Postman or postwoman

Postal delivery worker

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Postmen and postwomen sort letters and packages for delivery to homes and businesses.

Salary range: £20,000 to £25,000

How to become a postman or postwoman

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You could do an express delivery operative intermediate apprenticeship, if you want to work as a delivery driver.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Work

Royal Mail often recruits temporary staff for the Christmas period from September each year. This can be a useful way for you to get some experience and apply for permanent jobs as they come up.

Direct application

You can apply directly for delivery work. You don’t need any specific qualifications, but your interview will usually include aptitude tests. These are to check that you can read addresses correctly and recognise misaddressed mail.

More information

Further information

You can get more on careers and training in postal work from Royal Mail.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • have a good level of fitness

You’ll usually need your own transport to get to and from work, as you may not be able to get public transport to suit your shift times.

You may need a driving licence for some jobs.

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

As part of your day-to-day duties, you may:

  • sort mail on a sorting frame, getting it into address order
  • operate automated equipment
  • deliver mail on foot, by a bicycle or by van
  • get customer signatures for registered post and recorded deliveries
  • pick up mail from post boxes, post offices and businesses
  • deal with wrongly addressed or returned mail
  • move mail to and from processing centres, delivery offices, railway stations and airports

Working environment

You could work from a vehicle or on the road.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could be promoted to higher grades like supervisor and manager. You could move into parcel deliveries, courier jobs or customer care and administration.

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