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Is USPS a Federal Job? (2023 Updated)

is usps a federal job

Are you thinking of applying for a role at the United States Postal Service

This company offers a wide range of jobs both in post office branches and in distribution centers. Employees are held to very high standards and are expected to be ambassadors for the company. The U.S. government is one of the largest employers in the United States and employs over two million people. In addition to fairly high salaries, people who work for the government enjoy a wide range of benefits.

 Let’s take a closer look and find out… is USPS a Federal job?

About The United States Postal Service

Employees of the United States Postal Service are not technically federal employees. This is because the United States Postal service is an independent and self-governing agency. It operates under the executive branch and does not receive taxpayer dollars to fund its operations. However, the company’s employees receive a wide range of federal benefits.

USPS is traditionally independent of federal personnel actions. This means that the U.S government does not influence the way that the company operates. However, it does enjoy a special status within the operations of the United States. 

Working For The United States Postal Service

Working for the company is generally considered to be an excellent career move. Employees receive above-average salaries and excellent career advancement opportunities. Although some jobs can be very physically demanding and occasionally hazardous, paid training is provided.  

Employee Benefits

Employee Benefits

United States Postal Service employees receive the same range of benefits as federal employees. Vision and dental insurance is provided at very affordable rates, while most health insurance expenses are covered. Employees receive federal-level retirement benefits, which include disability coverage and a pension.

For the first three years that employees work for the company, they receive thirteen days of paid leave annually. This increases to twenty days of paid sick leave/vacation leave after working for three years. After employees have worked for the company for fifteen years, they receive 26 days of annual paid leave. 

Other benefits include:

  • Student loan forgiveness.
  • Time and a half on holidays.
  • Public transportation fees.
  • Death benefits.

The Starting Salary

The Starting Salary

Entry-level employees receive a starting salary of between $18 and $21 per hour, which is well above the industry standard. Entry-level employees also become eligible to receive benefits from the day they start work. These benefits help to make the salary package much more attractive. 

Mail Carrier starting salary

This is generally considered to be the best job at the United States Postal Service. The starting salary for this role depends on the state that you live and work in. If you take on this role, you can expect to earn between $50,000 and $57,000 per year. Pay for the position also varies widely because the company is funded through the sale of products rather than taxes. 

Postmaster General

This role at the company carries the highest amount of responsibility and comes with the second highest salary. The average salary for the Postmaster General position is around $300,000 per year. This is only lower than the president of the company, who reportedly earns around $400,000 annually. 

Employee Requirements

Before you think about applying for a job at the United States Postal Service, make sure you meet the requirements.

Firstly, you have to be over the age of sixteen and hold a high school diploma or GED. Be registered with Selective Service and pass an Inspection Service criminal background check. You will also be subjected to a drug screening and medical assessment before being offered a job.

Citizenship is crucial…

The United States Postal Service requires that applicants have safe driving records. You need to be able to provide your recent employment history on request. Applicants have to be a United States citizen, a citizen of American Samoa or another U.S. Territory, or a permanent resident. 

Applying To Work At USPS

Applying To Work At USPS

The best way to apply for a job at the United States Postal Service is to head on over to the company’s website. Click on the careers tab at the bottom of the page and take the time to read about the different roles. There are four categories to choose from: drivers & mechanics, sales & service, delivery, and sorting & handling.

Take the time to read about the requirements for different roles and the associated duties. Once you have found the role you are best suited for, it is time to start the application process. Click on the Continue button and use the search bars to find the right location and type of employment. 

Your 476 Postal Exam…

Click on the job title that you want to apply for and click on the ‘Apply’ button. You will be taken through to the eCareers system and directed to create your candidate profile. Once you have supplied your email address, you will receive a confirmation email and can continue the process.

After signing back in, you will need to complete the online 476 assessment by clicking on the supplied email link. Make sure you check your answers carefully and then click on the Submit button. You will then receive another confirmation email from the United States Postal Service. 

Can take up to 2 months!

