A mailroom assistant helps sort and deliver mail and packages for a company. Mailroom assistants typically work for larger corporations, where they receive and ship items, either through the United States Postal Service (USPS) or private companies, such as UPS or Federal Express. They follow the guidance of a mailroom supervisor, organising and delivering mail to its proper work station. Some even work for the federal government or private carriers.
Mailroom assistants have to handle all mail with care. They handle both incoming and outgoing mail, and are often responsible for packaging items. That means they must be aware of the packaging and shipping guidelines of both the USPS and private companies. When distributing mail to company employees, mailroom assistants often load it into a plastic bin or cart with wheels. They need to know where each department is located and where every employee sits to distribute mail accurately.
Mailroom assistants must be able to sort through and deliver mail quickly, and therefore should possess strong organizational skills. They need to own a sound work ethic and positive attitude toward the job, as well as good listening skills to follow the instructions of a supervisor. They also should have capable communication skills, since relaying information to co-workers, managers and everyday employees is a big part of their jobs. On top of those things, mailroom employees must be healthy enough to spend long hours on their feet, arranging and delivering mail.
There are no formal education requirements to become a mailroom assistant. Most are able to learn on the job with limited training. Many companies require candidates to carry a high school diploma or at least the equivalent. Mailroom assistants may also have to undergo a background check before being hired, which usually involves checking for any sort of criminal history. Occasionally, companies will hire college students to work part-time in their mailrooms.
Opportunities for mailroom assistants are likely to dwindle during the next decade, as more companies are beginning to use automated forms of sorting and delivering the mail. Also, the Internet and e-mail have changed the way many companies and their employees communicate. Also, jobs for mailroom assistants are likely to be effected by those belonging to mail carriers themselves--and their opportunities are expected to decrease by 1 per cent through 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Salaries for mailroom assistants vary by their experience and overall responsibilities, and whether they are full-time employees. According to PayScale.com, mailroom clerks earned anywhere from £14,300 to more than £20,150 per year in May 2010.