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Qualifications and Training for Postal Workers

The United States Postal Service offers a rewarding career for those who are qualified to perform postal work. Many of those hired by the USPS are letter carriers, mail handlers, postal clerks, and sales and distribution associates. Their work primarily involves delivering, picking up, and processing mail. They are the workforce that ensures that mail gets to where it needs to be.

Take note, however, that there are other postal jobs available in the USPS. These range from technical maintenance work to automotive positions as well as data conversion operator jobs. However, when it comes to moving the mail, the postal workers mentioned above work six days a week to make sure that the job gets done.

If you are considering a career with the Postal Service, you will have to meet the basic qualifications. You must be at least 18 years old at the time of appointment. However, if you already have a high school diploma, the USPS still accepts your application even if you are only 16 years old. You must also be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident alien. That means that if you are in the United States on asylum status, refugee status, or conditional permanent resident status, you are not eligible for Postal Service employment. Since you will be dealing with postal customers and colleagues who speak in English, basic competency in reading and writing English is a mandatory requirement as well.

For positions that entail driving, postal workers like city carriers and motor vehicle operators need to demonstrate that they have a safe driving record. All applicants must also be able to provide the names of their current and previous employers for the 10 year period preceding their application. If you are a veteran applying for any position, make sure that you include that as part of your resume and be sure to give Copy 4 of the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

Before you will be offered a formal notice of employment, you will have to undergo extensive background and other medical assessments. You will have to be tested for drugs—all postal employees need to be drug-free. They will also perform a criminal conviction history check as well as conduct a medical checkup for certain positions to determine if you are healthy and fit enough to do the job.

Once you are hired, you will be trained by the experienced personnel such as the supervisor or the postmaster himself before you are allowed to work on your own without direct supervision. You will be given training on defensive driving and other skills that you need to do the job safely and effectively. If you’re a new hire, you will be put on a 90-day probation period where your actions on the job will be closely watched by your supervisor. Job performance evaluations will be given four times during this stage and if you pass all of these, you will finally become a permanent Postal Service employee.