Mail Handler Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Mail Handler, or a Mail Processor, organizes, handles and distributes mail to Carriers. Their main duties include loading and unloading mail trucks, using machinery to sort through the mail and preparing large mail batches for distribution.

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Mail Handler Duties and Responsibilities

A Mail Handler’s responsibilities include managing incoming and outgoing mail, assisting mechanized dumpers by removing possible letters left behind and keeping working spaces clean. They sort and cancel the mail, prepare the batch for distribution and make occasional deliveries. They sometimes rewrap damaged parcels. They must also maintain records, complete shipping forms and use copy machines. 

Other duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Unloading trucks, move mail bags, weigh incoming sacks
  • Operating forklifts
  • Maintaining mailroom supplies
  • Packing promotional material
  • Distributing mail to different carriers
  • Calling courier services
  • Loading trucks


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What Does a Mail Handler Do?

A Mail Handler works in the mailroom of a postal office, sorting and preparing batches of mail for Carriers to distribute. They’ll organize letters and move large packages using machinery and other sorting equipment. Mail Handlers will also load these items onto trucks for the Mail Carriers to later distribute to various houses and businesses. 

Mail Handlers may also work as a Clerk at the post office’s front desk selling stamps and boxes to consumers and answering questions. They’ll also weigh various packages to help consumers add the correct postage to ensure it follows postal regulations and arrives at the desired destination on time.


Mail Handler Skills and Qualifications

Mail Handlers should have many skills in order to complete their jobs well. Here are some of the skills Mail Handlers must demonstrate to qualify for the position:

  • Good physical fitness
  • The ability to lift up to 50 pounds
  • Knowledge of the English language 
  • Pass physical examination
  • Availability to work weekends and night shifts
  • Stay drug-free
  • Good health 


Mail Handler Salary Expectations

The average salary for a Mail Handler is $17.28 per hour. Salary can vary according to the current postal pay policies or the level of experience of the candidate. Mail Handlers may be eligible for health insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program after one year of service.

Mail Handler Education and Training Requirements

The Mail Handler position requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. Mail Handler candidates must pass a postal service exam and take a test that demonstrates their ability to check the names and numbers with speed and accuracy. Candidates receive on-the-job training and shadow more experienced workers during their first weeks. They can watch and learn all processes when they start working. 

Mail Handlers are also required to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. They must be at least 18 years old. Before they get hired, Mail Handlers must pass drug testing and register with the selective service when applicable.

Mail Handler Experience Requirements

No experience is required, as the company provides training on the job. Mail Handler candidates must pass a criminal background check and undergo a physical examination.

For USPS positions, recruiters perform a criminal background check with United States information resources . If the Inspection Service can’t complete the background check because of residency outside the United States, the candidate won’t be eligible to apply for postal employment.

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Frequently asked questions about Mail Handlers


Who does a Mail Handler report to?

Most post offices have Mail Room Supervisors who are in charge of overseeing the efficiencies of the entire post office. The Mail Handler will report to the Mail Room Supervisor to receive any tasks or to ask any questions about their role. If the Mail Handler is experiencing challenges with a certain consumer, they’ll often ask the Mail Room Supervisor to help resolve the issue. Mail Handlers will receive their training from Mail Room Supervisors as well. 


What settings do Mail Handlers typically work in?

Mail Handlers typically spend a majority of their time in a mail room organizing and routing the mail accordingly. They may also work outdoors on their feet, loading and unloading various mail trucks. Mail Handlers may also spend a majority of their time operating large machinery to help organize and move larger packages. 

Some Mail Handlers are also asked to work in the front office to answer any consumer questions and address any mail issues. During instances where the Mail Carriers have large amounts of packages and letters to deliver in one day, a Mail Handler may join them on the road, helping them deliver these packages to the respective homes or businesses. 


What's the difference between a Mail Handler and a Mail Carrier?

Though they both work in a post office and handle various packages and mail items, a Mail Handler and a Mail Carrier have different role responsibilities. Typically, the Mail Handler will sort and prepare the mail accordingly and will load it onto the Mail Carrier’s truck. The Mail Carrier will take these items and deliver them to each home or business while following their designated route. They’re also responsible for collecting signatures for certain mail items and collecting money for postage-due letters or packages.

When the mailroom is busy, the Mail Carrier may assist Mail Handlers in sorting through and preparing the mail items for delivery. Similarly, if the Mail Carrier has many items to deliver, the Mail Handler will assist them on their route. 


What makes a good Mail Handler?

A great Mail Handler must be detail-oriented to help them quickly locate important addresses or other postage information to correctly organize different mail pieces. Since they’re regularly on their feet and moving larger packages, an impressive Mail Handler candidate should have strong physical stamina. 

Effective communication skills are also ideal, as Mail Handlers must regularly collaborate with other team members. They also use these verbal communication skills when working with consumers at the front desk of the post office.

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