Starting pay for 2022 varies for each position from mail handlers represented by the National Postal Mail Handlers Union to postal clerks and everything in between. Each of unions negotiates the salary for their members. The Mail Handler Grade 4 and 5 pay scales are listed below and pay at the level 4 step AA is $22.73 per hour or $47,286 annually PLUS benefits.
You also have numerous pay scales for the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) that represents 220,000 postal workers that belong to the Clerk, Maintenance, Motor Vehicle, or Support Services divisions. The largest pay system in the Postal Service is predominantly for bargaining unit employees. There are also Executive and Administrative Schedules for non- bargaining unit members, with pay ranging from the grade 15 minimum of $51,650 up to an authorized maximum at grade 26 of $139,670 per year.
Most postal employees start as part time casual employees and work towards full time employment with time in grade.
The Postal service has multiple pay systems, most affiliated with a specific union. Pay scales for the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, the APWU, and Administrative Management pay scales are included here. Visit the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and APWU sites for other related pay schedules.
Pay System Explained
The Postal Service is an independent agency of the federal government’s executive branch. Unlike the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Postal Service doesn’t make their pay charts available to the public. Seven unions represent the vast majority of postal service workers and they individually publish pay charts for the occupations they cover.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook provides a summary for certain postal occupations along with their average salary. They report, “The median annual wage for postal service workers was $51,730 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,880, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $67,230.”
Median annual wages for postal service workers in May 2021 were as follows:
Postal service mail carriers, $52,440
Postal service clerks, $52,290
Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators, $48,550
Union Worker’s Pay Charts
Review the pay charts provided on this page. The postal pay scale for mail handlers, letter carriers, clerks, and other union workers includes a series of steps. This is similar to the General Schedule Pay scales for federal employees. An employee moves to the next step after completing a specified number of weeks of service depending on the negotiated union contract. For postal clerks represented by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), it takes 44 weeks to reach step 3, 36 weeks for steps 4-7, and 30 weeks for steps 8-11.
Certain postal occupations start at different steps on the pay scale. The higher skilled occupations typically start at higher steps on that occupation’s pay chart. Postal salaries are adjusted annually for the cost-of-living that compensates for inflation.
When you apply online for a specific job vacancy, the starting salary and pay range is provided along with a detailed description of the position, and information about postal exams that may be required.
Career and Non-Career Postal Employees
The USPS employed 516,636 career employees and 136,531 non-career employees in 2021. Temporary workers are classified as non-career employees, and are hired during peak mail volume periods to reduce costs. Non-career employee’s pay is listed on the salary charts for part-time-flexible positions and they don’t receive the same benefits as full-time career employees.
Mail Handlers Pay Tables
The following Mail Handler pay scale represented by the National Mail Handlers Union. The pay tables are effective August 27,2022.