A hiring manager from the United States Postal Service will review your application and 476 assessment. If you meet the requirements, they will reach out to arrange an interview. The hiring process consists of several steps and can take up to two months to complete. 

Is USPS a Federal Job? – Tips For Getting Hired

The hiring process is long and can be quite intense. The United States Postal Service receives a high number of applicants for roles and has to screen each applicant carefully. Here are some ways to make sure you secure the role you have set your sights on. 

The application and test

Both the online application and test are free to complete, and you can do this from the comfort of home. However, you need to make sure that you set aside enough time to complete your application and test. While it is possible to pause the process and come back to it, it is better to do it in one sitting. 

Be proactive

The posting for the job you are applying for will include contact information. You can contact the person highlighted and find out more about the job. This is a good way to informally introduce yourself and discover how to impress the hiring manager. 

Completing multiple applications

The hiring process can take a long time, and there are sure to be a lot of people applying for the role. If you submit for more than one position, it is a good way of increasing your chances. However, you need to make sure that you are qualified for each role you apply for. 

Technical requirements

You need to have a working email address and install Adobe PDF Reader before you start the application process. You can use either a desktop computer or laptop to complete the application and test. The best browsers to use are Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer IE 7-11. 

Desirable Skills And Attributes

Desirable Skills And Attributes

While each role in the company is different, there are certain skills that employees are expected to have. Showing the hiring manager that you have these skills will go a long way to securing an interview. So here are some skills and attributes that will make the hiring manager sit up and take notice. 

Customer service skills

Most roles at the company involve interacting with customers on some level. It is important to be polite at all times. Highlighting your strong customer service skills is sure to impress the hiring manager. 

Attention to detail

It is essential to make sure that all mail that your work with is correctly sorted and delivered. You need to be able to spot even the tiniest errors in addresses and zip codes. If mail is damaged in any way, you must flag this so that it is repaired. 


Highlighting strong communication skills can go a long way to make up for a lack of experience. You are likely to write regular emails during your work as well as handwritten labels and notes. You must be able to express yourself clearly and concisely, both in writing and verbally. 

Read more: Will a Felony Revoke Citizenship?


You are likely to have to complete a range of different tasks during a single shift. You need to be very organized to make sure that everything is completed as smoothly as possible. Being able to prioritize tasks will also help to make sure everything is completed on time. 

Physical stamina

You need to be reasonably physically fit to perform most jobs at the United States Postal Service. Even drivers have to be able to lift heavy parcels and bring them to the doors of customers’ homes. Some roles also require you to remain standing for long periods.

Are You Ready To Apply? 

Well, that’s great news! Take a look at our in-depth guide to the USPS Application, and once you’ve passed your postal exam, find out if you made the USPS Pre Hire List. But before you apply, please check up on Does USPS Hire Felons if you have a criminal record.

A few positions you might be interested in checking out before you apply are our USPS Mail Processing Clerk Job Description, as well as our USPS City Carrier Assistant and PSE Mail Processing Clerk USPS positions available for application in 2023.

Or, as an alternative, you could also learn more with our informative UPS Mission And Vision Statement Analysis, as well as our guide to the UPS Application Online, or perhaps Does UPS Hire Felons, if you have a criminal record.

Is USPS A Federal Job? – Final Thoughts 

The United States Postal Service is considered to be a great place to work. In addition to a reasonable starting salary, the company offers employees a wide range of benefits. If you are willing to work hard, you are sure to find that there are also impressive career opportunities.

Although you would not technically be a federal employee, you would receive all of the same benefits. However, roles come with a lot of responsibility, and the screening and application process can be quite demanding. It is important to do as much research as possible before applying for a job to increase your chances of success.

All the very best working at USPS!

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About Robert A. Casey

Robert works with his girlfriend at a busy LA actors agency, where he secures roles for a number of B-list and a few A-list celebrities. His knowledge and connections within the film and TV industry are very impressive, and he loves sharing his experiences with all our readers on the site.

He lives in Studio City with his girlfriend Rachael, and his cat, Gerald.  

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