Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service
SOC: 43-9051.00


Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Use hand or mail handling machines to 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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
104,900 employed

Projected (2024):
85,100 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Addressing Machine Operator
  • Addressograph Operator
  • Advertising Inserter
  • Canceling Machine Operator
  • Dead Mail Checker
  • Direct Mail Clerk
  • Direct Mail Coordinator
  • Distribution Clerk
  • Envelope Sealer Operator
  • Express Clerk
  • Folding Machine Operator
  • Hand Inserter Operator
  • Inkjet Operator
  • Insert Operator
  • Inserter Operator
  • Inserting Machine Operator
  • Mail Caller
  • Mail Censor
  • Mail Clerk
  • Mail Distributor
  • Mail List Librarian
  • Mail List Processor
  • Mail Machine Operator
  • Mail Opener
  • Mail Processor
  • Mail Reader
  • Mail Room Clerk
  • Mail Service Coordinator
  • Mail Sorter
  • Mail Technician
  • Mail Weigher
  • Mailer
  • Mailer Apprentice
  • Mailing Clerk
  • Mailing Jogger
  • Mailing Machine Assistant
  • Mailing Machine Helper
  • Mailing Machine Operator
  • Mailing Specialist
  • Mailroom Assistant
  • Mailroom Clerk
  • Mailroom Supervisor
  • Office Copy Selector
  • Packaging Clerk
  • Packaging Specialist
  • Parcel Post Clerk
  • Pneumatic Tube Operator
  • Production Worker
  • Radio Message Router
  • Registered Mail Clerk
  • Sealing and Canceling Machine Operator
  • Shipping Clerk
  • Slot Tag Inserter
  • Stock Clerk
  • Trust Mail Clerk
  • Tube Operator
  • Tube Station Attendant
  • Wing Mailer Machine Operator
  • Wrong Address Clerk

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Seal or open envelopes, by hand or by using machines.
  • Affix postage to packages or letters by hand, or stamp materials, using postage meters.
  • Verify that items are addressed correctly, marked with the proper postage, and in suitable condition for processing.
  • Place incoming or outgoing letters or packages into sacks or bins based on destination or type, and place identifying tags on sacks or bins.
  • Clear jams in sortation equipment.
  • Sort and route incoming mail, and collect outgoing mail, using carts as necessary.
  • Weigh packages or letters to determine postage needed, using weighing scales and rate charts.
  • Determine manner in which mail is to be sent, and prepare it for delivery to mailing facilities.
  • Lift and unload containers of mail or parcels onto equipment for transportation to sortation stations.
  • Wrap packages or bundles by hand, or by using tying machines.
  • Fold letters or circulars and insert them in envelopes.
  • Remove from machines printed materials such as labeled articles, postmarked envelopes or tape, and folded sheets.
  • Add ink, fill paste reservoirs, and change machine ribbons when necessary.
  • Start machines that automatically feed plates, stencils, or tapes through mechanisms, and observe machine operations to detect any malfunctions.
  • Read production orders to determine types and sizes of items scheduled for printing and mailing.
  • Mail merchandise samples or promotional literature in response to requests.
  • Inspect mail machine output for defects and determine how to eliminate causes of any defects.
  • Remove containers of sorted mail or parcels and transfer them to designated areas according to established procedures.
  • Contact delivery or courier services to arrange delivery of letters and parcels.
  • Insert material for printing or addressing into loading racks on machines, select type or die sizes, and position plates, stencils, or tapes in machine magazines.
  • Stamp dates and times of receipt of incoming mail.
  • Operate computer-controlled keyboards or voice recognition equipment to direct items according to established routing schemes.
  • Adjust guides, rollers, loose card inserters, weighing machines, and tying arms, using rules and hand tools.
  • Accept and check containers of mail or parcels from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors.
  • Release packages or letters to customers upon presentation of written notices or other identification.
  • Answer inquiries regarding shipping or mailing policies.
  • Use equipment such as forklifts and automated "trains" to move containers of mail.
  • Sell mail products, and accept payment for products and mailing charges.
  • Operate embossing machines or typewriters to make corrections, additions, and changes to address plates.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 10-key calculators
  • Automated filing systems
  • Automatic envelope opening machines
  • Automatic envelope sealing machines
  • Computer data input scanners
  • Computer inkjet printers
  • Copy machines
  • Date stampers
  • Digital duplicating machines
  • Electronic cash registers
  • Electronic mailing machines
  • Hand trucks
  • Lamination machines
  • Laser facsimile machines
  • Letter folding machines
  • Mail addressing machines
  • Mail bins
  • Mail carts
  • Mail handling machines
  • Mail processing machines
  • Mail scales
  • Mail sorting equipment
  • Mail sorting trays
  • Microfilm viewing equipment
  • Mobile radios
  • Motorized tuggers
  • Multiline telephone systems
  • Package tying machines
  • Personal computers
  • Postage marking machines
  • Postage meters
  • Warehouse dollies
  • Email software
  • Financial accounting software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Postal Explorer
  • Recordkeeping software
  • Web browser software

  • office and administrative support

    industry stats

    SOC: 43-0000

    Total Employed: 21,846,420

    Average Annual Salary: $36,330