How to Become a Postmaster

The United States Postal Service is an essential government organization that ensures the proper handling and delivery of mail and provides other postal services. Postmasters are trained government employees that are in charge of individual U.S. post offices.

What does a postmaster do?

Postmasters are responsible for supervising and leading all operation aspects of a United States Post Office. They direct and organize the operational, management, administrative, and supportive services. They enforce the rules and procedures of the facility, manage the centralized mail distribution, hire, train, and supervise postal workers, and establish delivery routes. They also answer customer questions, resolve complaints, and notify the public of postal regulations. Postmasters are also responsible for operating the facility within a designated budget. They often handle the ordering of supplies, obtain bids for proposed purchases, and resolve labor disputes. Postmasters often prepare detailed reports about the activities of the post office and present them to their supervisors.

What kind of training does a postmaster need?

Postmasters typically need at least a bachelor degree in business management, public administration, or other related field. They typically complete courses in management principles, human resources management, operations management, organizational behavior, business information systems, administrative system support, and managerial economics. Many postmasters start out as postal workers and advance to postmaster positions once they gain experience and complete advanced training. New postmasters typically receive intensive on the job training that provides instruction on the laws and procedures of the postal system. Most employers require postmasters to pass an assessment examination and background check. Postmasters must stay up to date on the current advancements and often complete additional training.

What are the prospects for a career as a postmaster?

Employment of postmasters is expected to have little or no change from 2006 to 2016 (1). The U.S. Postal Service attempting to reduce costs contributes to the limited job growth.

Job prospects are expect to be fair as some job opportunities will arise from the need to replace postmasters that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons. Postmasters with advanced education and extensive postal service experience will have the best job prospects.

How much do postmasters make?

As of November 2009, postmasters with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $33,486 and $55,000. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average annual salaries between $54,000 and $75,000 (2).

A career as a postmaster is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in the U.S. Postal Service. Postmasters must be able to organize the everyday operational activities of the post office and direct other postal employees. They must have excellent problem solving skills and use logic and reasoning when dealing with issues. Good critical thinking, management skills, and ability to negotiate and mediate tasks are necessary characteristics. Postmaster must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they deal with a variety of employees and customers on a regular basis.

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