Page updated 10/3/2016
The Postal Service has a streamlined "eCareer" application and testing process and Post Office job announcements are now posted on-line. Applicants are tested for specific job vacancies and part of the exam is completed online. We provide a USPS job Search Guide on this site with copies of each screen to familiarize you with the USPS employment web site. The Postal Service is no longer offering blanket mail carrier exams to build hiring registered for major metropolitan areas. They are now advertising job vacancies as they occur and testing the applicants through nationally designated testing facilities.
Postal recruitment notices are advertised online and they may also be advertised in national and local newspapers, publications, journals and periodicals. Use this site's post office job listings, the Postal Service’s Web site, and our Post Office Job eCareer Guide to get you started. If there are no vacancies listed on the sites mentioned above, contact individual mail facilities in your area to find out when they intend to recruit. Also explore related federal jobs that includes links to 141 federal recruiting Web sites.
Warning First (Scam Alert)
Don't pay anyone to take a Postal Exam or to find a Postal job!
Introduction - The more contacts you make, the greater your chances. Too often job seekers apply for the first job they find and then forget about the process until they receive a reply. Post office jobs are highly competitive. The more positions you apply for and examinations you take, the better your chances. There are also jobs that don’t require entrance exams.
You can also call them for job information through their Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to locate job vacancies. Visit our "Resource" section for direct links and phone numbers. If you call you will need the job announcement number which can be obtained from their web site or by calling your local Post Office or Customer Service District office.
A complete listing of all Customer Service District Offices are included on this site for you to contact for information about hiring in your area. Professional or administrative positions that do not require written exams are also posted on the USPS web site and we include many of their listings on our job listings. The two primary application forms are the PS Form 2591 Application for Employment, a four page document and the PS Form 2181-A that is used for Pre-Employment Screening. Forms are printed in Appendix C of Post Office Jobs and we have downloadable versions on our "Resource" page. Use these forms to draft your application prior to receipt of the job announcement. Use these forms to draft your application before applying online.
Job Outlook - Over the past three years, the postal service reduced employment, offered early outs to tens of thousands, and streamlined operations as best they could within their current mandate. Even with billions in revenue, there are challenges ahead and they are working to reduce costs and reorganizing to address potential shortfalls.
Employment of postal service workers overall is expected to decline by the year 2022 as much as 28 percent. This can be attributed to tight budgets, automated sorting systems, and cluster mailboxes will adversely affect employment. Employment declines, however, will vary by specialty.
The postal service has remained a reliable employment option, even under these challenging conditions, for those who know how to apply for job vacancies and prepare for postal exams. Additional opportunities will be created as those who are at or beyond retirement age opt to retire. Each day 10,000 baby boomers turn age 65 and this trend is projected to continue for another 15 years. Hiring will be driven by retirements and the need to maintain staffing throughout their extensive network that includes over 33,000 facilities.
Advancement - Postal Service workers often begin on a part-time, flexible basis and become regular or full time in order of seniority, as vacancies occur. Full-time workers may bid for preferred assignments, such as the day shift or a high-level nonsupervisory position. Carriers can look forward to obtaining preferred routes as their seniority increases. Postal Service workers can advance to supervisory positions on a competitive basis.
Also, explore and apply for federal government jobs and private sector jobs to improve you chance of employment.
Written Exams - Approximately 80% of all Postal jobs required the applicant to register for and take a post office exam. The remaining 20% are "Corporate Jobs" and they select applicants for interviews after reviewing and rating the detailed application that you must submit when you apply for these jobs. The majority of tested entry level jobs are for city carrier, rural carrier, mail processing clerk, mail handler, and sales, services, and distribution associates and these occupations require you to take the 473 Postal Exam. There are also exams for other occupations as noted on the following list. All exams are listed with sample questions in Post Office Jobs by Dennis V. Damp and this book includes a comprehensive 473 Study Guide. The other exams are: