Postal Inspectors

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.

Application is Currently Closed

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Read below for more information about becoming a Postal Inspector.

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The Role of a Postal Inspector

Protect Us All

Postal Inspectors face different crimes and challenges. Watch to learn more about their role as a law enforcement agency.

  • How do I apply?

    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.

  • Am I eligible to apply?

    You may be eligible to apply to become a Postal Inspector if you:

    • At least 21 years of age at the time of application and less than 37 years of age at the time of original law enforcement appointment (age exception may be granted 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.

    Hearing Requirements:
    Hearing acuity in the better ear is NOT to exceed an average loss of 30db at 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz. The loss canNOT exceed 40db in each ear, separately, at either 500 Hz or 1000 Hz or 2000 Hz. Hearing aids MAY be acceptable for meeting the USPIS hearing standard.

    Vision Requirements:
    Having vision in ONLY one eye is disqualifying. The ability to see using both eyes at the same time is required. Visual acuity using both eyes together, at the same time, must test 20/70 (using Snellen eye chart) WITHOUT corrective lenses. Uncorrected vision must test at least 20/100 in each eye, separately. Vision in EACH eye, separately, must be corrected to 20/20. Eye surgery MAY be acceptable for meeting the USPIS vision standard. Soft contact lenses less than 6 months – must meet uncorrected standards (20/100 in each eye). Soft contact lenses greater than 6 months – must meet same criteria as corrective binocular vision (20/20).

    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.

  • USPIS Drug Policy

    The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is firmly committed to a drug-free workplace. Applicants for employment with the Inspection Service who are currently using illegal drugs, or abusing legal drugs or substances, are not eligible for employment.

    The Inspection Service accomplishes its challenging and vital mission by hiring only highly qualified candidates. The Inspection Service does not condone any unlawful drug activity by applicants, but it is recognized that otherwise qualified applicants may have participated in minimal and limited illegal drug activities or the misuse or abuse of substances in the past. Consequently, the Inspection Service will review this information on a case-by-case basis to determine whether an applicant’s past drug activities disqualify him/her from hiring consideration. All Inspection Service applicants are required to disclose their current and past drug usage and activity. This includes, but is not limited to, the illegal use, possession, manufacture, or sale of drugs or controlled substances in violation of Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.

    An applicant who deliberately misrepresents his or her drug history at any time during the application process is unsuitable for employment. Absent mitigating circumstances, applicants will be considered unsuitable for employment if the applicant has:

    • Used, ingested, or possessed marijuana, including for medical purposes, within the three (3) years preceding the date of the application for employment. The various forms of marijuana include cannabis, hashish, hash oil, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in both synthetic and natural forms.
    • Used, ingested, or possessed any illegal drug or controlled substance, other than marijuana, or misused legal drugs or controlled substances, within the seven (7) years preceding the date of the application for employment (including misuse of prescription and nonprescription drugs).
    • Ever been involved in the illegal sale, manufacture, cultivation, trafficking, or production of a drug or controlled substance (including marijuana).

    Drug Policy PDF

  • Do I have the right skills and qualifications?

    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.

    Language Skills

    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.

    Postal Experience

    Candidates seeking consideration under the specialized postal experience track must have at least one year of experience within the last five years as a U.S. Postal Service employee, contractor, or intern.

    Specialized Experience

    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.

    Academic Achievement

    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.

  • What are the steps in the Application Process?

    11 Steps: If you do not successfully complete a step you will be given no further consideration for this position.

    *OPM designated 1811 Series Criminal Investigator applicants (career or career-conditional) will undergo an abbreviated applicant screening process.

    1. Application

      The process begins with completing a brief profile of your personal information followed by an online application.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. Information Exchange

      You may receive an email invitation from a Field Recruiter to attend an Information Exchange. You must respond to the invitation within 48 hours.

    6. Exam Part 2

      You will be administered a timed, multiple-choice exam at the Information Exchange. You must pass Exam Part 2 to continue.

    7. Language Exam

      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).

    8. Assessment Center

      You may be invited to attend the Assessment Center located in Potomac, MD to evaluate your knowledge, skills, abilities, and assess your physical condition through Physical Fitness Testing.

    9. Polygraph Interview

      You will be administered a polygraph examination to validate information you provided on the SF 86 Questionnaire.

    10. Management Interview

      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.

    11. Selection Pool

      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 up to two (2) years. Placement in the selection pool does not guarantee a job offer.

  • What are the steps in the Hiring Process?

    1. 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 assessment scheduled by the Postal Inspection Service.

    2. Background Investigation

      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.

    3. Medical Assessment & Drug Testing

      The purpose of pre-employment medical assessment and drug screening is to evaluate your suitability to meet applicable physical and mental suitability standards for the Postal Inspector position.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. Employment as an United States Postal Inspector

      After graduation, newly appointed Postal Inspectors report to their assigned duty locations.

  • How are Postal Inspectors trained?

    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.

    Firearms Training

    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. Candidates will be assessed regularly through Physical Fitness Testing.

    Practical Exercises

    Practical exercises give candidates the opportunity to perform the lessons learned during classroom activities and defensive tactics in a real-life simulation.

  • What are the benefits?


    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, paid parental 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.

    Additional Benefits

    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.

  • How do I become a Postal Inspector intern?

    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 to get your point of contact.

    College Student Internship Program is currently accepting applications for internships.

Accept the Challenge

The Postal Inspector application is currently closed.  Follow us on Twitter for updates.