The United States Postal Service has a strong record of offering desirable positions with good pay (well above the national minimum wage) and even better benefits. You have probably seen your mail carrier or spoken to a Post Office clerk.
But one position you might not have heard of is the Mail Handler Assistant or MHA. What is a USPS Mail Handler Assistant? What role do they play in ensuring the timely delivery of mail? I’ve got the answer you seek!
What Is A USPS Mail Handler Assistant In 2024?
A United States Postal Service Mail Handler Assistant (MHA) works in USPS facilities loading/unloading and sorting mail and distributing mail to the carriers as of 2024. In addition to these physical tasks, they may also undertake several administrative tasks, including record-keeping and ordering supplies. MHAs’ average salary is about $17 an hour.
To learn more about an MHA’s job description and duties, how much they can make at different points in their careers, what kind of hours they work, and much more, keep reading!
What Is The Job Description For A USPS Mail Handler Assistant?
According to Comeet.com, the job description for a USPS MHA is a “physical laborer who sorts and moves mail by hand and with the assistance of machinery.”
It continues, “they move physical correspondences and packages in and through postal and corporate warehouses and mail systems.”
That said, I think it’s important to note the word “physical” in the above description; this job requires applicants to be fit and strong enough to perform laborious tasks.
Further, you must be able to lift at least 50 pounds without hurting yourself (or others).
Also, Comeet.com advises that applicants have some experience in similar work, including the use of some heavy machinery, like forklifts.
On top of that, other machines you will learn to operate include canceling and mail processing machines.
But in addition to being physically capable, you must also have a keen mind for organization, both in terms of moving mailpieces and your working environment.
With that, USPS expects you to help keep the mailrooms clean and tidy, despite how chaotic it might get at times.
Finally, despite how mechanized some mail processes can be, nothing can replace the human touch.
So, you will ultimately make a significant difference in people’s lives by ensuring wayward mail reaches its proper destination.
Therefore, that could mean researching an address so that a parcel whose label fell off or was damaged can still reach the recipient.
Or, you might even have to rewrap packages that come undone in transit.
This job description is in no way final or official, and only once you are on the job can you truly understand the breadth of the USPS MHA position.
What Are The Duties For A USPS Mail Handler Assistant Job?
Here is a shortlist of some of the significant duties that USPS Mail Handler Assistants must undertake via Comeet.com:
- Preparing mail
- Sorting and, if need be, canceling mail
- Transporting parcels and packages to where they need to be in the warehouse or Post Office
- Weighing packages
- Operating forklifts and other machinery
- Loading and unloading the mail trucks
- Keeping records
- Maintaining a clean and tidy workspace
As you can see, the MHA position is hard work, and they’re expected to give their all every shift.
How Do You Become A USPS Mail Handler Assistant?
The process to become a USPS MHA is no different from any other position with the Postal Service.
That said, you will apply on USPS.com, where having some experience and skills matching the job description will benefit your application.
Then, if the hiring personnel think you’re a good match on paper, they’ll invite you to take Postal Exam 473.
If you pass with a score of 70 or higher, you’re officially on the pre-hire list. Next, you will come in for an in-person interview, which could be either one-on-one or in a group.
If you stand out as a prospective employee, you may receive a conditional offer of employment.
Also, you will do a drug test and give consent for the USPS to run a background check. However, the time between this step and the next can sometimes take weeks or even months.
If all that clears, though, you will then be brought in for orientation and likely receive an official offer of employment.
How Much Do USPS Mail Handler Assistants Make?
USPS MHAs make an average salary of $17 per hour, or $35,360 per year (before taxes).
However, some employees may start around $14 an hour, and the highest-paid MHAs can make as much as $38 an hour ($79,000 a year!).
In addition, the Postal Service is a federal (though independent) agency, so USPS employees receive the same generous benefits package that federal employees do.
What Are The Hours For A USPS Mail Handler Assistant?
There are no set hours for USPS MHAs, as the position requires three different shifts; morning, afternoon, and night.
Also, you can work full-time (40 hours a week) or as a part-time employee, depending on USPS’s needs and your availability.
Is USPS Mail Handler Assistant A Good Job?
One commenter on Indeed.com finds that the position of USPS MHA comes with great pay and benefits, as well as plenty of job security.
Further, they feel that full-time employees fare better, as part-time and seasonal employees, they say, get worked “to the bone.”
Still, many employees on the same page complain of poor management as a significant source of job dissatisfaction, though.
USPS Mail Handling Assistants work incredibly hard at processing, sorting, moving, and loading mail, so much so that people who can’t lift 50 pounds aren’t encouraged to apply.
But if you do qualify, the position can be rewarding, with excellent USPS pay and benefits and plenty of hours to go around.