Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

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Postal Workers

Job Prospects

Job Prospects... At a glance

Job prospects for postal workers are slightly below average. Employment numbers are projected to be stable, which means there will be opportunities for new workers as older ones quit. Income is average, but the costs of entering the occupation are low.

How to become a postal worker

What they do

Postal workers deliver small items such as letters and packages in the mail. This usually involves driving, although some also cycle or walk. Some postal workers sort mail in a mail distribution centre.

Their tasks may include:

  • sorting and sequencing items for delivery
  • delivering mail, parcels, documents and other items to customers' premises and mailboxes
  • receiving orders for deliveries from customers
  • collecting signatures and charges for cash-on-delivery orders
  • issuing and collecting receipts for pick-up and delivery items
  • keeping records of items received and delivered
  • maintaining walk books, directories, mail counts, equipment maintenance logs and other delivery records
  • loading and unloading mail conveyances and internal mail handling equipment
  • assisting with receipting inward mail, checking wrongly addressed, missorted, undelivered and redirected mail, and processing freepost and underpaid mail. 


Most postal workers who deliver mail will need a driving licence for the type of vehicle they are using, and they could also need further endorsements or licences.

To work as a mail sorter, you must pass a pre-employment assessment, and then complete introductory training.

Most skills for postal workers are learned on the job.

Cost of study

Learning on the job

No study is needed, so starting as a postal worker is free.

A driving licence and driving licence endorsements could be needed, and there are costs involved in getting these.

Income and employment prospects


The annual income for postal workers is estimated to be around $43,000. Income depends on experience.

Estimated Average Income

Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index

Employment and skill shortages

Postal workers’ employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2023 2028
6,765 6,090 6,560 7,290
  -1.5% 1.3% 1.8%

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
* Growth projections are based on the wider category “Clerical and Office Support Workers”.

The number of postal workers in employment decreased from 2006 to 2013. However, a small increase is projected out to 2028. This relatively stable employment level means there should be openings for new postal workers as older ones retire.

Employment chart

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections

Postal workers are not on Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists.

Immigration NZ, skill shortage list:

Where to find job vacancies

Although online job vacancy numbers for ‘Couriers and Postal Deliverers’ has slowed since 2016, there is still demand.

Jobs advertised chart

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Postal worker vacancies are advertised through public media such as the Trade Me Jobs and Seek websites, and on New Zealand Post’s website.

Trade Me Jobs: 
New Zealand Post jobs:

Career path

There is no clear career path for postal workers.

Related occupations

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level postal workers.

  • Bicycle Courier
  • Courier
  • Mail Clerk
  • Mail Officer
  • Mail Sorter
  • Motorbike Courier
  • Parcel Contractor
  • Parcel Post Officer
  • Postal Delivery Officer
  • Postal Sorting Officer
  • Postie
  • Rural Mail Contractor

Other information


More information on postal workers is available on the Careers New Zealand website.

Careers New Zealand:


The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.

The occupation of postal workers has been coded to the following ANZSCO codes for the purpose of this report:

5612 – Couriers and Postal Deliverers
5614 – Mail Sorters