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How to Become a Postmaster: Salary and Career Facts

Learn about how to become a postmaster. Read about education requirements, job duties, postmaster salary, and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

What Is a Postmaster?

A postmaster is the person in charge of a U.S. post office or network of post offices. Postmasters perform a variety of administrative duties, such as supervising employees, creating work schedules, and overseeing ingoing and outgoing mail processes. Along with knowledge of management principles, postmasters should also possess the technical skills and knowledge of software programs used to fulfill day-to-day duties. All postmasters work under the guidance of the Postmaster General, who is the head or CEO of the U.S. Postal Service.

Postmaster Requirements and Career Facts

Degree Required High school diploma
Training Required Associate Supervisor Program (ASP) is provided by the U.S. Postal Service
Key Responsibilities Manage and supervise postal employees; plan, oversee, and manage operations in a post office
Job Growth (2018-2028) -27% (for all postmasters and mail superintendents)*
Median Salary (2018)$75,970 (for all postmasters and mail superintendents)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Become a Postmaster

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), there is no formal path to becoming a postmaster. In most cases, individuals work their way up through the ranks of a post office. The USPS primarily promotes from within; therefore, you may need to start in an entry-level role, such as letter carrier, mail processor, or clerk, and seek promotions over time. You may then work as a supervisor of a department within a post office, such as customer service.

Postmaster Job Duties

As a postmaster, it's your responsibility to manage the operational and administrative aspects of a U.S. post office or group of post offices. The efficient and expedient processing of incoming and outgoing mail will be supervised and directed by you. When new postal services become available or postal laws and policies change, you'll make announcements and ensure compliance.

Your job will also include hiring, training, and developing post office staff and letter carriers. Other administrative tasks that fall under your purview include the overall financial operations of the post office, from collecting rents for post office boxes to controlling costs. Additionally, you'll be in charge of resolving conflicts ranging from employee labor disputes to customer grievances.

Postmaster Education and Training

There is no specific degree or training program required to become a postmaster; however, many postmasters pursue an internal training program offered through the USPS called the Associate Supervisor Program (ASP). Requiring 16 weeks of study, ASP includes both classroom-based and on-the-job training. You'll learn the technical and managerial skills that are useful for the postmaster role. While you are an ASP trainee, the USPS will assign you a coach to guide you through the program and help in planning your future career.

Postmaster Job Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 13,300 postmasters and mail superintendents in 2018. Employment is expected to decrease by 27% between 2018 and 2028. As of 2018, the BLS reported a median annual salary for postmasters of $75,970 per year, which breaks down to $36.52 per hour.

What Are Some Similar Careers?

Administrative services managers oversee the workings of an organization's support system, planning and coordinating actions that can even include sorting and distributing mail to employees. General and operations managers are similar, managing unspecific tasks necessary for an organization to run smoothly that cannot be classified under a single area of management. The majority of workers in these two positions hold a bachelor's degree or higher.