Mail Clerk/Machine Operator  What They Do

Just the Facts


Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators Career Video



Prepares incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Uses 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.

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster Administrative Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Wraps packages or bundles by hand, or by using tying machines.
  • Verifies that items are addressed correctly, marked with the proper postage, and in suitable condition for processing.
  • Removes containers of sorted mail or parcels and transfers them to designated areas according to established procedures.
  • Sorts and routes incoming mail, and collects outgoing mail, using carts as necessary.
  • Affixes postage to packages or letters by hand, or stamps materials, using postage meters.
  • Determines manner in which mail is to be sent, and prepares it for delivery to mailing facilities.
  • Accepts and checks containers of mail or parcels from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors.
  • Seals or opens envelopes, by hand or by using machines.
  • Weighs packages or letters to determine postage needed, using weighing scales and rate charts.
  • Operates embossing machines or typewriters to make corrections, additions, and changes to address plates.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Insert Operator --
  • Inserter Operator --
  • Mail Clerk --
  • Mail Handler -- Sorts and processes mail in post office.
  • Mail Machine Operator --
  • Mail Processor --
  • Mail Reader --
  • Mail Sorter --
  • Mailroom Supervisor --
  • Postal Clerk --