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USPS Mail Processing Clerk Job Description

USPS Mail Processing Clerk Job Description

Are you looking for a job where you can start working straight out of high school?

Well, if you have good attention to detail, working as a USPS Mail Processing Clerk could be perfect for you. The United States Postal Service is one of the largest employers in the U.S. and offers numerous job opportunities.

This is a great entry-level career that comes with advancement opportunities for people who work hard. However, although the tasks involved are fairly simple, some people lack the required stamina.

So, let’s take a look at the USPS Mail Processing Clerk job description and find out all about this fascinating job.

usps mail processing clerk job description

What Does A USPS Mail Processing Clerk Do?

This role is one of the core responsibilities at the US Postal Service. It centers on ensuring that parcels and letters arrive at the correct destination as quickly as possible. This starts with separating and organizing mail so that it can be distributed at the scheduled time.

Most of your day is likely to be spent in the front office receiving mail, checking, and sorting it. Mail processing clerks also assist with the loading of vehicles and unloading any undelivered mail. This role takes place in a fast-paced yet safe environment and provides employees with job security.

Duties And Responsibilities

Mail processing clerks need to have detailed knowledge about the complex process of sorting different types of mail. It is essential to follow the correct process so that parcels reach the correct destinations within a reasonable timeframe. This is also a customer service role that involves interacting with customers and keeping the business area fully stocked.

Read more: What Does Shipping Label Created USPS Awaiting Item Mean?

The main responsibility of this job is sorting and preparing mail for distribution. This can include hand sorting letters and organizing them before they are delivered.

Here are some of the other duties and responsibilities that go with this job:

  • Loading and operating machinery.
  • Loading postal trucks.
  • Repairing broken and damaged packages.
  • Repairing machines.
  • Unloading mail trucks.
  • Moving large boxes using forklifts.
  • Weighing parcels to establish postal costs.
  • Placing mail on conveyors to be sorted.
  • Make sure addresses are correct and legible.

Skills And Attributes

There are certain skills that you need to do this job well. Most of these are soft skills, which relate to personality traits. Here are the main skills and attributes that a successful mail processing clerk should possess.

Attention to detail

You need to be able to notice even the tiniest errors with the addresses on mail. This helps to ensure that mail is always delivered to the correct address. You also need to notice if mail is damaged and needs to be repaired.

Communication

You need to have great customer service skills when interacting with members of the public. When there are mail issues, you need to communicate the problem clearly and simply. You also need to be ready to provide information and answer questions when necessary.

Organization

You need to make sure that all mail is sorted correctly and reaches the right addresses. You will also be charged with maintaining clear records of mail that has been processed and delivered. Strong organizational skills will help you to keep track of different information.

Multitasking

At times, you are likely to have several tasks that need to be completed quickly. This includes sorting mail, interacting with customers, and monitoring mail sorting machines. It is essential to be able to prioritize tasks to make sure everything gets done on time.

Computer skills

You will regularly use a computer to enter data, scan barcodes, and track parcels. You will also need to send and receive emails regularly. It is important to be computer literate and be able to work quickly and efficiently.

Stamina

You need to be able to stand throughout your shift and move easily around the mailroom. You will often be called on to lift heavy parcels and load them onto vehicles. Therefore, it is necessary to be reasonably physically fit to do this job.

How To Become A USPS Mail Processing Clerk?

Unlike many careers, meeting the requirements for this job is fairly simple. However, it is still important to choose this career as early as possible to make sure you meet the requirements. Here is an overview of the steps you should take to become employed by the United States Postal Service.

Education

You need to hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. It is best to focus on getting strong grades in English, mathematics, and related subjects.

Training and experience

New USPS mail processing clerks usually receive on-the-job training once they start work. This training is usually completed within a few days and covers all aspects of the job. This includes instruction on the use of mail processing equipment, sorting mail, and disposing of invalid mail.

Pass the 476 postal exam

Once you have applied for a job at USPS, you have 72 hours to complete this test. The exam is self-administered and takes around 45 minutes to complete. It is best to complete test preparation before starting the application process.

You need a score of at least 70 out of 100 to pass the exam. The exam can only be taken once every two years, so it is important to get the highest score possible.

Prepare in advance…

The first three sections of the exam are labeled Work Scenarios, Tell Us Your Story, and Describe Your Approach. Each section consists of multiple-choice questions, and the questions can seem quite strange. Preparing for these questions in advance will help to prevent you from getting caught off-guard.

The fourth section of the exam is called Check for Errors and is designed to test your attention to detail. You are given a series of eight-digit numbers and have to state if they are the same or different. This relates to an important duty of the job, and it is essential to ace this section.

Employee Requirements

To receive a job offer, you need to pass an Inspection Service criminal background check. You also need to pass a medical assessment and drug screening.

Here are the other conditions that all applicants have to meet:

  • Must be at least sixteen years old.
  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Be registered with Selective Service.
  • Have a safe driving record.
  • Provide recent employment history.
  • Must be a United States citizen, or a permanent resident, or citizen of American Samoa or other U.S. Territory.

How To Apply?

You can find the electronic application form in the careers section of the USPS website. You can use the search bar to select the desired location. New jobs are posted each day, so it is worth checking regularly for the best option. Once you have found the perfect position, you need to click on the apply button.

You will be directed to create a candidate profile, which will be saved onto the company’s eCareers system. Once you have completed and submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email. A USPS employee will review your application and reach out to you if you make the grade. You will then be informed of the next steps you need to take on your road to getting hired.

Tips for Success

On the USPS website, you will find a special video that guides you through the application process. The company has also created a series of tips that are designed to increase your chances of success. Here are the things you should bear in mind when preparing for the application process.

Application time commitment

It is best to take your time completing your application to make sure all details are correct. You have the option to pause the process at any time and return to it later if you need to. Make sure you choose a time when you can focus fully on your application.

Application and exam cost

There is no charge for completing the application or the test. If you receive a message asking for a fee, you should report it to the United States Postal Service.

Contact information

The job posting will include contact information for your reference. You should contact the person specified if you have any questions about the job.

Number of applications

It is possible to apply for several jobs at the same time. This is a good option if you are happy to work in different offices within the same city. This helps to increase your chances of landing a job at USPS.

Technical requirements

It is best to complete the application on a laptop or desktop computer. The supported browsers are Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer IE 7-11, and Mozilla Firefox. You need to make sure that Adobe PDF Reader is installed before you start the application process. You also need to have an email address so that a hiring manager can contact you.

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If you’re eager to start working, then check out my USPS Application, or perhaps you’d be interested in my UPS Application Online Jobs Career Info, along with my UPS Mission And Vision Statement Analysis, and Does UPS Drug Test Package Handlers if that’s something you need to know.

If you do have a criminal record, please read Does USPS Hire Felons, as well as Does UPS Do Background Checks before moving forward.

Are you interested in trying alternative driver jobs? Then, take a look at my Delivery Driver Job Description, my Shuttle Bus Driver Job description, or even my School Bus Driver Job description, my OTR Driver Job Description, and my very lucrative Truck Driver Job Description, and Tractor Trailer Truck Driver Job Description in 2023.

Final Thoughts

For people who are interested in working for the US Postal Service, this role is a great place to start.

You will be provided with all the training and materials you need to do the job well. People who excel are regularly rewarded with a pay rise and the opportunity to advance through the US Postal Service.

The entry-level salary for a mail processing clerk is around $35,000 per year, as well as employee benefits. After around five years of hard work, you can expect to earn around $40,000 per year. People who remain in this role for twenty years and excel can easily receive at least $60,000 per year.

All the very best in your new career as a USPS Mail Processing Clerk!

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