Career Development

What Does a Postmaster Do?

Find out what a postmaster does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a postmaster.

Postmasters are responsible for overseeing all aspects of a post office. They ensure that mail is handled properly and on time, they manage the staff who work for them, and they oversee any other services or products that may be offered by their post office (such as money orders, passport applications, etc.).

Postmaster Job Duties

A postmaster typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Processing outgoing mail such as letters, bills, checks, catalogs, magazines, or circulars
  • Forwarding mail to other postal facilities when the volume of mail received exceeds the capacity of the current facility
  • Receiving packages and parcels at the post office for delivery by the United States Postal Service (USPS)
  • Unloading trucks and bins of incoming mail and sorting it into bins by ZIP code
  • Performing clerical duties such as filing, stapling, and sorting mail
  • Maintaining records of incoming and outgoing mail, including postage due payments and mail volume
  • Providing customer service to patrons by answering questions about postal rates, services, regulations, and delivery schedules
  • Recommending changes in rates and routes to increase efficiency in mail delivery
  • Delivering mail by hand or vehicle along one or more routes on a regular basis

Postmaster Salary & Outlook

Postmasters’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the community they work in, and the company they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of postmasters is expected to decline over the next decade.

The use of electronic communications and mail (e-mail, text messaging, and social media) is expected to continue to reduce the amount of mail sent. This will limit the need for postmasters and lead to fewer postal retail establishments.

Related: Postmaster Interview Questions and Answers

Postmaster Job Requirements

The qualifications to become a postmaster generally include:

Education: Postmasters are typically required to have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Some postmasters choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field.

Training & Experience: Postmasters typically receive on-the-job training from their predecessor. This training helps the postmaster learn the specific processes and procedures of the post office. The training may include instruction on how to use the post office’s software, how to manage the finances and how to manage the staff.

Certifications & Licenses: Postmasters do not require any certifications to apply for their position. However, depending on the unique needs of a particular post office, a postmaster may be required to hold a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance to qualify for the position.

Postmaster Skills

Postmasters need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is another important skill for postmasters to have, as they often need to communicate with customers, other postal workers and supervisors. Postmasters should be able to explain complex information in an easy-to-understand way and write letters and emails that are clear and concise. They should also be able to listen to and understand customer concerns and relay them to the appropriate postal worker.

Customer service: Customer service is the ability to interact with customers in a friendly and helpful manner. Postmasters often interact with customers in person and over the phone, so it’s important for them to be friendly and helpful. They should be able to answer customer questions and resolve issues. Postmasters should also be friendly and approachable so customers feel comfortable approaching them with questions or concerns.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow a postmaster to find solutions to issues that arise in the workplace. They can use these skills to help their staff and patrons resolve issues with mail delivery, computer glitches or other problems. Postmasters can also use problem-solving skills to find ways to improve their office’s efficiency and productivity.

Organization: Postmasters often have strong organizational skills, which can help them manage their large mail operations. They may use their organizational skills to sort and deliver mail, maintain customer records and address customer concerns. Organization can also help postmasters keep track of their daily tasks and goals.

Technology: Postmasters should have a basic understanding of the technology used in their workplace, including computers, scanners, printers and other devices. This can help them troubleshoot technical issues and train other employees on how to use the equipment. It can also help them stay informed about the latest technology that can improve their work.

Postmaster Work Environment

Postmasters work in postal service offices, which are usually located in the central business districts of cities and towns. They typically work a 40-hour week, although they may be required to work overtime during busy periods, such as holidays. Postmasters are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the postal service office, which includes supervising the work of postal clerks and mail carriers, sorting mail, and selling postal products and services. They also must keep abreast of changes in postal regulations and procedures and ensure that the office complies with all postal regulations.

Postmaster Trends

Here are three trends influencing how postmasters work. Postmasters will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of the eCommerce Industry

The eCommerce industry is growing rapidly, and this is having a significant impact on the post office. As more and more people shop online, the demand for postal services will decline.

Postmasters can adapt to this trend by becoming experts in eCommerce shipping. This includes understanding how to pack and ship items safely and quickly, as well as how to handle returns and customer service issues. In addition, postmasters should be familiar with the latest trends in eCommerce, such as same-day delivery and click and collect.

Automation Will Reduce the Need for Postal Workers

As automation becomes more widespread in the postal industry, the need for postal workers will decrease. This means that postmasters will need to find new ways to stay competitive and productive.

One way to do this is by adopting new technologies that can help automate some of the work that postal workers do. For example, many post offices are now using automated systems to sort mail, which allows employees to focus on other tasks. Additionally, postmasters can also look into training programs that can help them become more efficient and productive.

A Greater Focus on Customer Service

The postal service is increasingly focusing on customer service as a way to differentiate itself from competitors. This means that postmasters will need to be able to provide excellent customer service in order to keep customers coming back.

In order to be successful, postmasters will need to be able to understand what customers want and how to meet their needs. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with customers and resolve any issues that they may have.

How to Become a Postmaster

Postmasters have a lot of options for career growth. They can move up the ranks to become a postmaster general, or they can specialize in one area of postal service such as mail processing or customer service. They can also move into other areas of the postal service industry, such as working for a courier company that specializes in delivering mail.

Postmasters should stay up-to-date on postal service trends and changes so that they can continue to provide excellent service to their customers. They should also be familiar with the latest technology used in the postal service industry so that they can keep their operations running smoothly.

Advancement Prospects

The postmaster is the head of a post office. The postmaster is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the post office and for the supervision of the postal employees who work there.

The postmaster is usually appointed by the postmaster general, but may also be elected by the postal employees who work in the post office. The postmaster may be promoted to a higher position within the postal service, such as district postmaster or postmaster general.

Postmaster Job Description Example

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is the largest postal service in the world, handling millions of pieces of mail every day. As a postmaster, you will be responsible for the management and operation of a post office, ensuring that postal regulations and procedures are followed and that the post office runs smoothly and efficiently. You will also be responsible for the supervision of postal employees and the maintenance of postal equipment and vehicles. The successful candidate will have excellent management and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to handle a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Ensure the efficient and orderly dispatch of mail within the postal system
  • Manage a team of postal workers, assigning tasks and monitoring performance
  • Maintain records of outgoing and incoming mail
  • Process payments for postal services
  • Resolve customer complaints in a timely and professional manner
  • Train new employees on postal regulations and procedures
  • Keep abreast of changes in postal rates and services
  • Ensure that the post office is clean and organized
  • Stock supplies of postal materials
  • Monitor inventory levels of postal materials
  • Prepare reports on postal activity
  • Assist with the development and implementation of marketing campaigns for postal products and services

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Proven experience as postmaster or similar role
  • Excellent organizational and leadership skills
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal abilities
  • Good knowledge of safety regulations
  • Ability to work long hours and under pressure
  • High school diploma or equivalent; college degree preferred

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Working knowledge of postal software and equipment
  • Familiarity with budgeting and financial reporting
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office suite
  • Valid driver’s license


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