Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators

General Information


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.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Industry areas

  • Postal Service (federal government)

Job Outlook

Overall employment of postal service workers is projected to decline 21 percent from 2018 to 2028. Automated sorting systems, cluster mailboxes, and tight budgets are expected to adversely affect employment. Employment changes, however, will vary by specialty. Employment of postal service clerks is projected to decline 20 percent from 2018 to 2028. Employment may be adversely affected by the decline in First-Class Mail volume caused by the continued increase in the use of automated and electronic bill pay and email. Employment of postal service mail carriers is projected to decline 20 percent from 2018 to 2028. The use of automated “delivery point sequencing” systems that sort letter mail directly reduces the amount of time that carriers spend on mail sorting. The amount of time carriers save on sorting letter mail and flat mail will allow them to increase the size of their routes, which should reduce the need to hire more carriers. In addition, the postal service is moving toward more centralized mail delivery, such as the use of cluster mailboxes, to cut down on the number of door-to-door deliveries. Employment of postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators is projected to decline 24 percent from 2018 to 2028. The postal service will likely need fewer workers because new mail sorting technology can read text and automatically sort, forward, and process mail. The greater use of online services to pay bills and the increased use of email should also reduce the need for sorting and processing workers.

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Average Salary



State-by-state Salary

Gray states indicate no data available

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Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • High school 81%
  • Less than high school 12%
  • Some college 6%
  • Master's degree 0%
  • Doctoral degree 0%
  • Bachelor's degree 0%
  • Associate's degree 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%


  • English Language
  • Clerical
  • Administration and Management
  • Transportation
  • Computers and Electronics

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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