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Career and Education Opportunities for Postal Service Mail Sorter Operators in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for postal service mail sorter operators in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 11,300 working postal service mail sorter operators in Illinois; this should shrink 10% to 10,220 working postal service mail sorter operators in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for postal service mail sorter operators, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 30.3% over the next eight years. Postal service mail sorter operators generally prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution.

The income of a postal service mail sorter operator is about $24 per hour or $51,040 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $24 per hour or $50,020 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Postal, people working as postal service mail sorter operators in Illinois earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Postal nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including two within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a postal service mail sorter operator. Postal service mail sorter operators usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a postal service mail sorter operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Postal Service Mail Sorter Operator

Postal Service Mail Sorter Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, postal service mail sorter operators prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. They also examine, sort, and route mail by State, type of mail, or other scheme.

Every day, postal service mail sorter operators are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they lift, push and move large and heavy objects.

It is important for postal service mail sorter operators to serve the public at counters or windows. They are often called upon to distribute incoming mail into the correct boxes or pigeonholes. They also sort odd-sized mail by hand, sort mail that other staff have been unable to sort, and segregate items requiring special handling. They are sometimes expected to check items to insure that addresses are legible and correct, that sufficient postage has been paid or the appropriate documentation is attached, and that items are in a suitable condition for processing. Somewhat less frequently, postal service mail sorter operators are also expected to operate various types of equipment, such as computer scanning equipment, addressographs, mimeographs, optical character readers, and bar-code sorters.

Postal service mail sorter operators sometimes are asked to direct items in line with established routing schemes, using computer controlled keyboards or voice recognition equipment. They also have to be able to rewrap soiled or broken parcels And finally, they sometimes have to bundle and route sorted mail to designated areas depending on destinations and in line with established procedures and deadlines.

Like many other jobs, postal service mail sorter operators must be thorough and dependable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Mail Carrier and Clerk. Sort mail for delivery. Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot.
  • Mail Clerk. Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Use hand or mail handling machines to time stamp, open, and route incoming mail; and address, seal, and affix postage to outgoing mail or packages. Duties may also include keeping necessary records and completed forms.
  • Postal Clerk. Perform any combination of tasks in a post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail rack or in bags according to State, address, or other scheme; and examine mail for correct postage.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Postal Service Mail Sorter Operator Training

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated two students in 2008.

Morton College - Cicero, IL

Morton College, 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804-4398. Morton College is a small college located in Cicero, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,959 students. Morton College has a less than one year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated three students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.