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A mailroom clerk is commonly the person in charge of a company's incoming and outgoing mail. She typically works in a room dedicated to the receipt of letters and packages and preparation of mail for shipping by the local post office or an independent shipping service. A mailroom clerk's job may be with a private firm, government agency, non-profit group or military operation.
When mail is delivered to a large company, it normally goes to one centralized station or designated room. The mailroom clerk typically divides the mail by department and then breaks it down further by the people who work in each department. She customarily loads the sorted items onto a mail cart and follows a prescribed route to distribute the mail throughout the company. If space and time permit, the mailroom clerk may pick up outgoing letters and small packages along her route and deliver non-mail memos and messages among departments as well.
If a company ships packages as part of its business, the mailroom clerk is frequently in charge of preparing shipments. She is usually required to be knowledgeable about shipping rates and practices of several different mail forwarding companies so she can choose the fastest and most cost-effective method to ship various types of mail. If special handling or instructions apply to certain shipments, the mailroom clerk is customarily expected to follow the imposed guidelines.
Computer generated shipping documents are frequently used by companies. The companies often set up an online account with various shippers that bill the company for their services, shipping labels and supplies on regular basis. A mailroom clerk is commonly required to order supplies and maintain the postage accounts at appropriate levels.
Some companies may require the clerk to operate a wide range of mailing tools and machines. These commonly include postage meters, scales, sorting and labeling machines, electric envelope openers, sealers and fold-and-insert equipment. If a firm ships large packages on a regular basis, taping or stapling machines may be used to securely seal boxes and parcels.
A mailroom clerk is usually required to have good organizational skills to efficiently perform her job. She is typically expected to be in good physical condition to lift and transport heavy packages. Good computer aptitude is generally needed to create shipping documents and maintain related files and records.
To obtain a job as a clerk in a mailroom usually requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Experience in an office or shipping environment is generally preferred for these job applicants. A significant number of mailroom clerks view the position as a stepping-stone to higher paying positions within a company.