Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators

What they do:

Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. 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 other duties related to mail handling within the postal service.

On the job, you would:

  • Direct items according to established routing schemes, using computer controlled keyboards or voice recognition equipment.
  • Bundle, label, and route sorted mail to designated areas depending on destinations and according to established procedures and deadlines.
  • Serve the public at counters or windows, such as by selling stamps and weighing parcels.
  • Supervise other mail sorters.
  • Train new workers.
  • Distribute incoming mail into the correct boxes or pigeonholes.
  • Operate various types of equipment, such as computer scanning equipment, addressographs, mimeographs, optical character readers, and bar-code sorters.
  • Search directories to find correct addresses for redirected mail.
  • Clear jams in sorting equipment.
  • 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.

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.
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Clerical
  • Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Production and Processing
  • Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology
  • Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills

  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management
  • Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Coordination
  • Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Service Orientation
  • Actively looking for ways to help people.

Abilities

  • Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Category Flexibility
  • The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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).
  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.

Work Activities

  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People
  • Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • 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.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to 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.
  • 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.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • 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.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Concern for Others
  • Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Social Orientation
  • Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.