Post Office Careers

Post office clerks work directly with the public, serving them at the counter in a post office. In smaller and rural post offices, some counter officers are expected to transmit telegrams and do sorting duties as well.

Mail handlers are responsible for the processing and delivery of mail. Mail handlers arrange letters into delivery routes by sorting them into street and house number order. They collect post from post boxes on the way, as they deliver mail using a bicycle, motorcycle or on foot.

Postal services have expanded in South Africa in the last few years and reach many more communities. They have now also set up agencies in various grocery stores. Such post points operate at more convenient hours so that patrons can visit the post office while doing their grocery shopping.

Post office clerks perform the following duties:

  • direct sales of stamps, postal products and stationery such as registered and fast mail envelopes and parcel containers
  • handle financial transactions including savings bank transactions, paying out of pensions, money and postal orders
  • receive payments, for example, telephone and municipal accounts
  • accept and deliver mail over the counter, such as registered and insured letters and parcels
  • involved with client liaison including advising on services, answering of inquiries and assistance in the completion of forms

The sorting duties of mail handlers can include: 

  • processing of mail within the post office and large mail centres
  • sorting letters, newspapers, registered items and parcels according to their destinations
  • preparing mail for sorting by mail sorting machines (a computer creates bar codes on the mail item)
  • tying the mail for any particular route up in bundles and dispatching it in properly sealed mailbags.

Records are kept of all mail dispatched, and a hand-to-hand check of all certified registered or insured items is carried out by the sorting officer.

Personal Requirements

  • flexibility to learn many kinds of tasks
  • diplomatic and tactful
  • friendly attitude towards people
  • able to work well with others
  • able to work with a minimum of supervision
  • able to follow directions carefully and accurately

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate for post office clerk.

Grade 8 certificate for mail handler

What to Study

Post office clerks receive in-service training.

Mail handlers - candidates in possession of at least a Grade 10 Certificate, receive in-service theoretical as well as practical training. Mail handlers on delivery duties must have a valid driver’s licence.


  •  SA postal service

Further Information

S A Post Office Ltd
Staffing and Development
P O Box 10 000
Pretoria, 0001

SA Postal Service - Head Office

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a post office
  • arrange to speak to a post office clerk or mail handler about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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