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How to Go from Temporary to Career-Track Position as a USPS Data Conversion Operator

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One temporary but long-term job you can get with the United States Postal Service is that of a Data Conversion Operator (DCO). If you are looking for a one- or two-year stint then this is one postal service job opportunity that you can apply for. But since this is a temporary job, you don’t get any benefits.

Data Conversion Operators work in Remote Encoding Centers of the US Postal Service. These are found in Salt Lake City, Utah and Wichita, Kansas. As a DCO, your main task is to prepare mail for automated sorting. Thus, your job involves reading the address from the image of a letter on a screen and then choosing key information from the address to type into the system. The computer then performs the task of converting the address information to a bar code which will facilitate the delivery of the mail to the post office of the intended recipient where it will be further sorted by postal workers there and ultimately brought to the proper address. The Remote Encoding Centers in Utah and Kansas handles all data conversion functions for the entire United States.

If you want to be a DCO, you will need to be comfortable around computers. You must also have above-average typing and data entry abilities. Keen sight is necessary as you will be reading the handwritten or typed addresses from a monitor. You should also be comfortable with the routine of doing this kind of job. Of course, since the USPS processes thousands upon thousands of mails daily, you should also be a quick postal worker who can manage the stress that comes with beating deadlines.

Although being a DCO means you are only a temporary employee of the Postal Service, this can actually work to your advantage inasmuch as it gives you the chance to progress to a career-track position. How? While you are still a DCO, you can continue to search and apply for career jobs that might open up in any of the two Remote Encoding Centers in the country. You create your profile in the USPS system and study for the postal exam 710 which all DCO jobs must take. You just have to make sure that you get one of the biggest scores. If you do, you’re practically assured of getting the job since the interview will merely be a formality since the postmaster already knows you and your work.

Postal exam 710 basically tests your clerical and verbal abilities. There will be sequencing, comparison, spelling, math, following written instructions, grammar and punctuation, and vocabulary and reading comprehension tests. If you want to successfully make the switch from a temporary DCO position to career-track employment, it is a must that you ace the postal exam 710. Good luck!


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