A postman/woman is a professional who is tasked with sorting and delivering letters and small packets. They work from a district sorting office. They might be other responsibilities for mail collection from the post office, post boxes, and places of work.
They sort outgoing and income mail by hand indoors on a sorting frame. This can involve working with automated mail handling machinery like integrated mail processors (IMPs).
Once these letters and small packets have been sorted, the post is going to deliver them to businesses and homes. Postmen/women delivering mail have to have a round where they can cover hundreds of addresses. They have to obtain signatures if they are dealing with some items like recorded deliveries and registered posts.
The deliveries can be made on foot, by car, a bicycle, or by van.
Some postmen/women work in the central sorting offices, where they deal with mail going out across the country and also coming in. These mails are sorted into mailbags before being loaded to vans to be transported to district offices, depending on the destination, rail station, a road freight depot, or airport.
The working environment as a postman/woman
Full time postmen/workers usually work an average of 41.5 hours every week. They have a shift system. The shift can start at 6 am or even 5 am, and the work is going to be about preparing and delivering the mail. There is another shift that starts between 1 pm and 2 pm where they collect and sort mail.
Saturday mornings can also be about work and Sunday shifts are also needed. Part-time, night-shift, and season work are usually available.
Delivery work is done outdoors, no matter the weather and time of year. They are required to lift and carry a maximum load of 16 kgs.
They are provided with a uniform which includes shoes like Reebok postal shoes. Subsidized meals are also provided in larger offices.
Note: there are some major changes taking place in the postal services that will affect shift patterns, working hours, delivery schedules, and pay. Check out your local office to learn more.
What do you need to be a postman/woman?
If you want to be a postman/woman, you need to:
Fit and active
Reliable, honest, and trustworthy
Able to deal with repetitive tasks quickly and efficiently
Literate and numerate
Ability to work a delivery schedule
Able to use a keyboard
Awareness of health and safety issues
Ability to undertake clerical tasks e.g. re-directing mail
Ability to work as part of a team or alone
Confident and polite dealing with the public
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Postman/woman career opportunities
There are many opportunities throughout the country when it comes to career opportunities. Recruitment is usually done through the local sorting office. Hundreds of people are employed at the large mail centers sorting and distributing mail.
With experience, it is possible to be promoted to higher grades such as a manager and supervisor.
Opportunities are going to come up where you can move into similar areas of the business such as courier work, parcel deliveries, customer care, post office counter work, and administration within the main offices or district offices.