Mail clerk

A mail clerk


Mail clerks perform mail handling, sorting, recording and other duties in connection with mail services from post offices or related organisations. They keep records of the incoming and outgoing packages and letters in the establishment.

Mail clerks typically do the following:

  • Sort and collate incoming and outgoing mail.
  • Weigh mail to determine the correct postage.
  • Open mail addressed to the office and discard junk mail.
  • Record register mail.
  • Use fax and scanning machines.
  • Check for contraband.
  • Time/date stamp all incoming/outgoing mail.
  • Handle the cashing and issuing of money orders.
  • Help customers complete change of address and mail hold forms.
  • Sell postage stamps.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to mail clerk:

post office mail clerk
mail room clerk
sorting clerk
mail sorter

Working conditions

Mail clerks work indoors, typically in a post office.

Work Schedules

Most mail clerks are employed full time. However, overtime is sometimes required, particularly during the holiday season. Because mail is delivered 6 days a week, many postal service workers must work on Saturdays. Some also work on Sundays.

Minimum qualifications

High school diploma is generally required to work as mail clerk. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

Mail clerks are not required to possess a college degree of any kind. However, they are required to possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, they are required to pass a written exam that tests reading accuracy and speed. Those who score higher on this exam are given priority with regards to new openings and preferred routes. 

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Mail clerk is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Mail clerk career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to mail clerk.

delivery driver
motorcycle delivery person
train dispatcher
container crane operator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of mail clerk. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of mail clerk with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

passport officer
consumer rights advisor
aviation safety officer
international forwarding operations coordinator
ship duty engineer

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of mail clerk.

  • Liaise with transportation companies: Establish relationships with transportation companies in order to negotiate advantageous agreements for the transport of goods and livestock.
  • Keep written records of cargo: Keep written records of the quantity of goods loaded or unloaded. Track times, dates and tasks completed.
  • Act reliably: Proceed in a way that one can be relied on or depended on.
  • Ensure the integrity of mail: Ensure the integrity of letters and packages to avoid damage. Ensure that packages are delivered to clients in the same condition they were collected in.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Keep task records: Organise and classify records of prepared reports and correspondence related to the performed work and progress records of tasks.
  • Establish daily priorities: Establish daily priorities for staff personnel. Effectively deal with multi-task workload.
  • Maintain privacy of service users: Respect and maintain the dignity and privacy of the client, protecting his or her confidential information and clearly explaining policies about confidentiality to the client and other parties involved.
  • Handle mail: Handle mail considering data protection issues, health and safety requirements, and specifications of different kinds of mail.
  • Record customers’ personal data: Gather and record customers’ personal data into the system; obtain all signatures and documents required for rental.
  • Apply information security policies: Implement policies, methods and regulations for data and information security in order to respect confidentiality, integrity and availability principles.
  • Keep records of customer interaction: Recording details of inquiries, comments and complaints received from customers, as well as actions to be taken.
  • Liaise with colleagues: Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.
  • Operate mailing information systems: Operate mailing information systems in order to record the processing and handling of mail. Record faults and identify packages that were not delivered. Ensure mail and small packages are traceable until they are delivered to the recipients.
  • Analyse ways to reduce travel time: Analyse prospective improvements in journey efficiency through reduction of travel time by modifying itineraries and outlining alternatives.
  • Keep records of merchandise delivery: Keep records of goods deliveries; report discrepancies to control costs in order to maintain correct inventory levels.
  • Keep stock records: Keep written records of the amount of stock in storage, incoming and outgoing products required for the proper operation of services, repairs and maintenance tasks.
  • Organise mail deliveries: Organise mail and small package deliveries in an efficient, confidential, and safe manner.
  • Differentiate types of packages: Identify and differentiate different kinds of mail items and packages to be delivered. Consider their differences to foresee the necessary tools required for delivery.
  • Work in a logistics team: Ability to work confidently within a logistics team, with each member of the team fulfilling a role designed to increase the efficiency of the whole.

ISCO group and title

4412 – Mail carriers and sorting clerks

  1. Mail clerk – ESCO
  2. Postal Service Workers : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Mail Clerk Job Description – Indeed
  4. Featured image: By Seychelles Nation – [1], CC BY 4.0
Last updated on December 1, 2022

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