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Career profile Mail Operations Clerk

Also known as Insert Operator, Inserter Operator, Mail Clerk, Mail Handler, Mail Machine Operator, Mail Processor, Mail Reader, Mail Sorter, Postal Clerk

Mail Operations Clerk

Also known as Insert Operator, Inserter Operator, Mail Clerk

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$22,290 - $48,300 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Wrap packages or bundles by hand, or by using tying machines.
  • Weigh packages or letters to determine postage needed, using weighing scales and rate charts.
  • Verify that items are addressed correctly, marked with the proper postage, and in suitable condition for processing.
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What does a Mail Operations Clerk do?

Mail Operations Clerks prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution.

In addition, Mail Operations Clerks

  • time-stamp, open, read, sort, and route incoming mail; and address, seal, stamp, fold, stuff, and affix postage to outgoing mail or packages,
  • duties may also include keeping necessary records and completed forms.

What kind of tasks does a Mail Operations Clerk perform regularly?

Mail Operations Clerks are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Wrap packages or bundles by hand, or by using tying machines.
  • Verify that items are addressed correctly, marked with the proper postage, and in suitable condition for processing.
  • Remove containers of sorted mail or parcels and transfer them to designated areas according to established procedures.
  • Sort and route incoming mail, and collect outgoing mail, using carts as necessary.
  • Determine manner in which mail is to be sent, and prepare it for delivery to mailing facilities.
  • Affix postage to packages or letters by hand, or stamp materials, using postage meters.
  • Accept and check containers of mail or parcels from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors.
  • Seal or open envelopes, by hand or by using machines.

The above responsibilities are specific to Mail Operations Clerks. More generally, Mail Operations Clerks are involved in several broader types of 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 materials.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

What is a Mail Operations Clerk salary?

The median salary for a Mail Operations Clerk is $31,920, and the average salary is $33,700. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Mail Operations Clerk salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Mail Operations Clerks earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Mail Operations Clerks earn less than $22,290 per year, 25% earn less than $26,850, 75% earn less than $39,470, and 90% earn less than $48,300.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Mail Operations Clerks is expected to change by -4.3%, and there should be roughly 8,800 open positions for Mail Operations Clerks every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$22,290 - $48,300
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Mail Operations Clerks?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Mail Operations Clerk are usually higher in their Conventional and Realistic interests.

Mail Operations Clerks typically have very strong Conventional interests. 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.

Also, Mail Operations Clerks typically have very strong Realistic interests. 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.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Mail Operations Clerk tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Mail Operations Clerks moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Mail Operations Clerks somewhat value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Mail Operations Clerks somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Mail Operations Clerks must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, self-control, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Mail Operations Clerks, ranked by importance:

Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Mail Operations Clerks need?

Working as a Mail Operations Clerk usually requires a high school diploma.

Mail Operations Clerks need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Mail Operations Clerks

  • 8.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 44.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.2% completed some college coursework
  • 10.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 11.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.4% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Mail Operations Clerks

Mail Operations Clerks may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, mathematics, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Mail Operations Clerks might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

Important Abilities needed by Mail Operations Clerks

Mail Operations Clerks must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Mail Operations Clerks need abilities such as near vision, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Mail Operations Clerks, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
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).
Category Flexibility
The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Critical Skills needed by Mail Operations Clerks

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Mail Operations Clerks frequently use skills like reading comprehension, speaking, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Mail Operations Clerks, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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