Post Office Job Qualifications | Age Limit, Citizenship, Exams, Physicals, and Driver’s license
Various Post Office job qualification standards from age restrictions to physical requirements must be met before you can take one of the Postal Service exams. Applicants must be a certain age and they have to pass a written exam for most occupations, meet physical requirements, have a driver’s license, and all applicants must pass a drug test. When you first apply all of the requirements for the positions will be posted with the job announcement and the Postal Service will coordinate and schedule the required testing as necessary.
When applying for a post office job print out the job announcement first and review it thoroughly. Keep a copy handy, it contains contact information if you should need assistance with the application process or need to follow-up after the test.
All Post Office job applicants must be at least 18 to apply. Certain conditions allow applicants as young as sixteen to apply. Carrier positions, requiring driving, are limited to age 18 or older. High school graduates or individuals who terminated high school education for sufficient reason are permitted to apply at age 16.
Post Office Entrance Exams
474-477 Postal Exam
Clerks, carriers, rural carriers and mail-handlers must pass one of teh Virtual Early Assessments either the MC 474, MH 475, MP 476, or CS 477 exams. Specialties such as mechanic, electronic technician, machinist, and trades must also pass a written test. The overall rating is based on the test results and your qualifying work experience and education.
Professionals and certain administrative positions don’t require an entrance exam or written test. They are rated and hired strictly on their prior work experience and education. The clerk and carrier exam are the 473 and 473 C and 473 E Battery Exams. The only difference among the three is the occupational title and the methods of taking the exams.
The U.S. Postal Service also requires motor vehicle and tractor trailer operators, and highly skilled maintenance positions such as Building Equipment Mechanic, Engineman, Electronics Technician, Auto Mechanics, and General Mechanic to successfully pass an entrance exam. All of the skilled maintenance positions require examination 931. A separate announcement, examination 955, is required for mechanic and electrical skills occupations.
Partial List Other Exams
- 630 Postal Police Officer
- 710 Clerical Abilities Secretary, Clerks, Admin.
- 712/713 CBT Ver 2.0 Typing Test
- 714 Computer Based Test Data Entry
- 715 Ver 2.0 Data Entry
- 744 Accounting Technicians
- 807 Defensive Driving Course Drivers
- 916 Custodial Maintenance and Laborer
- 931 General Maintenance – Most Maintenance Positions
- 941 Automotive Technician
- 943 Automotive Mechanic
- 955 Mechanical & Electronics Mechanics and Technicians
Applicants do not have to be U.S. citizens. If you have permanent alien resident status in the United States of America or owe allegiance to the United States of America, you can apply for Postal Service jobs.
Applicants are screened and evaluated to determine their overall suitability for postal employment prior to selection. This evaluation includes a review of:
- The applicant’s work history
- Criminal conviction history
- Personal interviews (See Chapter Seven)
- Medical assessment
Medical assessment occurs after the job offer. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits the postal service from inquiring into an applicant’s medical suitability until a bona fide job offer is made. Medical assessment is done after selecting an applicant who has met all other suitability requirements.
After an applicant is hired, a career employee’s job performance is evaluated during the probationary period. Fingerprints are submitted for a special agency check to ensure that there is no derogatory information about the individual that has not been discovered in the screening process. Thorough screening is done to ensure that individuals who do not meet postal service requirements are eliminated from the hiring process.
Physical requirements are determined by the job. Carriers must be able to lift a 70-pound mail sack and all applicants must be able to efficiently perform assigned duties. Eyesight and hearing tests are required. Applicants must have at least 20/40 vision in the good eye and no worse than 20/100 in the other eye. Eyeglasses are permitted.
State Driver’s License
Applicants must have a valid state driver’s license for positions that require motor vehicle operation. A safe driving record is required, and a postal service road test is administered for the type of vehicle that you will operate.
Drug Testing (Substance Abuse)
The Postal Service maintains a comprehensive program to ensure a drug-free workplace. A qualification for postal employment is to be drug free, and this qualification is determined through the use of a urinalysis drug screen. When you are determined to be in the area of consideration for employment, you will be scheduled for a drug screening test.
When applying for other than mail handling positions in the Postal Service recruitment is similar to the federal civil service application process. The applicant is rated on his/her work experience, education, special knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). Job announcements are advertised on the USPS Web site, and the applicant must follow the job announcement application instructions precisely to be considered for the position. Any omissions can cause your application to be rejected. Many highly qualified applicants are excluded because of administrative errors or omissions.
The postal service employs 615,140 workers of which the majority deal with mail handling. However, many administrative, corporate, technical, engineering and support occupations are also available. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the hundreds of occupations employed by the Postal Service including the following abbreviated list: (The number employed in each group is listed in parenthesis.)
- Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers (360)
- Admin services managers (310)
- IT Managers (150)
- Financial Managers (160)
- Transportation, storage, and distribution managers (720)
- HR managers (170)
- HR specialists (1,530
- Human resource (HR) workers (1,530)
- Business and financial operations occupations (8,530)
- Business operations specialists (7,300)
- Purchasing agents (500)
- Compliance officers (1,4350
- LMR (360)
- Logistics (520)
- Training and development specialists 350)
- Financial specialists (1,230)
- Accountants and auditors (670)
- Financial analysts (50)
- Computer analysts (320)
- Software developers (250)
- Database and systems administrators & network (630)
- Computer support specialists (3100
- Mathematical science occupations (280)
- Statisticians (90)
- Architects, surveyors, and cartographers (80)
- Engineers (550)
- Electrical and electronics engineers (30)
- Mechanical engineers (40)
- Industrial engineers (450)
- Drafters, engineering techs, and mapping techs (5,940)
- Social scientists (60)
- Lawyers and related workers (280)
- Legal support workers (60)
- Paralegals (60)
- Education, training and library occupations (180)
- Other teachers and instructors (180)
- Arts, design, entertainment and media occupations (120)
- Healthcare practitioners (450)
- Registered nurses (120)
- Other healthcare workers (330)
- Protective services (1,360)
- Law enforcement workers (180)
- Police officers (450)
- Detectives and investigators (520)
- Custodial building services (16,910)
- Grounds maintenance (710)
- Information and records clerks (510)
- Couriers (120)
- Shipping and receiving (830)
- Secretaries and admin assistants (890)
- Executive secretaries (100)
- Other office and admin support (4,500)
- Data entry (1,560)
- Construction trades (130)
- Office clerks, general (1,290)
- Painters (40)
- Vehicle mechanics (4,060)
- maintenance and repair (330)
- Metal workers (30)
- Plant and system operators (40)
- Transportation and materials moving (11,750)
- Motor vehicle operators (7,350)
- Heavy and tractor trailer drivers (5,180)
View the Bureau of Labor Statistics complete list of postal occupations.
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