How to Get a Job with the Post Office

How to Get a Job with the Post Office

– As of 2019, there were 496,934 individuals employed with the United States Postal Service making it the nation’s second-largest civilian employer.

The United States Postal Service is the nation’s second-largest employer. Thousands of people apply to work for the post office every year, and with good reason; the USPS provides its employees with great benefits as well as competitive salaries.

The Postal Service offers different jobs and careers that include everything from sorting and delivering mail, administration to management. There is usually a position for everyone regardless of your experience or education. The United States Postal Service also has special employment programs for recent graduates, current students, veterans, and members of the military.

USPS Careers

Many people usually think of the mailman delivering mail when they think about the post office. However, there are actually more positions within the Postal Service than just a mail carrier.

• Automotive Technician

Performs routine and complex repairs and maintenance on all types of vehicles that are used in the postal fleet. They also troubleshoot and diagnose complex malfunctions regarding the postal fleet.

• Custodian and Custodial Labor

Custodian duties include manual cleaning, housekeeping, and grounds maintenance. Custodian laborer duties include manual labor in maintenance and cleaning of the buildings and grounds.

• Data Conversion Operator

Extract information from source documents, transfer that information to computer input forms and enter data using a keyboard.

•  Vehicle Operator / Tractor-Trailer Operator

Operate mail trucks to pick up and transport mail in bulk. Tractor-trailer Operators operate heavy-duty tractor-trailers with over-the-road service, city shuttle, or trailer operations.

Processing, Distribution & Delivery Positions

• City Carrier & Clerk

Clerks work indoors sorting and distributing mail. They may also work with the public selling stamps and weighing parcels.

City Carriers collect and deliver mail in every kind of weather and may walk or drive on their route.

Both positions require long periods of standing, walking, reaching, and the ability to life 70 pounds. Carriers are required to carry a mailbag that can weigh as much as 35 pounds.

• Distribution Clerk, Machine & Flat Sorting Machine Operators

These positions are required to operate machinery which sorts and distributes letters or flats, such as magazines and over-sized envelopes. These positions require you to read address ZIP Codes and enter codes using a special purpose keyboard.

• Mail Handler

Mail Handlers work in an industrial environment. Duties include loading, unloading, and moving of mail sacks and packages that can weigh up to 70 pounds.

• Mail Processor

This position requires you to stand for prolonged periods of time while loading and unloading mail from automated mail processing equipment.

• Automated Mark Up Clerk

Automated Mark Up Clerks enter changes of address data into computer databases, process mail, and perform other clerical functions.

Minimum Requirements for Post Office Employment

Before you take the time to apply for a position with USPS, you need to make sure that you are eligible and are able to meet all of the requirements for the position. When you begin applying for a USPS position, each job posting will have the job qualification standards listed.

Minimum requirements for all USPS positions:

  • 18 years old at the time of appointment OR 16 years old with a high school diploma – Carrier positions that are required to drive are limited to age 18 or older.
  • United States Citizen, permanent resident, OR citizen of American Samoa or other U.S. territory
  • Recent employment history
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check
  • Ability to pass a drug test
  • Physical Requirements – Physical requirements are determined by the job. If you apply to be a carrier, you must be able to lift a 70-pound mail sack while being able to efficiently perform assigned duties. You will also be required to have an eyesight and hearing test. All applicants are required to have at least 20/40 vision in the good eye and no worse than 20/100 in the other eye. Wearing eyeglasses is permitted.
  • Residency requirement for background checks
  • Safe driving record – if applicable to the position – All applicants must have a valid state driver’s license for positions that require motor vehicle operation. You’re required to have a safe driving record and a Postal Service road test is administered for the type of vehicle that you will operate.
  • Must be registered with Selective Service if applicable
  • Applicants are also required to take the Postal Service Exam.

What is the Postal Service Exam?

There are four different Post Service Exams: #474, 475, 476, and 477. The test you take will depend on the type of USPS job you’re applying for. You will not know which test you will need to take until you actually apply for that job. Once you submit your application, you could receive a reply email at any time. If you receive the reply email regarding your application, you have 72 hours to complete the required exam.

Postal Service Exams

For more information on postal exams, check out our Definitive Guide to Postal Exams.

How much does it cost to take the Postal Service Exam?

There is no charge to take any of the Postal Service Exams. However, you will need to have access to the internet as well as your own personal email address to begin the application process and to access the exam.

How are the Postal Service Exams scored?

The highest score you can get on any of the Postal Service exams is 100. In order to pass any of these exams, you will need to score at least 70. You’ll be able to find out your score immediately upon completing the exam.


Test Prep Resources: Civil Service Exam, GED test, ASVAB test, GRE test

Published by

Jay Willis

Jay Willis joined Mometrix as Vice President of Sales in 2009, and has developed several key strategic relationships that have enhanced the distribution of Mometrix products. With nearly 20 years of sales experience in the publishing industry, his dedication to providing the highest quality experience for customers, coupled with his sales and marketing expertise, has resulted in significant growth of the Institutional Sales division. Learn more