Finding United States Post Office Jobs


You may have heard all about United States Post Office jobs and how good they are. Well, I have some bad news for you, and then perhaps a bit of good news. The bad news is that there won't be much hiring for full-time full-benefit positions at the post office in the future. Mail volume is dropping thanks to the internet, so the U.S. Postal Service will probably continue to trim its size.

There will still be some hiring. And not all jobs will be at the counter or on a route. there are also mail handlers, mechanics, maintenance, laborers, clerical positions, technicians, and more. But these jobs are more difficult to get now.

What has become easier to get in recent years, is temporary or "casual labor" positions. This is because as the Postal Service downsizes they still need to deal with the increase in mail volume that comes every fall, roughly from late September through the end of the year. For this, they hire temporary help, and no civil service exam is required as of this writing.

For example, before we started our business I worked at a local mail sorting facility in Michigan a couple times. I had to pass a background check and have my fingerprints taken, and I received no benefits like health insurance, 401k or vacation pay. But it was relatively easy work for about $13 per hour. I particularly liked working the "flats," which meant sorting the magazines that didn't go through the machinery. I was trained on most of the sorting machinery as well. The hours were awful though. We generally started at 11 in the evening and worked until caught up, which was anywhere from 5 to 8 in the morning.

How Much Can You Make?

Full time employees of the Post Office do well. Clerks, for example, average over $52,000 per year. Executive and administrative positions can pay more than $100,000 annually.

Temporary and part-time jobs pay $13 to $19 per hour for mail handlers and flexible mail carriers (they often are used to fill in for the regular carriers when they take vacation or sick days).

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There might be a better chance of getting hired full time if you have first worked in a temporary position.

Qualifications / Requirements

There are exams you need to take to be eligible for most full-time positions that come with benefits (see the resources below for more information). A high school diploma and no criminal record qualifies you for some of the the temporary post office jobs. As for the skills needed, you'll learn these on the job.

First Steps

Visit post offices near you to see if they are hiring. Ask about temporary positions and full time work. In the case of the latter, ask what the current procedure is and what offices are likely to be adding employees.

Resources - The official USPS website job opportunities section. - Information on the basic procedures for finding and applying for post office jobs.

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