Most people have sent a letter, parcel, or package to someone through the mail. After writing the letter and putting it in an envelope or packaging the item you want to be delivered, you pay to get it to the specific location on time and in good shape.
When the mail leaves your hand and gets to the post office, it has to be handled in a way that meets the request of the sender and reaches the destination of the receiver. In between these two points is where the mail handler comes in.
Who Is A Mail Handler?
A mail handler is someone with the responsibility of efficiently handling incoming and outgoing mail. The enormous responsibility and accountability attached to this job can be overwhelming.
Being a mail handler involves sorting and processing mail for individuals and companies. They are charged with the movement, safety, acceptance, and quick delivery of all mail. Business, monetary, personal, and legal documents are some things they are entrusted with daily.
Mail handlers work in corporations, state postal services, and ice or shipping companies, and manage inbound mail, which involves reviewing and processing. They effectively discharge their duties manually and with the aid of mail processing machines.
What Are the Qualifications of a Mail Handler?
Essentially, this job position requires at least a high school certificate. You must pass the postal service exam, and after employment, you will receive training on the job while working with more experienced workers in your first weeks.
The average work schedule for a mail handler is 12 hours per day, and it is a kind of job that requires much strength.
You must be strong physically and mentally because, most times you will be responsible for loading a mail truck or delivery vehicle, arranging mail in chronological order to avoid mix-ups, and also for easy distribution.
Responsibilities of a Mail Handler
Mail handlers work in the mailroom of a postal office where they sort and prepare mail in batches for the mail carriers to deliver or distribute.
Movement of heavy packages using sorting machines or equipment, arranging letters, and loading these parcels onto trucks for the carrier to distribute, are part of their responsibilities.
Sometimes, they function as postal clerks at the post office’s front desk, selling postal stamps, boxes, and flexible packaging materials, attending to customers’ needs, and answering their questions.
It is important that they also weigh every package to ensure they add the right postage, and also make sure it follows all postal regulations to avoid any form of delay — to ensure it arrives at its right destination on time.
Other functions and responsibilities include:
- They are sometimes transferred to other areas to help complete the assigned work;
- They load skids with the right body mechanics;
- They must always keep work areas clean, neat, and everything properly arranged;
- They properly carry out the sorting, stuffing, banding, separating, collating, labeling/tagging, de-collating, inserting, etc when needed;
- They operate simple machinery with the help of an operator;
- They work independently and maintain a good quality standard of service delivery;
- They help the team complete their jobs in meeting the quality standard.
What Differentiates Mail Carrier and a Mail Handler
Mail carriers and mail handlers usually work together, however, they carry out different responsibilities.
A mail handler must sort, prepare and load mail on the carrier’s truck. He is involved in arranging these items accordingly. The mail carrier takes these items and delivers them to different locations where they are needed.
It is also part of the mail carrier’s duty to get signatures for certain mail items, and sometimes collect money for some postage-due parcels/packages.
Mail carrier’s sometimes assist the mail handler in sorting and preparing delivery items when the mailroom is busy. This is the same with the mail handler; they also help the mail carrier sometimes when there are a lot of items to be delivered.
Skills Needed to Be a Mail Handler
Every job position requires some important skills or abilities that will aid the smooth and effective performance of assigned duties. Being a mail handler also requires some key skills that will help in being effective at this job.
A good mail handler pays attention to every little detail.. Why this is important is it helps to easily locate addresses and some other postage information that will aid the organizing of various mail pieces correctly.
Be Physically Fit and Strong
It is extremely important that the mail handler is physically fit and strong since they carry out their duties standing for long hours.
Be an Effective Communicator
Effective communication skill is vital because it involves teamwork. The team must be able to collaborate and communicate regularly while working together. Verbal communication skills are also needed at the front desk where they will be interacting with different customers.
Have a Grasp for Common and Relatable Language
A Mail Handler must be able to speak and write good English and the native language or common language of the nation or society where he works. When relating with customers or colleagues, you need to understand what they are communicating per time and how to respond appropriately, especially when managing issues that arise.
Ability to Maximize and Manage Time
Mail handlers must possess time management skills. You need to be able to accomplish tasks within or before the timeframe available or allocated.
Ability to Multitask
As a mail handler, a combination of mental, physical, and emotional control is required. Performing several tasks at the same time and bringing them into control is a necessary skill.
Be Orderly and Stick to Pre-Arranged Patterns
They must have the ability to carry out tasks in chronological order following set rules.
Be Handy and Hands-On
They must exhibit manual dexterity and be able to effectively use their hands to achieve the desired result.
Be Quick A Thinker
They must exhibit the ability to immediately determine the similarities and differences between documents, packages, sets of letters, and postcards.
Having the ability and experience in driving a forklift is a huge plus. If you can drive a vehicle, it will be a familiar ground when you’re being trained to use a forklift.