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Postman or postwoman Postal delivery worker

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,500 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but your interview will include aptitude tests. These are to check that you can read addresses correctly and recognise misaddressed mail.

You'll have to be physically fit, as delivery rounds (walks) can take 3 to 4 hours. You'll be carrying bags that can weigh up to 16kg.

You'll need a full UK driving licence to work as a delivery driver.

Another way to get into this job is through seasonal work which usually starts around September each year.

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 could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • time-keeping skills and the ability to keep to a delivery schedule
  • reading, writing and maths skills
  • the ability to deal with repetitive tasks quickly and efficiently
  • basic IT skills
  • communication and customer service skills
  • the ability to work alone and as part of a team

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • sorting mail on a sorting frame, getting it into address order
  • operating automated equipment
  • delivering mail on foot, by a bicycle or by van
  • getting customer signatures for registered post and recorded deliveries
  • picking up mail from post boxes, post offices and businesses
  • dealing with wrongly addressed or returned mail
  • moving mail to and from processing centres, delivery offices, railway stations and airports

You may have extra duties if you work in a rural area.

4. Salary

Starter: £13,500 to £17,500

Experienced: £19,000

Highly Experienced: £20,000 to £25,000 (manager)

You may get extra pay for unsocial hours, driving duties and extra responsibilities.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually be based in a district delivery office, and have a round or 'walk' covering several hundred addresses.

You could also work in a larger mail processing centre, dealing with incoming and outgoing mail for delivery across the country and overseas.

6. Career path and progression

You could work for Royal Mail or other licensed mail operators.

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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Last updated: 11 April 2017