What Does a Postman Do?

Herry Lawford/CC-BY-2.0

A postman collects, sorts and delivers mail. Postal workers often serve residential addresses as well as businesses. Many postemen work on foot and carry large bags full of mail. However, vehicles are available depending on the needs of the route.

A postman has many responsibilities related to the delivery of mail within his assigned jurisdiction. He sorts letters and parcels for his assigned route, personally delivers the mail to homes and businesses, redirects wrongly addressed mail and collects signatures for registered mail. If no one is home to sign for registered mail, the postman leaves a notice telling patrons where to pick it up. Postman are trained to answer people’s questions regarding postal service policies, and are prepared to report unusual observations, including mailboxes that have been tampered with.

Additionally, some postmen provide customers with change of address cards, stamps and money orders. Postmen maintain detailed records concerning their delivery route.

Most postal work shifts consist of 8-hour workdays. Many postal workers begin in the early hours of the morning so they can sort the mail early and get out on their routes as soon as possible.

There are no set qualifications for the job, although prospective postmen are required to have a valid driver’s license and take an aptitude test.