Postal delivery worker

postman postwoman

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would sort letters and small packages before delivering them to homes and businesses. Many of the items you would be dealing with could be important, and people would rely on you to get them to the right place safely. 

You would normally be based in a district delivery office, and have a round or 'walk' covering several hundred addresses. You could also work in a larger mail processing centre, dealing with incoming and outgoing mail for delivery across the country and overseas.

Many of the people on your route might get to know you quite well. Some of them may refer to you as the 'postie'.

You would:

  • Sort mail by hand
  • Operate automated mail handling equipment, known as integrated mail processors (IMPs)
  • Deliver mail on foot, using a bicycle or by van
  • Collect customer signatures for registered post and recorded deliveries
  • Pick up mail from post boxes, post offices and businesses within the district
  • Seal with wrongly addressed or returned mail
  • Move mail to and from processing centres, delivery offices, railway stations and airports

As a postal delivery worker in a rural area, you may have extra duties, such as delivering milk and other goods.

You’d need good reading, writing and maths skills and an awareness of health and safety.

Working conditions

Hours

You would work up to 40 hours a week full-time, including Saturday mornings. You may have the option to work part-time hours or overtime, particularly at Christmas.

Environment

You could cover two or three miles each day on your deliveries, and your mail pouch could weigh up to 16kg at the start of your round, although you may be able to use a mail trolley or bicycle. You would be expected to work in all weather conditions. Your employer would provide you with a uniform and footwear.

Travel

You may have to drive a van.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Working on your own
  • Using computers
  • Being physically fit
  • Time management
  • Working with numbers
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths

You will also need

As part of the recruitment process you will need to pass aptitude tests including tests of your understanding of written English.

You must be physically fit to do this job, as delivery rounds (‘walks’) can take up to three and half hours and mail bags can weigh up to 16kg.

A driving licence is required for a delivery driver role with no more than 6 penalty points. 

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show customer service, physical fitness and local geographical knowledge.

You would normally need your own transport to get to and from work, as public transport may not cover all of your shift times.