Postmen or postwomen collect, sort and deliver mail to private homes, shops and business premises within a particular area. They are sometimes called postal workers.
You could be:
collecting mail from post boxes, businesses and post offices to sorting offices
sorting mail by hand into pigeonholes or sorting frames according to the address
overseeing an automated sorting machine
loading and unloading mailbags
sorting the mail further, according to your delivery route, putting it in order of areas and streets
delivering mail on foot, by bicycle or by van
if delivering by van, making checks on the vehicle before going out on deliveries
calling on people to get signatures for deliveries when needed, or to deliver packages
leaving notes about how mail can be collected if delivery has not been possible.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay for Royal Mail postal workers is £8.13 an hour at 17 years old and £10.46 an hour at age 18 and above.
Subject to satisfactory performance, pay can increase at 6 months (£11.04) and 12 months (£11.62) after starting (rates as at 2019). Higher rates may be paid in different parts of the UK. You may also earn overtime and shift allowance.
You work outdoors delivering mail in all weathers.
You might work in a noisy, busy sorting office.
You would work up to 40 hours a week.
In a sorting office you may have to spend a lot of time sitting; if working on deliveries, you may have to walk around a lot. Delivery walks can last between 4 and 6 hours.
You may have to lift mailbags weighing up to 16kg (35lbs) and push or pull trolleys weighing up to 250kg.
You will probably have to work shifts.
You would regularly work early mornings, and sometimes nights and weekends.
You normally have to wear a uniform, which is provided.
organised, to plan your round and finish deliveries on time
able to work alone and also as part of a team
flexible and open to change
You need to have:
an awareness of health and safety
a polite and helpful manner
a good memory
accuracy and attention to detail.
Training is usually on the job, with supervision by experienced members of staff.
The training would include sorting of mail and delivery work.
You might attend short courses, and also work towards Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).
In a large organisation like Royal Mail, there can be good opportunities for promotion.
With experience, you could move on to higher grade postman or postwoman, supervisor or manager posts.
The main employer is Royal Mail but you may also find jobs with other licensed mail companies. Royal Mail usually begin to recruit temporary workers for the busy Christmas period from September each year.