Postmaster Education and Training

Research what it takes to become a postmaster. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

What Is a Postmaster?

Postmasters are responsible for managing the personnel, resources and operations of a post office. A postmaster is considered the head or manager of a post office. They may plan letter routes for postal service workers, manage the post office employees including clerks, and enforce rules and regulations of the postal service. They may train employees, explain procedures to customers, supervise mail processing and complete administrative duties for the post office. The following chart gives you an overview of the requirements for becoming a postmaster.

Degree Required High school diploma
Training Required Management and managerial leadership training provided by the U.S. Postal Service
Key Responsibilities Oversee and direct post office operations; assign and coordinate activities of postal workers
Job Growth (2014-2024) 28% decline* for all postal service workers
Median Salary (2015) $70,640 *

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Educational Training Do I Need To Be a Postmaster?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has no formal education requirements for employment unless you're age 16; 16-year-olds may be considered for employment if they hold a high school diploma. All applicants must take and pass an exam. Postmasters are selected through a merit-based system (www.usps.gov). There is no stated educational requirement; however, obtaining a degree in a related management field, such as public administration, may help with your career advancement. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in public administration are available at various colleges and universities, with some programs being offered through online or distance-learning formats.

An associate's degree program in public administration may provide you with an understanding of the principles of public administration. You'll also gain basic management training on topics such as leadership, program planning, program evaluation, budgeting, business communication and organization. A bachelor's degree program in public administration may include instruction on public service leadership, public organization and management, occupational safety and public resource management. A graduate-level Master of Science in Public Administration degree program may offer you advanced training on organizational leadership, finance and accounting, public personnel administration and public program analysis.

What Kind of Professional Training Can I Get?

The USPS offers professional training programs to eligible employees. You could enroll in the Associate Supervisor Program (ASP), the Managerial Leadership Program (MLP) and the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP).

The ASP is intended to develop front-line supervisors. It lasts 16 weeks and consists of classroom instruction, on-the-job training and formal coaching in leadership, technical, administrative and operational standards and skills. The MLP is completed in two weeks; however, its coursework extends across a period of three months. It offers intermediate training on various components of leadership, such as interpersonal relations and conflict management. The ALP lasts three weeks, with a 6-9 month curriculum requirement. It offers advanced training on business foundations, business leadership and personal development.

What Salary Can I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the annual median salary for postmasters and mail superintendents in 2015 was $70,640 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also said that postmasters and mail superintendents with an annual salary in the 10th percentile earned $54,100, and those in the 90th percentile earned $88,300. Your individual salary may be contingent upon several factors, such as your training and your work experience.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Administrative service managers plan, coordinate, organize and oversee administrative services in an organization. These managers may oversee record and book keeping, mail distribution and office upkeep in a variety of organizations. They may supervise and train administrative support staff, coordinate record keeping, plan budgets, and oversee an office or facility including maintenance and complying with regulations. A bachelor's degree is typically required for this position. Postal service workers are professionals who work underneath a post master. They may collect and distribute mail, sort mail, sell stamps and interact with customers at a post office, and operate postal equipment. Like a postmaster, they work in a post office or for a post office. They are is no minimum education requirement for those over 16, although applicants must be able to pass a written English test.

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