How to apply for a job at USPS

Last updated: May 19, 2024
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Paul Baker
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How to apply for a job at USPS
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Being one of the oldest means of shipping goods throughout the U.S., the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a massive employer of hundreds of thousands of people in the country.

Even though it has a long and somewhat drawn-out hiring process, it’s an excellent choice for people in several different occupational industries, including human resources, administration, carrier, legal, motor operations, and many more.

But, what does it take to become an employee at USPS? How does the application process work? What are the requirements?

This article will go into detail about everything regarding USPS’s application process, hiring requirements, background checks, and more so that you can decide if this is the right employer for you.

The application process at USPS

The United States Postal Service, also known as Post Office or U.S. Mail, is an independent postal agency that was formed in 1971. It’s responsible for providing postal services in the U.S. (including small and large domestic and international deliveries).

USPS global revenue amounted to over $77 billion in 2021 — indicating that postal services are in higher demand than ever before.

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You can apply for a job on eCareers — which is the company’s application system and the only place you can apply for a job at USPS.

For the best experience, it’s best to use a desktop or laptop, and you also need to use a supported browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox).

Steps to apply for a job at USPS

1. Search for available jobs

Go to eCareers and type in your job title keyword. For example, if you’re interested in applying for a human resources job, type in “human resources” as your keyword.

Then, you can choose the location where you want to work, as well as the functional area.

2. Create a profile and apply

If you find a position that you’re interested in applying for, the next step is to create a Candidate profile, which will save your progress and give you an application status.

Once you apply, you’ll receive a confirmation email from USPS.

3. Take an assessment (if required)

USPS will conduct an employment pre-screen and reach out to you with the next steps in the application process. If you receive an email from [email protected] or [email protected], these emails are legitimate, and you should respond as early as you can.

Some positions will also require an assessment. However, this detail will be noted in the job description of the position you’re applying for.

Keep in mind that jobs are posted daily. So if you don’t find a position that you’re interested in, you can check every day until a position opens up.

Requirements to work at USPS

Here are the requirements you need to apply for a job at USPS.

  • Age: You need to be 18 years old at the time of appointment or 16 years old with a high school diploma.

  • Residency: You must be a United States citizen or another U.S. territory resident.

  • Employment history: You need to have a recent employment history.

  • Ability to pass a background check: USPS will run a background check, including a drug screening and medical assessment that you’ll have to pass.

  • Safe driving record: If you’re applying for a driving job, you need to have a safe driving record to be considered for the position.

Benefits of working at USPS

In addition to getting good compensation, here’s a list of some other main benefits of working at USPS.

Health and life insurance

USPS participates in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) — which provides great flexibility and coverage, with most of the cost being covered by the Postal Service. Employees get to choose between different plans, including:

  • Fee-For-Service

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)

  • High Deductible & Consumer-Driven Health Plans

Additionally, health insurance is even made more affordable for employees since premium contributions aren’t subject to most taxes.

Retirement plans

USPS also participates in the federal retirement program — which means that employees get defined benefit (pension) and disability coverage. However, eligibility for this program is determined based on your age and the number of years of creditable service.

Development training

Employees get the chance to develop their skills and knowledge as USPS provides training initiatives. This allows employees to develop their basic operational knowledge and also gain leadership skills.

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As an employee of USPS, you’ll get 13 days of annual leave per year for the first three years — which will increase to 20 days per year after three years of service and 25 days after 15 years.

Other benefits

There are a lot of other benefits that employees can expect when working at USPS, including dental and vision insurance, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, long-term care insurance, thrift savings plans, holidays, and more.

USPS background check

Here’s some more information regarding USPS background checks:

  • The company only uses United States information resources when conducting criminal background checks. These include FBI for USPS fingerprint background checks and state and county checks.

  • The background check will stretch back five years for any location where the individual has lived, gone to school, or worked (within U.S. territories).

  • The Inspection Service may be able to run background checks for U.S. citizens who have been outside of the U.S. for the previous years. But only if their time spent out of the country was spent as a:

  • Trailing spouse

  • Dependent of someone working for the U.S. government

  • Missionary

  • Student attending school in a foreign country

  • Peace Corps participant

  • Employee of a U.S.-based company

  • If the Inspection Service is unable to perform the check because of residency outside of the U.S., the candidate will be ineligible for employment.

USPS background check disqualifiers

Here’s a list of some things that could disqualify you from getting hired at the United States Postal Service:

  • Pending criminal charges

  • Criminal convictions related to check fraud or mail fraud

  • A very long criminal record

Does the USPS hire people with a criminal history?

Not all USPS positions are open to people with criminal records. However, many of the entry-level positions are (depending on the severity of the applicant’s convictions). These include:

  • Drivers

  • Sales and Service Representatives

  • Sorting and Handling Staff

USPS interview process

Since the company operates as a branch of the Federal Government, it has stiffer regulations than most companies.

Often, candidates need to participate in more than one interview to get the job.

For many positions at USPS, the interview process works as follows:

  • Before the interview, applicants must complete online assessments or civil service tests.

  • After successful completion of the assessment, candidates generally start in group interviews — and then move on to one-on-one interviews based on their performance.

  • During the one-on-one interview, applicants complete a second test.

Once they’ve passed both tests and performed well in the group and one-on-one interviews, they stand a good chance of getting the job.

Sample interview questions

Here’s a list of some common interview questions that USPS hiring managers ask candidates.

  • Why are you interested in working for a postal service?

  • What challenges do you anticipate in a role like this?

  • How do you deal with conflict in the workplace?

  • Do you work well under pressure?

  • What’s your definition of great customer service?

  • How do you feel about working overtime or on a holiday?

  • What will you do if a customer complains about your service?

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Want to be well-prepared for your interview? Here’s a list of the most frequently asked interview questions and how you should answer them to land the job.


What are the best jobs at USPS?

There are a lot of jobs at USPS that pay really well — with salaries going up to $51,500 per year. Some of these positions include Postal Inspectors, Postal Service Window Clerks, Mailing Specialists, Route Carriers, Postal Workers, Mail Carriers, Mail Processing Machine Operators, and more.

How long does it take to become full-time at USPS?

The amount of time that it takes you to become a full-time employee will depend on your specific position and location. According to USPS employees, positions such as Mail Clerks and Mail Handlers can become full-time early on, while other crafts can take between six months to three years to become full-time.

Is USPS the same as UPS?

Though USPS and UPS offer similar services for package delivery in the U.S. and worldwide, they aren’t the same.

The USPS is responsible for providing postal services in the U.S., whereas UPS (United Parcel Service) is a global logistics company that also offers parcel delivery. However, it mainly specializes in logistics solutions for heavy freight globally.

Apply for a job at USPS

Working at the USPS is a great option for many U.S. citizens. Not only does the company provide excellent benefits and payment, but you’ll also have the opportunity for career advancement — which can be used in all your future career endeavors.

Not convinced that USPS is the right fit for you? Look for other roles on our Jobcase Job Board. You can search by job role and location or look for virtual roles.

Like what you hear? Find out more about what it’s like working at the United States Postal Service. Be sure to follow the USPS hashtag on Jobcase to stay updated.



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