Career and Education Opportunities for Mail Clerks in Providence, Rhode Island
If you want to be a mail clerk, the Providence, Rhode Island area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 470 people work as mail clerks in Rhode Island. This is expected to shrink 19% to about 380 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mail clerks are expected to shrink by about 11.8%. Mail clerks generally prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution.
The income of a mail clerk is about $13 per hour or $28,120 per year on average in Rhode Island. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $12 per hour or $25,100 yearly on average. Earnings for mail clerks are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Postal in Rhode Island and not quite as good as general Postal category earnings nationally.
There are fifty-five schools of higher education in the Providence area, including three within twenty-five miles of Providence where you can get a degree to start your career as a mail clerk. Given that the most common education level for mail clerks is less than a high school diploma, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a mail clerk if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mail Clerk
In general, mail clerks prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. They also 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.
Mail clerks verify that items are addressed correctly, marked with the proper postage, and in suitable condition for processing. They also seal or open envelopes, by hand or by using machines. Equally important, mail clerks have to fold letters or circulars and insert them in envelopes. Finally, mail clerks place incoming or outgoing letters or packages into sacks or bins on the basis of destination or type, and place identifying tags on sacks or bins.
Every day, mail clerks are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for mail clerks to affix postage to packages or letters by hand, or stamp materials, using postage meters. They are often called upon to clear jams in sortation equipment. They also lift and unload containers of mail or parcels onto equipment for transportation to sortation stations. They are sometimes expected to add ink, fill paste reservoirs, and change machine ribbons when needed. Somewhat less frequently, mail clerks are also expected to remove containers of sorted mail/parcels, and transfer them to designated areas in line with established procedures.
Mail clerks sometimes are asked to contact delivery or courier services to organize delivery of letters and parcels. They also have to be able to inspect mail machine output for defects; decide on how to remove causes of any defects and accept and check containers of mail or parcels from large volume mailers and contractors. And finally, they sometimes have to answer inquiries regarding shipping or mailing policies.
Like many other jobs, mail clerks must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Providence include:
- File Clerk. File correspondence, cards, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used. Locate and remove material from file when requested.
- Mail Carrier and Clerk. Sort mail for delivery. Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot.
- Office Machine Operator. Operate one or more of a variety of office machines, such as photocopying, photographic, and duplicating machines, or other office machines.
- Order Filler. Fill customers' mail and telephone orders from stored merchandise in accordance with specifications on sales slips or order forms. Duties include computing prices of items, completing order receipts, keeping records of out-going orders, and requisitioning additional materials, supplies, and equipment.
- Payroll Bookkeeper. Compile and post employee time and payroll data. May compute employees' time worked, production, and commission. May compute and post wages and deductions. May prepare paychecks.
- 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.
- Postal Service Mail Sorter Operator. Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Examine, sort, and route mail by State, type of mail, or other scheme. Load, operate, and occasionally adjust and repair mail processing, sorting, and canceling machinery. Keep records of shipments, pouches, and sacks; and other duties related to mail handling within the postal service. Must complete a competitive exam.
- Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
- Shipping and Receiving Clerk. Verify and keep records on incoming and outgoing shipments. Prepare items for shipment. Duties include assembling, addressing, and shipping merchandise or material; receiving, unpacking, verifying and recording incoming merchandise or material; and arranging for the transportation of products.
- Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.
- Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mail Clerk Training
Three Rivers Community College - Norwich, CT
Three Rivers Community College, 574 New London Turnpike, Norwich, CT 06360. Three Rivers Community College is a small college located in Norwich, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,025 students. Three Rivers Community College has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated two students in 2008.
Community College of Rhode Island - Warwick, RI
Community College of Rhode Island, 400 East Ave, Warwick, RI 02886-1807. Community College of Rhode Island is a large college located in Warwick, Rhode Island. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,612 students. Community College of Rhode Island has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated six students in 2008.
Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA
Massasoit Community College, One Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, MA 02302-3996. Massasoit Community College is a medium sized college located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,394 students. Massasoit Community College has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated one student in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is situated in Providence County, Rhode Island. It has a population of over 171,557, which has shrunk by 1.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Providence, 105, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Providence are valued at $75,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, seventeen new homes were constructed in Providence, down from forty-seven the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Providence are educational services, health care, and miscellaneous manufacturing. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and miscellaneous manufacturing. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 24.4% of Providence residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Providence is 14.5%, which is greater than Rhode Island's average of 12.2%.
The percentage of Providence residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 63.6%, is more than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, United Presbyterian Church and Providence Assembly of God Church are some of the churches located in Providence. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Episcopal Church.
Providence is home to the Fall River Iron Works and the Broadway-Armory Historic District as well as Burnside Park and Customhouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Silver Lake Plaza Shopping Center, Shopperstown Shopping Center and Corliss Landing Shopping Center. Visitors to Providence can choose from Historic Jacob Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast Inn, Agora Restaurant & Bar and Old Court Bed & Breakfast for temporary stays in the area.