Postal Exams & Application Process
474, 475, 476 and 477 Post Office Exams
The Postal Service recruits through their eCareer online recruiting service. The 473 postal exam was replaced with a new series of Virtual Entry Assessment exams that focus on customer service and personal interaction strategies. The new entrance tests include the 474 / 475 / 476, and 477 Postal Exams are required for entry-level jobs including mail carriers, mail handlers, clerks, sales and distribution services.
Entry-Level Positions Requiring Exams
The Postal Service uses the following list of Virtual Entry Assessment exams for specific positions:
474 Virtual Entry Assessment MC Exam or Mail Carrier VEA Exam
- City Carrier, and Assistant
- Casual City Carrier,
- Rural Carrier, Associate, and Assistant
475 Virtual Entry Assessment MH Exam or Mail Handler VEA Exam
- Mail Handler, Assistant, and Casual
476 Virtual Entry Assessment MP Exam, Mail Processor VEA Exam or Processing Clerk VEA
- Mail Processing Clerk
- PSE Mail Processing Clerk
- Casual Mail Processing Clerk
477 Virtual Entry Assessment CS or Customer Service VEA Exam
- Sales Services & Distribution Associate
- PSE Sales Service & Distribution Associate
- Casual Sales Service & Distribution Associate
Applying for Jobs
To apply for postal positions, visit use our instructional guide and then click on the link at the end of the guide to go direct to the Postal Services’ official online employment site. You can also look for openings at your local Post Office, Management Sectional Center (MSC), or General Mail Facilities in your area. Job opportunities are also advertised at local post offices and elsewhere including social media.
After submitting your online application, you will receive an email notification with a link to the online exam. It must be completed within 72 hours from the time you receive the link. This site, along with our soon to be updated study guide, outlines the process and provides practice tests for you to use prior to taking the official exam.
A passing score of 70 percent or better on a postal exam will place the applicant’s name on an eligible register for that job vacancy and you can use the same test and application information to apply for multiple jobs. To improve your postal exam scores, use the resources on this site and in the soon to be published 8th edition of Post Office Jobs.
Positions That Don’t Require an Exam
Vacancies in these positions — generally professional and administrative — are announced (advertised) first within the Postal Service. Postal employees who have the knowledge, education, credentials, and skills may apply for these openings. If there aren’t any qualified internal applicants, the postal service will advertise the vacancies on their website and locally to the general public. All applicants must pass an entrance post office exam and/or an evaluation process to be placed on a register in numerical score order.
Realistically, many professional jobs won’t be filled internally. Few postal clerks and nonprofessional employees will have law degrees, engineering credentials, or doctorates for example.
These post office jobs are generally advertised locally and on the USPS web site. You can also contact local (CSSD) Customer Service & Sales District personnel offices to identify upcoming job vacancies for your specialty. You can also call the local CSSD office’s Human Resource Department to check on the status of your application or to follow up on interviews.
You will be rated on a point system (maximum of 100 points) even without a written test. Therefore, your resume and Application For Employment (PS Form 2591) must be thoroughly completed and include all key information such as degrees, training, credentials, and detailed work experience. Only the top three candidates will generally be referred to the selecting official for consideration.
Also, explore and apply for all job vacancies in the government and private sectors to improve you chance of employment.
Post office job applicants seeking entry level professional and administrative positions can apply for mail carrier positions and take the 474 VEA exam to get their foot in the door. Once hired, as vacancies open in their specialty such as accounting, budget, and other occupations, the Postal Service often advertises these positions first to current postal employees through internal job announcements. Once you get your foot in the door you can bid on these restricted announcements and the experience that you will gain from the entry level mail handling position will help you to better understand the postal system.