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Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators - 43-5053.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution for the United States Postal Service (USPS). 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 perform other duties related to mail handling within the postal service. Includes postal service mail sorters and processors employed by USPS contractors.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Automation Clerk
  • Computer Forwarding System Markup Clerk (CFS Markup Clerk)
  • Distribution Clerk
  • Flat Sorting Machine Clerk (FSM Clerk)
  • Mail Handler
  • Mail Handler Equipment Operator
  • Mail Processing Clerk
  • Mail Processor
  • Parcel Post Distribution Machine Operator (PDPMO)
  • Small Package and Bundle Sorter Clerk (SPBS Clerk)

SOC Occupation Groups

43-0000 Office and Administrative Support Occupations
43-5000 Material Recording, Scheduling, Dispatching, and Distributing Workers
43-5050 Postal Service Workers
43-5053.00 Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators

Related Occupations


  • Accept and check containers of mail from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors.
  • Bundle, label, and route sorted mail to designated areas, depending on destinations and according to established procedures and deadlines.
  • Cancel letter or parcel post stamps by hand.
  • Check items to ensure that addresses are legible and correct, that sufficient postage has been paid or the appropriate documentation is attached, and that items are in a suitable condition for processing.
  • Clear jams in sorting equipment.
  • Direct items according to established routing schemes, using computer-controlled keyboards or voice-recognition equipment.
  • Distribute incoming mail into the correct boxes or pigeonholes.
  • Dump sacks of mail onto conveyors for culling and sorting.
  • Load and unload mail trucks, sometimes lifting containers of mail onto equipment that transports items to sorting stations.
  • Move containers of mail, using equipment, such as forklifts and automated "trains".
  • Open and label mail containers.
  • Operate various types of equipment, such as computer scanning equipment, addressographs, mimeographs, optical character readers, and bar-code sorters.
  • Rewrap soiled or broken parcels.
  • Search directories to find correct addresses for redirected mail.
  • Sort odd-sized mail by hand, sort mail that other workers have been unable to sort, and segregate items requiring special handling.
  • Train new workers.
  • Weigh articles to determine required postage.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Attach identification information to products, items or containers.
  • Distribute incoming mail.
  • Load materials or equipment.
  • Maintain office equipment in proper operating condition.
  • Obtain personal or financial information about customers or applicants.
  • Operate computers or computerized equipment.
  • Operate vehicles or material-moving equipment.
  • Package objects for shipping.
  • Prepare outgoing mail.
  • Receive shipments.
  • Route mail to correct destinations.
  • Sort mail.
  • Train personnel.
  • Unload materials or equipment.
  • Verify shipping documentation.
  • Weigh parcels to determine shipping costs.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Air Transportation (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Independent Duty Postal Clerk (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Logistics Specialist (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Logistics Specialist (Submarine) (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Postal Clerk (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Postal Clerk (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Postal Officer (Marine Corps - Warrant Officer only)
  • Postal Officer (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Storekeeper (Coast Guard - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

No information available.

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Mail Handler