Postal delivery worker

postman postwoman
Transport, distribution and logistics

Career outlook for postal delivery worker

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

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
  • Deal 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


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.


You could walk for up to 6 hours per day on your deliveries. Your mail pouch could weigh up to 16kg at the start of your round and you may need to distribute several pouches per day. Depending on your location, you'll sometimes be provided with 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.


You may have to drive a van.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Attention to detail
  • Sorting
  • Taking initiative
  • Time management
  • Taking responsibility

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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.


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.