About 145,690 mail sorters worked for the U.S. Postal Service in 2009, according to a May 2010 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These workers primarily sort incoming and outgoing mail. They take mail from bins and bundle it for specific mail truck drivers in their areas. They also place mail in post office boxes for mail customers and cancel postage on letters and packages by hand. Mail sorters must be 18 and usually get paid annual salaries.
Average Salary and Benefits
Mail sorters earned average annual salaries of $48,340, according to the May 2010 BLS report. Experience plays a major role in their salaries, as do location and the size and budgets of their employers. Mail sorters earned salaries closer to the national average in Texas and Missouri at $48,600 and $47,470 per year, respectively. Those in Alaska and Montana earned considerably less at $39,700 and $38,600 per year.
Salary by State
Mail sorters' salaries vary widely by state. For example, those in the District of Columbia earned the highest annual salaries at $51,530, according to the BLS. They also earned relatively high salaries in Connecticut and Rhode Island at $51,090 and $50,400 per year, respectively. These government workers receive benefits such as health and life insurance, paid holidays and vacations, sick leave, flexible spending accounts, and retirement savings plans.
Salary by Non-Metropolitan Area
Mail sorters can also earn more money in certain rural or non-metropolitan areas of the country. For example, those in southeast Alaska earned the highest-annual salaries among the rural areas at $45,720, according to the bureau. Those in southern Vermont made $43,180 per year. These workers earned annual salaries of $34,170 in rural Kansas and $28,540 in central Montana. They earned somewhat less in southwest Alaska at $26,950 per year.
The BLS expects jobs for mail sorters to "decline rapidly" in the decade between 2008 and 2018. Fewer sorters will be needed because of automated-sorting equipment in post offices. The increasing number of businesses presorting their outgoing mail will also negatively impact jobs for these workers.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition: Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators; December 2009
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators; May 2010
- CareerPlanner.com: Postal Service Mail Sorter, Processor, and Processing Machine Operator, Job Description, Duties and Jobs
- PostalEmployeeNetwork.com: Postal Benefits
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