The United States Postal Service is an agency with the government’s Executive Branch. Due to its sheer size, the USPS is the second-largest employer in the U.S., offering different career paths all across the country.
This article looks at how you can get a job at the United States Postal Service.
All USPS employees must meet the same qualifications regardless of the position. The Minimum requirements for post office employees include:
Before applying for a job at the USPS, ensure that you are at least 18 years old. Nevertheless, you can still apply if you are 16 years old and have a high school diploma. However, you will need to be of age before getting a job offer.
U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident
You can only be allowed to work with The USPS if you are a U.S. citizen or legally live and work in the U.S. or its territories. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are welcome to apply if you hold a resident status that shows you are a permanent alien resident.
Pass a Criminal Background Check and a Drug Test
All applicants are screened for a criminal background check and substance abuse. This is useful since you will be handling sensitive information.
Safe Driving Record
You will need to prove that you have a good driving record if you apply for a driving position. Furthermore, you will be required to have a current driving license for your state of residence and pass a road test.
The different USPS positions require applicants to meet certain physical requirements. Nearly all jobs require applicants to pass an eyesight exam and a hearing test. As for letter carriers, they need to lift about 70 pounds.
How to Apply for a U.S. Post Office Job
You will need to complete an application describing how you match the position you are applying for. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you do this.
- Navigate the USPS website and open an account if you don’t have one. Then, go to Careers, where you will get links to information such as jobs, benefits, training, pay, and career development.
- Research the available postal job opening and click on the apply button to find one that matches your requirements.
- You will be automatically redirected to your USPS profile, where you can apply for the position.
- Take your time to complete the online application, ensuring that you include your work experience, education, and other relevant previous accomplishments. Otherwise, your application may not make it through if you don’t fill it correctly since it is automated.
The 473 Postal Exam
While there are many different post office positions at the USPS, only a handful will require you to complete the 473 postal exams. They include:
- City Carriers
- Rural Letter Carriers
- Distribution Workers
- Processing Clerks
- Mail handling workers
Initially, the 473 postal exams were done on a two-year cycle. This has since changed, and applicants can now complete part D of the exam online at any time.
The exam has four sections, including Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. After completing part D online, applicants are required to sit for the other exam sections at an approved testing facility within 2 weeks.
How to Prepare for the 473 Exam
After completing your application, the next step is to take the Postal 473 exam. Generally, you need a score of 70 or higher to increase your chances of getting a post office job. Here are some tips to help you.
Find Relevant Resources
There are numerous resources, from study guides to practice tests that you can use to learn the fundamentals of the exam. Completing a usps postal prep test will make you familiar with the exam structure and allow you to practice your pace so you can get good grades.
To familiarize yourself with the environment, you may even do a practice test on the determined test center before the actual date.
Rest and Eat Well
Ensure that you get a goodnight’s sleep the day before the actual exam. Also, eat a nutritious meal before you sit for your exam, but don’t overeat.
It helps to arrive early at the designated testing location so you can have enough time to get everything ready.
If you feel nervous, make it a habit to take deep breaths. This helps eliminate stress and nervousness, which can make you panic during the exam.
Salary and Benefits
According to the Bureau of Statistics, the median pay for US post workers in 2018 was $58,700 yearly or 28.25 per hour, while the annual median pay for 2019 was $52,060, equating to an hourly rate of $28.25. Being a government job, you can expect to get some benefits when you work at the US Postal service.