Mail Sorters receive, sort and despatch mail in organisations and postal sorting centres.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary. Around one third of workers have Year 11 and 10 as their highest level of education.

Tasks

  • receiving and checking incoming mail and mail bags
  • assisting with the verification of registered and special articles
  • operating mail processing equipment such as letter preparation lines, letter indexing and sorting equipment
  • performing manual sorting duties and preparing documentation for despatching mail
  • processing underpaid mail, bulk mail lodgements, express mail and other mail services
  • operating letter indexing and sorting machines, multi-line optical character machines and bar-coding equipment
  • investigating complaints regarding lost items

Job Titles

  • Mail Clerk, or Mail Officer
  • Postal Sorting Officer
  • Mail Clerk, or Mail Officer

    Collects, sorts and despatches mail within an organisation.

  • Postal Sorting Officer

    Receives, sorts and despatches mail in a post office or postal sorting centre.

    Specialisations: Parcel Post Officer

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,001 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    13700
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    53.5%
  • Female Share

    46.5%
  • Full-Time Share

    77.8%

Find Vacancies

This is a medium sized occupation employing 13,700 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Mail Sorters work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Transport, Postal and Warehousing; Retail Trade; and Financial and Insurance Services.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 36.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,001 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 48 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 7 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 5 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200514400
200617500
200718800
200814200
200915600
201015000
201112700
201212100
201314000
201415600
201513700
202014300

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsMail SortersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10011230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryMail SortersAll Jobs Average
Full-time77.868.4
Part-time22.231.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)36.640

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Transport, Postal and Warehousing84.4
Retail Trade3.3
Financial and Insurance Services3.1
Public Administration and Safety3
Other Industries6.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateMail SortersAll Jobs Average
NSW40.731.8
VIC18.525.5
QLD20.619.8
SA4.96.8
WA12.211.2
TAS1.52
NT0.11.1
ACT1.51.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketMail SortersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.4-5.45.4
20-245.9-9.99.9
25-3411.6-23.423.4
35-4413.3-21.721.7
45-5433-21.121.1
55-5924.4-8.78.7
60-648.6-5.95.9
65 and Over2.8-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryMail SortersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males53.5Males53.6
Females46.5Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationMail SortersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree10.9-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma19.7-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV7.3-18.918.9
Year 1223.4-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1038.7-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary.
Around one third of workers have Year 11 and 10 as their highest level of education.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Mail Sorters who are efficient, reliable and have a good work ethic.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. English Language

    61% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  2. Production and Processing

    49% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    48% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. Clerical

    45% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  5. Administration and Management

    43% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    76% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Performing General Physical Activities

    76% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  3. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    75% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  4. Getting Information

    70% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  5. Building Good Relationships

    66% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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