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Mail Processor vs. Mail Handler: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Mail processors and mail handlers are two positions in the postal service industry. Both roles are responsible for sorting and delivering mail, but there are several key differences between the two. In this article, we compare and contrast mail processors and mail handlers, and we provide information on the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications for each position.

What is a Mail Processor?

Mail Processors work in a postal facility and are responsible for sorting mail by hand or using machinery. They need to be able to lift heavy bags of mail and stand for long periods of time. Mail Processors typically work overnight shifts to sort mail that has been delivered to the facility. They may also need to process returned mail, forward mail and load mail onto delivery trucks. Mail Processors need to be detail-oriented and able to work quickly and efficiently.

What is a Mail Handler?

Mail Handlers work in postal facilities and are responsible for sorting, processing and delivering mail. They may use a variety of machines to sort mail by route, and they use hand-held scanners to track packages. Mail Handlers load mail onto trucks for delivery and may also operate vehicles to make local deliveries. They may be responsible for preparing mail for shipment, which can include weighing packages and applying postage. Mail Handlers must be able to lift heavy packages and bags of mail, and they must be able to stand for long periods of time.

Mail Processor vs. Mail Handler

Here are the main differences between a mail processor and a mail handler.

Job Duties

Both mail processors and mail handlers have similar job duties, although the tasks they complete each day can vary. Mail processors work in processing centers where they scan incoming mail to sort it into different bins based on location or type of mail. They also use machines to open, scan and reseal mail. Mail handlers transport mail from one place to another by driving trucks or operating other transportation vehicles. They may also load and unload planes or ships with mail.

Mail processors may perform more administrative tasks than mail handlers. As a processor, you may spend more time using technology like scanners and printers to process mail. Handlers typically drive vehicles to transport mail and may not do as much office work.

Job Requirements

There are no specific education requirements for mail processors and mail handlers, but most employers prefer candidates who have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Many mail processing and handling positions also require on-the-job training to learn about the organization’s specific procedures. Some employers may provide this training, while others may require employees to complete it on their own time.

Work Environment

Mail processors and handlers work in different environments. Mail processors typically work in offices, where they can use computers to process mail and communicate with customers. They may also travel to other locations to collect mail from post offices or businesses.

Mail handlers work outdoors, often on loading docks or in trucks. They may spend their days walking around a facility to ensure that all of the mail is loaded correctly onto vehicles for delivery.


Mail processors and mail handlers both need to have good organizational skills. This is because they need to be able to sort through a large volume of mail quickly and efficiently. They also need to be able to pay attention to detail so that they do not make mistakes when sorting the mail.

Mail processors need to have some computer skills. This is because they use computers to track the mail that comes in and to print labels for the mail that needs to be sent out. Mail handlers do not need to have any specific computer skills. However, they need to be able to lift heavy objects. This is because they often need to move around large sacks of mail.


Mail handlers earn an average salary of $43,406 per year, while mail processors earn an average salary of $39,854 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the location of the job, the size of the company and the level of experience the employee has.


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