ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Working for the U.S. Postal Service: Jobs and Salaries

Updated on December 13, 2016
U.S. Postal Service mail box.
U.S. Postal Service mail box. | Source

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin

The men and women who work at the U.S. Post Office ensure that millions of pieces of mail and packages are delivered to destinations in the United States and the world. Applications for jobs here are highly competitive, because positions pay well and yet do not require a high school diploma. All information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Those driving Postal Service vehicles require safe driving records.
Those driving Postal Service vehicles require safe driving records. | Source


Applicants to the U.S. Postal Service must be at least 18 years old when appointed, or 16 with a high school diploma. They must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a green card. Citizens of American Samoa or other territories with permanent allegiance to the U.S. are also eligible. However, those in the country due to asylum, refugee or conditional permanent resident status are not eligible. A good command of English is required.

Applicants must pass a written exam that measures speed, accuracy and the ability to memorize distribution procedures. Points are added for honorably discharged veterans and those wounded in the line of duty. If they successfully pass, applicants typically wait two years for a job. They are appointed only during vacancies and only if they are one of the top three applicants on the list. Names remain on the waiting list for two years after the exam date.

Those who get jobs must submit to a criminal background check, drug screening and medical assessment. For example, mail carriers may need to show that they can lift mail sacks weighing up to 70 pounds. Those who will be driving at their positions also need a safe driving record.


All postal employees receive overtime at time-and-a-half for work over eight hours per day or 40 hours per workweek. They also receive a night shift differential for work between 6 PM and 6 AM, and a premium of 25 percent for work on Sunday. The Postal Service observes 10 holidays a year, and gives full-time employees from 13 to 25 days of vacation, depending on service length, and 13 days of sick leave per year.

Other benefits include health insurance, life insurance, flexible spending accounts and retirement income from three plans: the federal retirement program, a voluntary Thrift Savings Plan where the Postal Service matches employee contributions, and Social Security and Medicare.

Mail carrier Windel.
Mail carrier Windel. | Source

Jobs and Salaries

U.S. Postal Service salaries depend on the job.

  • Postal service clerks perform customer service and administrative tasks at post offices, such as receiving letters, figuring out correct postage, selling stamps and processing P.O. box requests. They earn a mean income of $25.25 per hour or $52,520 per year, with the lowest median pay at $23.38 per hour or $48,630 annually, and the highest median at $26.55 per hour or $55,230.
  • Postal service processors examine, sort and prepare incoming and outgoing mail, either manually or through automatic equipment. They make mean salaries of $23.24 per hour or $48,340 per year. Their lowest medians are at $12.76 per hour or $26,540 per year, and their highest are at $25.53 per hour or $53,100 per year.
  • Mail carriers, sometimes called mailmen or postal carriers, deliver mail to addresses either in vehicles or on foot. They make mean wages of $24.16 hourly or $50,250 per year. Their lowest medians are at $18.51 per hour or $38,490 per year, while their highest is $26.82 per hour or $55,790 per year.
  • Postmasters and superintendents manage the activities and the employees at a U.S. post office or distribution facility. The job requires several years of experience with increasing responsibility. They make a mean pay of $29.09 per hour or $60,500 per year, with low medians of $17.39 per hour or $36,170 per year and highs of $39.86 or $82,910 per year.


Employment in the U.S. Postal Service is expected to decline by about one percent for mail carriers, 18 percent for clerks and 30 percent for mail sorters. This is because of the growing reliance on email and the Internet for communications. Advancing technology such as postal service machines and automatic mail sorters also reduce the need for employees.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)