Machine distribution clerks work either for the postal service or in corporate mail rooms or other private sector mail sorting facilities. These positions require little education, but do have other requirements. These positions are currently in rapid decline.
Machine distribution clerks operate technology used for sorting, organizing and distributing letters and packages. Some work for parcel delivery agencies, such as the U.S. Postal Service, whereas others work in the mail rooms of corporate offices. Most of these positions do not require a college degree.
|Career Title||Parcel Industry Machine Distribution Clerk||Corporate Machine Distribution Clerk|
|Education Requirements||High school diploma||High school diploma|
|Other Requirements||Ability to lift 50 pounds, stand for long hours; must be at least 18 years old, possess U.S. citizenship, have no criminal record and be able to pass an assessment examination||Ability to lift 50 pounds, stand for long hours; may need driver's license and clean driving record; should have good computer skills|
|Projected Job Growth/Decline (2018-2028)*||-24% (postal service processing machine operators and mail sorters)||-7% (other mail machine operators and clerks)|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$58,770 (postal service processing machine operators and mail sorters)||$30,430 (other mail machine operators and clerks)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Most machine distribution clerks (MDCs) in the parcel delivery industry work for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or for a commercial shipping agency. Corporate machine distribution clerks work within an organization to distribute correspondence internally as well as send out mail. Read on to learn more about these positions below.
Machine Distribution Clerk for the Parcel Delivery Industry
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that machine distribution clerks, sometimes referred to as mail sorters or mail machine operators, organize incoming and outgoing mail through the use of various machines. According to the BLS, job positions for postal service mail sorters, processors and processing machine operators were expected to decline rapidly between 2018 and 2028.
In May 2018, the BLS reported that workers in the 90th percentile or higher earned $46,760 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $20,510 or less per year.
Although an MDC's exact duties change based on store needs, common duties include loading bins of letters and packages into distribution machines that help separate items for delivery. MDCs must remain near the machines to clear out jams or solve any other technical problems, per O*NET Online. After the mail has been separated, MDCs organize and redistribute the sorted piles.
Most MDCs obtain their knowledge about mail sorting machinery through on-site training. MDCs are also trained to use bar-code scanners, computer scanning software and electronic scales. A large part of the job involves helping customers. O*NET describes how MDCs provide regular customer service by selling stamps and assisting customers with package preparation.
MDC positions do not require a college degree, according to both the BLS and O*NET. Individuals who want to work for the USPS must be at least 18 years old, possess U.S. citizenship, have no criminal record and be able to pass an assessment examination.
Most MDCs must have the physical ability to lift 10-50 pounds, and be capable of long periods of standing as well as stooping, bending over and climbing to perform the necessary job duties. Strong communication and comprehension skills are also necessary (O*NET).
Machine Distribution Clerks in Corporate Mail Rooms
Working as an MDC in the corporate mail room offers different challenges than the parcel delivery industry. For instance, mail room MDCs often stuff envelopes with designated information and then seal, address and deliver the envelopes throughout the corporation or to a third-party shipping company. Mail room MDCs also open incoming mail to assign priority to each letter based on company guidelines. According to the BLS, job positions for mail clerks and mail machine operators were expected to decrease between 2018 and 2028. In May 2018, the BLS reported that workers in the 90th percentile or higher earned $60,110 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $35,230 or less per year.
According to several job postings on Careerbuilder.com, listed during November 2010, MDCs spend most of their day collecting, sorting and distributing mail throughout the entire office building. MDCs use computers and the Internet to discuss mailing needs with management, fellow employees and commercial shipping agencies. Some companies have MDCs travel off-site to deliver and pick up packages from clients, sister companies or third-party vendors.
As of November 2010, MDC job postings on Careerbuilder.com showed that most employers preferred applicants with some mailroom experience, but required no formal college degree for these positions. Several employers from these job postings specifically stated that MDC candidates needed strong computer skills, especially experience with Microsoft Office software.
Physical requirements are similar to that of MDCs in the parcel delivery industry. Employers who require MDCs to drive off-site may ask for proof of a driver's license, clean driving record and insurance prior to employment.
Machine distribution clerks require a high school diploma and on-the-job training is usually provided. Postal service workers must pass an assessment exam and meet other requirements. Positions with the postal service have a median annual salary of about $59,000 while those in the private sector have a median annual salary of about $30,000.