Mail Sorters receive, sort and despatch mail in organisations and postal sorting centres.
receiving and checking incoming mail and mail bags
assisting with the verification of registered and special articles
operating mail processing equipment such as letter preparation lines, letter indexing and sorting equipment
performing manual sorting duties and preparing documentation for despatching mail
processing underpaid mail, bulk mail lodgements, express mail and other mail services
operating letter indexing and sorting machines, multi-line optical character machines and bar-coding equipment
investigating complaints regarding lost items
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 21,100 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 63% of people employed as Mail Sorters work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is similar to the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,074 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $984
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,351
Median hourly earnings are $29, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Mail Sorters||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Mail Sorters work in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Mail Sorters||All Jobs Average|
Around 73% of Mail Sorters live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Mail Sorters is 50 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 50% of the workforce. This is similar to the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Mail Sorters||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||6.1||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Mail Sorter. Some workers have Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications in areas such as warehousing, distribution or business.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Mail Sorters||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||3.0||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||22.7||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Mail Sorters who are efficient, reliable and have a good work ethic.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
41%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Reading work related information.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Talking to others.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
34%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Teaching people how to do something.
30%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
29%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
27%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Looking for ways to help people.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
27%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
25%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
24%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
21%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
20%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
19%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
19%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
15%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
12%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
11%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
10%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
9%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
7%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Read and understand written information.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
37%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
73%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
54%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
47%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
45%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
44%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
39%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
38%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
37%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
35%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
35%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
35%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
32%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
32%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
30%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
30%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
28%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
28%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
26%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
26%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
23%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
100%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Work to strict deadlines.
91%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
90%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
88%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
86%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
Talk with people face-to-face.
82%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
81%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work with people in a group or team.
79%Pace of work set by equipment
Pace of work depends on the speed of equipment or machinery.
76%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
75%Walking and running
Spend time walking and running.
75%Automation of tasks
Do tasks that are mostly automated.
73%Bending or twisting your body
Spend time bending or twisting your body.
73%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
72%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
70%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
69%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
67%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-5053.00 - Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.