Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Aidan Maher from Construction Industry Federation to give some advice for people considering this job:


Aidan Maher

Site Manager - Grad Entry

Construction Industry Federation

Read more

  Aidan Maher
Try gain experience in some area of construction if possible to see if it’s for you. If you’re interested in a 9-5 job this is not for you!

If you like meeting with new people each day and dealing with issues which they may have regarding the project this is a good job for you. If you like to take charge of situations then this is also a good role for you to take on.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Occupation Details

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Postman / Postwoman

Job Zone

These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€20k >  
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2011

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Occupational Category

Elementary Administration Occupations

Also included in this category:

Postal workers, mail sorters, messengers and couriers; general assistants, office workers and other elementary administration occupations not elsewhere classified

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 12%
Aged over 55: 27%
Male / Female: 87 / 14%
Non-Nationals: 3%
With Third Level: 15%
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At a Glance... header image

Sorts and delivers post and other mail to private homes and public or private offices.

The Work header image

Postpersons collect, sort, distribute and deliver mail. The mail is collected from post offices, post boxes and business at set times during the day. It is then taken to a sorting office where it is mainly handled by automatic machines.  
In the sorting office, some people are employed to 'face' the letters. This involves turning the letters so that they face in the same direction, checking and cancelling the class of stamps.  
More experienced postpersons in larger sorting offices work as keyboard operators. They sort mail that has been posted in their district, ready to go to other parts of the country and mail that has arrived from outside the district, ready to be delivered to local sub post offices for final sorting and delivery.  
Some postpersons are also employed as drivers. Large goods vehicle drivers transport mail over long distances. Local drivers deliver mail from central offices to local offices, collect mail from boxes and may sometimes sort mail. Drivers are usually experienced postal workers.  
Parcels work is similar to that of letters. It is the postperson's responsibility to get the post from the sorting office to the destination. They may be delivering important documents that must arrive at the correct address.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Obtain signed receipts for registered, certified, and insured mail, collect associated charges, and complete any necessary paperwork.


Sort mail for delivery, arranging it in delivery sequence.


Deliver mail to residences and business establishments along specified routes by walking or driving, using a combination of satchels, carts, cars, and small trucks.


Return to the post office with mail collected from homes, businesses, and public mailboxes.


Turn in money and receipts collected along mail routes.


Sign for cash-on-delivery and registered mail before leaving the post office.


Record address changes and redirect mail for those addresses.


Hold mail for customers who are away from delivery locations.


Bundle mail in preparation for delivery or transportation to relay boxes.


Leave notices telling patrons where to collect mail that could not be delivered.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.


Performing for or Working Directly with the Public:  Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Communicating with Persons Outside Organization:  Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.


Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment:  Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Public Safety and Security:  Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Transportation:  Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.


Education and Training:  Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.


Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be a Postman or Postwoman you should be fit and healthy enough to carry heavy bags or pull trolleys of mail. You must also be honest and reliable. A good memory is useful.  
Working in a sorting office requires quick and careful work. There are heavy bags of mail to be moved through the sorting office, so you will need to be fit to work here too. A driving licence may be useful.  
An Post has the following requirements for qualities and skills in its employees:

  • A good level of spoken and written English
  • Good customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Good team working skills
  • Basic PC skills

Eligibility to work in Ireland is also necessary.

Entry Routesheader image

An Post is the only employer of Postmen /Postwomen in Ireland. It recruits externally to fill entry level positions. The following entry process is followed when applying for a position with An Post:

  • An application form or CV is required, as stated in the job advertisement
  • Applicants are given an aptitude test examining verbal, numerical and classification skills. You must pass the aptitude test to be called to the next stage which is the interview.
  • A medical examination and security clearance must also be passed.

Successful candidates take an induction course that introduces them to the workplace, and covers subjects such as health and safety, employment conditions and working practices. Trainees then spend a period working with experienced staff. This on-the-job training covers sorting and delivering mail.

Details of Career Opportunities with An Post are available here.

Last Updated: January, 2016

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Postal Delivery Worker - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Postman - from:  icould [UK] Video

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: An Post
  Address: Post Offices Division, G.P.O., Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 705 7000
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Transport & Logistics
Civil & Public Service, Local Government, Politics & EU

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