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What Does a Postmaster Relief/Leave Replacement (PMR) Do?

Mail has to reach their intended recipients—that is the mandate of the United States Postal Service. In big post offices or those staffed many letter carriers, mail handlers, and other postal workers, this is a normal, everyday part of the job. In case a city carrier has his or her days off then non-regular replacements can take over.

But there are areas in the country where post offices only have one employee. Yes, that’s right—just a single one. And he or she is rightfully called the “postmaster.” In reality, that postal employee performs other jobs aside from that of being the boss of that particular post office. He or she also sells stamps, money orders, and delivers mail (if that is offered—some small community post offices don’t). Consider the postmaster position here as the “jack of all trades.”

Now the question gets asked: Who takes over when this postmaster gets sick? This is where the Postmaster Relief/Leave Replacement (PMR) comes in. When the regular postmaster is on leave or is not available, the PMR takes over. He or she becomes responsible for the supervision, general delivery, rural route, highway contract route, or city delivery services for that small community where the post office is located.

The PMR’s duties and responsibilities include operating a small, single unit postal facility and supervising the small group of carriers and/or clerks in the performance of distribution, delivery, and window services. There are small postal facilities where the postmaster also supervises some carriers so they fall under the supervision of the PMR when the former is on leave. Another important duty of the PMR is ensuring that approved programs are implemented and adhered to as they apply to local requirements and are operating within established postal rules and regulations.

The PMR is also responsible for submitting and monitoring a small operating budget; training new employees to ensure quality service; ensuring that proper safeguards are instituted for the welfare of customers and the protection of the mails; maintaining files and records and submitting reports; personally handle window transactions and performing distribution tasks as necessary; has regular contact with postal customers; ensures that accountable paper, building equipment, and office supplies are protected; and sees to it that safety precautions are observed.

If you want to apply for a PMR position, you can do so by first searching for vacancies in the USPS website. One important eligibility requirement for PMR applicants is that they must live 50 miles of the facility address. They will also need to pass background checks and screenings which will include an interview. A Postmaster Relief/Leave Replacement is paid around $11 per hour.