USPS Hiring Process

Finding stable, well-paid employment is complex, especially for those without a college degree or a GED. Luckily, the United States Postal Service offers plenty of career-track, entry-level positions that require little education or training.

So, in this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about getting a job at USPS. To that end, we discuss the hiring process steps, look at how long it takes to get a job and find out if it’s hard to get a USPS job.

What Is USPS’ Hiring Process?

There are 5 steps in the USPS hiring process. After finding an open position and filling out the application, applicants must pass an online exam that tests their memory, speed, and accuracy. Applicants who score 70% or higher move on to the interview stage and complete a pre-employment background check.

What Are the Steps in the Hiring Process for USPS?

USPS’ hiring process consists of 5 steps, which we detail below. Use this list for guidance as you start looking for USPS job opportunities.

1. Visit the USPS website and set up an account

Here, you can browse available jobs by type or location.

Make sure you pay attention to the requirements listed in the job description.

You’ll have a better chance of getting hired if you can show how your training, education, and experience match each requirement.

Click the “Apply” button when you find a Post Office job that interests you. After clicking, you will be redirected to your USPS profile to apply for the position.

2. Fill out the job application

Be thorough when completing the online application, and be sure to include all of your education, work experience, and training.

Set aside an hour (if not more) to complete the application.

3. Successfully pass the online examination

Applicants will be asked to take an online examination to determine their eligibility for the desired position.

Several different types of exams correspond to different positions. For example…

  • 474 – City Carrier, City Carrier Assistant, Casual City Carrier, Rural Carrier, Rural Carrier Associate, Assistant Rural Carrier
  • 475 – Mail Handler, Assistant Mail Handler, Casual Mail Handler
  • 476 – Mail Processing Clerk, PSE Mail Processing Clerk, Casual Mail Processing Clerk
  • 477 – Sales Services & Distribution Associate, PSE Sales Services & Distribution Associate, Casual Sales Service & Distribution Associate

Although the format varies slightly for each test, each exam generally tests the applicant’s memory, speed, accuracy, and ability to follow instructions.

It takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

You must score at least 70% to be considered for a position. Of course, the higher your score, the better your chances of getting hired.

4. Complete the interview

You may be asked to complete an individual or a group interview, depending on the position and the location where you’re applying.

Either way, the USPS interviewer is looking at things like…

  • Your communication skills
  • Your ability to adapt to changing situations
  • How dependable you are
  • How well do you work with a team

5. Pass the background check

Provided you do well at the interview, you’ll be asked to submit a federal background check going back 5 years. 

This check will verify your employment history, criminal history, and driving history. Usually, any misdemeanors in the past 3 years will disqualify you.

For positions requiring driving, you must have at least 2 years of driving experience, and you must not have suspended your driver’s license within the last 3 years.

How Long Does It Take to Get Hired by USPS?

How Long Does It Take to Get Hired by USPS?

Unfortunately, USPS’ hiring process isn’t known for its efficiency or speed; however, there seems to be an initiative to speed it up.

It usually takes a few weeks to a month to get hired by USPS.

Anecdotally, USPS employees report getting hired after about 5 or 6 weeks. Still, some outliers wait months to complete the process.

If you’re serious about getting hired at USPS, it’s important to persevere, be patient, and keep following up.

Why Does USPS Take So Long to Hire?

Getting hired at the Post Office takes a long time because of the assessment and background check.

While the assessment is short, it may take USPS a while to get the testing information to you.

Similarly, the background check is easy to submit but may take weeks to get returned. 

Is It Hard to Get Hired at USPS?

As long as you have a clean driving record, a relatively clean criminal record, and a decent exam score, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a job at USPS.

From what current USPS employees say, it’s not getting the job that’s difficult, but rather keeping it.

Working at USPS (especially as a mail carrier) can mean long hours, an unpredictable work schedule, and many physical demands.

Still, if you can deal with the less appealing aspects of the job, you’ll have a well-paid, secure position with benefits.

To know more, you can also read our posts on USPS pre-hire list, USPS 90-day probation, and USPS seasonal jobs.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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