Postmaster: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for postmasters. Get the facts about salary, job outlook and training requirements to determine if this is the right career for you.

What Does a Postmaster Do?

Postmasters have one of the highest-ranking positions in the postal system. They are in-charge of all the processes that occur in their office/s. These primarily include mail and parcel logistics. But postmasters may have HR duties as well, such as arranging staff schedule, assignments, and payroll. Customer related inquiries and concerns may also be passed to them. Most postmasters work their way up through lesser postal service positions.

The table below provides more information about this career.

Training Required On-the-job
Key Responsibilities Manage all postal operations, educate the public about postal laws or updates, hire and train staff, supervise mail processing, settle customer complaints
Job Growth (2014-2024) -2% or lower**
Median Salary (2016) $71,670*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*NET OnLine

What are the Qualifications for a Postmaster?

As a postmaster, you will need to be at least 18 years of age and have familiarity with all operations of your assigned post office. Your duties could include hiring, training and supervising employees, handling customer relations and preparing detailed performance reports.

What Education and Training Will I Need?

Most of your preparation to be a postmaster is training and experience gained on the job; however, you will need at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Postmaster and other supervisory positions are usually filled from the ranks of experienced employees. You can look for entry-level opportunities at your local post office; these positions will require completing an examination.

Although it's not required, you may consider gaining a related associate's or bachelor's degree, such as the Associate of Applied Science in Public Administration or Bachelor of Science in Logistics. Helpful courses of study you can take through a degree or certificate program include business, computers, government, human resources, communication, and economics. You may also consider the Certified Mail and Distribution Systems Manager (CMDSM) credential, which is awarded by the Mail Systems Management Association. This credential is voluntary and requires professional experience.

What Is the Career Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for postmasters and mail superintendents was $71,670 as of May 2016 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that there were 14,720 postmasters and superintendents in the same period. Because many post offices are consolidating, closing or reducing hours of operation, the overall career outlook for postmasters is declining. However, increasing demand in delivery from online shops and positions left by retiring staff can open job opportunities.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Opportunities also exist for Postmaster Relief/Leave Replacement (PMR/LR) positions, which are generally part-time positions that cover postmaster duties during all hours of post office operations. Working in this job, you may serve in multiple post offices and pursue a permanent position after one year. A related position within the postal system is that of Mail Superintendent. This job involves supervising mail distribution centers, coordinating trucking schedules and resolving issues within the centers.

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