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Post Office Jobs

Qualification Requirements


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The Book of U.S. Government Jobs - 11th edition


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Post Office Job Qualification Requirements

Page updated 5/3/2016

Post Office Job Qualifications | Age Limit, Citizenship, Exams, Physicals, and Driver's license


Various Post Office job qualification standards from age restrictions to physical requirements must be met before you can take one of the Postal Service exams. Applicants must of a certain age and they have to pass a written exams for most occupations, meet physical requirements, have a driver's license, and all applicants must pass a drug test. When you first apply all of the requirements for the positions will be posted with the job announcement and the Postal Service will coordinate and schedule the required testing as necessary.

All Post Office job applicants must be at least eighteen to apply. Certain conditions allow applicants as young as sixteen to apply. Carrier positions, requiring driving, are limited to age 18 or older. High school graduates or individuals who terminated high school education for sufficient reason are permitted to apply at age 16.


Qualifications Menu



Entrance Exams

Clerks, carriers, rural carriers and other mail-handling job applicants must pass a Post Office exam. Specialties such as mechanic, electronic technician, machinist, and trades must also pass a written test. The overall rating is based on the test results and your qualifying work experience and education. Professionals and certain administrative positions don’t require an entrance exam or written test. They are rated and hired strictly on their prior work experience and education. The clerk and carrier exam are the 473 and 473 C and 473 E Battery Exams. The only difference among the three is the occupational title and the methods of taking the exams. The 473 Major Entry Level Jobs Exam covers the following positions:

✔ City Carrier
✔ Rural Carrier
✔ Mail Processing Clerk
✔ Sales, Service, and Distribution Associate
✔ Mail Handler

This Postal exam, also referred to as the 473 Battery Examination, covers the vast majority of entry-level hiring. Custodial positions are reserved for veteran preference eligibles by federal law.

he USPS also requires motor vehicle and tractor trailer operators, and highly skilled maintenance positions such as Building Equipment Mechanic, Engineman, Electronics Technician, Auto Mechanics, and General Mechanic to successfully pass an entrance exam. All of the skilled maintenance positions require examination 931. A separate announcement, examination 955, is required for mechanic and electrical skills occupations. Sample exams for these occupations are also included in the all new 6th edition of Post Office Jobs.



Applicants do not have to be U.S. citizens. If you have permanent alien resident status in the United States of America or owe allegiance to the United States of America you can apply for Postal Service jobs.

Physical Requirements

Physical requirements are determined by the job. Carriers must be able to lift a 70-pound mail sack and all applicants must be able to efficiently perform assigned duties. Eyesight and hearing tests are required. Applicants must have at least 20/40 vision in the good eye and no worse than 20/100 in the other eye. Eyeglasses are permitted.

State Driver’s License


Applicants must have a valid state driver’s license for positions that require motor vehicle operation. A safe driving record is required and a Postal Service road test is administered for the type of vehicle that you will operate.

Drug Testing (Substance Abuse)

The Postal Service maintains a comprehensive program to ensure a drug-free workplace. A qualification for postal employment is to be drug free, and this qualification is determined through the use of a urinalysis drug screen. When you are determined to be in the area of consideration for employment, you will be scheduled for a drug screening test.

"Post Office Jobs" includes guidance on how to successfully handle the postal pre-appointment interview, prepare for the 473 and other entry level tests, and shows you how to find job vacancies in your area. It also presents complete position descriptions for the Post Office's top 25 job classifications and includes sample exam questions for clerical, technician, custodian, auto mechanic, electronics technician, and other occupations. This book is available at all bookstores, through, and many libraries have this title in their reference section. 


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