills. With focus and dedication, it is possible to advance through the ranks to become a manager or even an executive.
The United States Postal Service observes ten public holidays each year. You will receive full pay on those days, even though you will not have to work. You also receive thirteen days of paid leave each year for the first three years, which includes paid sick leave. This amount will increase over time.
Other benefits include:
- Health insurance.
- Dental and vision insurance.
- Flexible spending accounts.
- Long-term care insurance.
- Life insurance.
- Social security a Medicare.
- A retirement plan.
- Thrift Savings Plan.
Read more: How Long Does First Class Mail Take?
Alternative Positions At USPS For You!
If you’re still deciding which role would suit you best, take a look at these in-depth guides such as our USPS Mail Processing Clerk Job Description, our PSE Mail Processing Clerk USPS Job Description, or maybe you’re interested in working as a USPS City Carrier Assistant, and finally find out how to get onto the USPS Pre Hire List for 2023.
Alternatively, UPS is also a great company to work for! Before applying, learn more about the company with the UPS Mission And Vision Statement Analysis, followed by How Much Does UPS Pay? for your working hours, and lastly, our guide to the UPS Application to get the ball rolling!
The United States Postal Service employs more than 600,000 people in various departments. The company operates more than three thousand post offices, branches, and stations throughout the United States. Job openings are regularly published in the careers section of the USPS website.
The United States Postal Service has a strict screening process for all applicants. It consists of several stages and can take a few months to complete. This is designed to make sure that selected candidates are trustworthy and dedicated to doing the job well.
Good luck in your new career as a Mail Handler at USPS!
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