Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operator Career

Job Description: Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Examine, sort, and route mail. Load, operate, and occasionally adjust and repair mail processing, sorting, and canceling machinery. Keep records of shipments, pouches, and sacks, and perform other duties related to mail handling within the postal service. Includes postal service mail sorters and processors employed by USPS contractors.


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Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operator Career

What Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators do:

  • Operate various types of equipment, such as computer scanning equipment, addressographs, mimeographs, optical character readers, and bar-code sorters.
  • Clear jams in sorting equipment.
  • Sort odd-sized mail by hand, sort mail that other workers have been unable to sort, and segregate items requiring special handling.
  • Check items to ensure that addresses are legible and correct, that sufficient postage has been paid or the appropriate documentation is attached, and that items are in a suitable condition for processing.
  • Bundle, label, and route sorted mail to designated areas, depending on destinations and according to established procedures and deadlines.
  • Train new workers.
  • Open and label mail containers.
  • Direct items according to established routing schemes, using computer-controlled keyboards or voice-recognition equipment.
  • Distribute incoming mail into the correct boxes or pigeonholes.
  • Rewrap soiled or broken parcels.
  • Cancel letter or parcel post stamps by hand.
  • Move containers of mail, using equipment, such as forklifts and automated "trains".
  • Search directories to find correct addresses for redirected mail.
  • Load and unload mail trucks, sometimes lifting containers of mail onto equipment that transports items to sorting stations.
  • Dump sacks of mail onto conveyors for culling and sorting.
  • Accept and check containers of mail from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors.
  • Weigh articles to determine required postage.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Holland Code Chart for a Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operator