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Becoming a Postal Service Worker: Working for the U.S. Postal Service in Entry-Level Jobs (page 4)

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Jul 20, 2011

Mail Processing Clerk

Job Description

Mail Processing Clerks operate, monitor, troubleshoot, and maintain automated mail-processing equipment, bar-code sorters, and optical bar-code readers. Mail Processing Clerks may also perform manual sorting, organizing, and bundling of mail; transfer mail from one area to another; and load mail into bins and trucks.

Qualifications

The job of Mail Processing Clerk can be somewhat physically demanding. To perform the job, you must be able to stand and reach continuously for hours at a time. You might also need to lift and transport heavy bundles and containers.

Testing Requirement

All applicants for the job of Mail Processing Clerk must take Test 473.

Mail Handler

Job Description

Mail Handlers load and unload containers of mail. Mail Handlers also transport mail, either manually or by forklift, to different areas of the same facility. Mail Handlers may also open and empty containers of mail.

Qualifications

The job of Mail Handler is physically demanding. To perform this job, you must be able to repeatedly lift and carry bundles, parcels, and containers weighing up to 70 pounds as well as push heavy rolling containers. You may also need to know how to operate a forklift.

Testing Requirement

All applicants for the job of Mail Handler must take Test 473.

Sales, Services, and Distribution Associate

Job Description

Sales, Services, and Distribution Associates provide direct sales and customer support services in a retail environment and perform distribution of mail.

Qualifications

You must successfully complete an on-the-job training program. There are no special physical demands for this job.

Testing Requirement

All applicants for the job of Sales, Services, and Distribution Associate must take Test 473.

Jobs Requiring Scores from Other Postal Exams

The four positions described in the preceding section are the ones for which applicants must take Test 473 (or Test 473-C for City Carriers). If you’re interested in a USPS job other than one of these four, you might need to take a different exam. The two positions falling into this category that are most in demand are

  • Rural Carrier Associate
  • Data Conversion Operator

Like other delivery and distribution workers, these employees usually start by earning an hourly wage and work on a flexible schedule that varies according to work flow. Following is a brief description of each of these two positions.

Rural Carrier Associate

Job Description

Rural Carrier Associates sort mail into delivery sequence, load the mail into a delivery vehicle, and deliver and collect mail by vehicle at designated addresses in a prescribed rural area. They also collect payments for cash on delivery (C.O.D.) parcels and obtain receipts for certified, insured, and registered mail.

Qualifications

To perform the job of Rural Carrier Associate, you must be able to handle bundles and parcels weighing up to 70 pounds. Also, you must have a valid state driver’s license, at least two years of driving experience, and a safe driving record.

Testing Requirement

All applicants for the job of Rural Carrier Associate must take Test 460, “Rural Carrier Associate Exam.”

Data Conversion Operator

Job Description

Data Conversion Operators use a computer terminal to prepare mail for automated sorting equipment. They read typed and handwritten addresses from letter images on the terminal screen, then select and type essential information so that a bar code can be applied to the letter.

Qualifications

To qualify for this job, you must be proficient in typing and data entry, as determined by a performance test (Test 710, described briefly here).

Testing Requirement

All applicants for the job of Data Conversion Operator must take Test 710, “Clerical Abilities Exam.” This exam measures the per-minute rate at which you can accurately type a certain number of specified numbers and letters.

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