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How to Become a Postal Service Worker

Although there is no specific postsecondary education requirement to become a Postal Service worker, all applicants for these jobs must take an exam. 

Education and Training

Although there are no specific postsecondary education requirements to become a Postal Service worker, all applicants must have a good command of English. Workers typically receive additional training on the job.

Postal Service mail carriers must be at least 18 years old. They must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident-alien status. Males must have registered with the Selective Service when they reached age 18.

All applicants must pass a written exam that measures speed and accuracy at checking names and numbers and the ability to memorize mail distribution procedures. Jobseekers should contact the post office or mail processing center where they want to work to find out when an exam will be given.

When accepted, applicants must undergo a criminal-history check and pass a physical exam and a drug test. Applicants also may be asked to show that they can lift and handle mail sacks weighing 50 pounds. Mail carriers who drive at work must have a safe driving record, and applicants must get a passing grade on a road test.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Postal Service workers, particularly clerks, interact with customers regularly. They must be courteous and tactful and provide service and help to customers.  

Stamina. Postal Service workers must be able to stand or walk for long periods.

Physical strength. Postal Service workers must be able to lift heavy mail bags and parcels without injuring themselves.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition