For each academy class, we have the honor of choosing an elite group of men and women to join us as Postal Inspectors. These men and women are evaluated on the knowledge, skills, and abilities in communication, personal responsibility, problem-solving, decision-making, and leadership.
The Role of a Postal Inspector
Postal Inspectors face different crimes and challenges. Watch to learn more about their role as a law enforcement agency.
A notification will periodically appear at the top of the USPIS website, so check back regularly. Also, follow USPIS on social media for the latest updates regarding USPIS careers HERE.
You may be eligible to apply to become a Postal Inspector if you:
- Are an U.S. Citizen between 21 and less than 37 years of age at the time of appointment (age exception for preference eligible veterans).
- Currently hold a four-year degree from an accredited college or university.
- Have no felony or domestic violence convictions.
- Are in good physical condition.
- Write and speak English clearly.
- Have a valid driver’s license with at least two years of unsupervised driving experience and a safe driving record.
- Are willing to relocate.
The Postal Inspection Service is firmly committed to a drug-free workplace. The unlawful use or possession of drugs, at any time, by Inspection Service employees is not tolerated, and may serve as the basis for removal from the Postal Inspection Service. Individuals who apply for employment with the Inspection Service and illegally use, possess, or sell drugs may be considered unsuitable for employment.
The Postal Inspection Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
There are four special knowledge tracks that make applicants more competitive for the position of Postal Inspector: language skills, postal experience, specialized non-postal skills, and academic achievement. Candidates without special knowledge will only be minimally qualified.
Candidates who seek eligibility under language skills must have advanced competency in a foreign language deemed by the Postal Inspection Service as necessary to meeting its investigative mission.
Candidates seeking consideration under the specialized postal experience track must have been within the last two years a U.S. Postal Service employee, contractor, or intern.
Candidates with experience in the military, law enforcement, or bioterrorism investigations are considered candidates with specialized experience. Other highly qualified specialized candidates have specialized computer expertise, or certifications in computer systems, auditing, or investigations.
Candidates with a B.A. or B.S. from an accredited university and a GPA of 3.0 or above or an advanced degree (M.A., M.S., J.D., or Ph.D) will be considered as part of the Academic Achievement track.
12 Steps: If you do not successfully complete a step you will be given no further consideration for this position.
The process begins with completing a brief profile of your personal information followed by an online application.
Exam Part 1
You will receive an email and link to complete a timed, multiple-choice exam. Exam Part 1 must be successfully completed within 72 hours of receiving the email.
Electronic Comprehensive Application Packet (eCAP)
If you successfully complete Exam 1, you will receive an email and link to complete the eCap, attach all required documents and submit it within 120 hours of receiving the email.
Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF 86)
You will receive an email and link to eQIP to complete and submit the SF 86 within 168 hours of receiving the email.
You may receive an email invitation from a Field Recruiter to attend an Information Exchange. You must respond to the invitation within 48 hours.
Exam Part 2
You will be administered a timed, multiple-choice exam at the Information Exchange. You must pass Exam Part 2 to continue.
If you indicated on your online application you are proficient in a foreign language, you will be administered a language exam (later in the process).
You may be invited to attend the Assessment Center located in Potomac, MD to evaluate your knowledge, skills and abilities.
You will be administered a polygraph examination to validate information you provided on the SF 86 Questionnaire.
You may be invited to be interviewed by U.S. Postal Inspection Service managers. The interview consists of general and behavioral questions, an overview of the Postal Inspector position, and training requirements.
If you successfully complete all steps of the application process, you will be placed in the selection pool for employment consideration, for a period of two (2) years. Placement in the selection pool does not guarantee a job offer.
Conditional Employment Offer
If you are extended a conditional employment offer, employment is contingent on successful completion of a Top Secret clearance, drug screening, and a medical examination scheduled by the Postal Inspection Service.
The background investigation for the Top Secret clearance includes, but is not limited to: credit and criminal history checks; personal interviews with associates; personal and business reference checks; past employers and neighbor checks, and verification of education achievements.
Medical Examination & Drug Testing
The purpose of pre-employment medical examination and drug screening is to evaluate your suitability to meet applicable physical fitness standards for the Postal Inspector position.
Final Employment Offer
After successfully completing all steps, you will be provided with an appointment letter. The Career Development Unit will contact you concerning your participation in the Basic Inspector Training program.
Basic Inspector Training
You will attend the Basic Inspector Training, a 16-week, residential program held in Potomac, MD. You must successfully complete the program to become a Postal Inspector.
Employment as an United States Postal Inspector
After graduation, newly appointed Postal Inspectors report to their assigned duty locations.
Postal Inspector Basic Training is your introduction to the Postal Inspection Service and it is where you will learn the traditions, tactics, and methods to become a Postal Inspector. All Postal Inspector candidates must graduate from a 16-week residential program which covers firearms, academics, defensive tactics, physical fitness, and practical exercises. After graduation, newly appointed Postal Inspectors report to their assigned duty locations.
Candidates must complete rigorous courses in investigative techniques and USPS® policies. This training is completed by passing three exams during the course of study.
Postal Inspectors must be prepared to protect themselves and others. This includes training to handle a handgun and a shotgun safely and proficiently. Postal Inspectors on duty are required to complete firearms qualifications several times each year.
Physical Training and Defensive Tactics
Physical fitness is a key part of basic training. Candidates must develop a physical fitness regimen and the ability to use a level of force appropriate to the threat.
Practical exercises give candidates the opportunity to perform the lessons learned during classroom activities and defensive tactics in a real-life simulation.
Postal Inspectors are paid using an ISLE (Inspection Service Law Enforcement) pay scale which mirrors the General Schedule (GS) Pay Scale for law enforcement officers. The Inspection Service uses the OPM locality pay schedule, and Inspectors receive a Law Enforcement Availability Pay Premium (provided work days average ten hours during the course of a fiscal year).
The U.S. Postal Service offers a generous leave program for Postal Inspectors which includes annual leave, sick leave, and paid holidays. Postal Inspectors do not receive Scheduled In Advance Overtime, or any other type of overtime. Also, Postal Inspectors do not receive a night differential premium, Sunday premium, annual leave in lieu of holiday leave pay, holiday worked pay or out-of-schedule premium.
Postal Inspectors are eligible to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program including life insurance (FEGLI), dental and vision plans (FedVIP), flexible spending accounts (FSAFeds) and long-term care insurance (FLTCIP) programs, which provide excellent coverage and flexibility. Employee health insurance and dental and vision insurance premium contributions are not subject to most taxes.
Postal Inspector benefits include the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
All newly hired Postal Inspectors are covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Inspectors receive the Federal law enforcement retirement plan provisions.
The Postal Inspection Service has an unpaid internship program for college students in their junior and senior years as well as graduate students. The program offers students an opportunity to gain a meaningful law enforcement experience while earning college credits. Watch the video and view the FAQs to learn about the College Student Internship Program. Each field division has a College Student Internship Program coordinator. Please contact USPISinternship@uspis.gov to get your point of contact.
*As a result of the current situation involving the COVID-19 pandemic, we have temporarily suspended our internship program. The USPIS is currently not accepting internship applications. Please monitor this website for an update regarding the status of the internship program.
Accept the Challenge
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