There are almost 9 million people in New York City. And most of those people get birthday cards from their mom. At the very least they get bills, right? So it stands to reason that USPS jobs are a pretty good bet for jobs in the North East Central area.

Jobs with USPS may seem at first glance as if they’re difficult to land. But we’ll give you a few tips and tricks to increase your chances of “going postal.”

Is the USPS Going Out of Business?

First things first. You may have heard some rumors about the United States Postal Service. Namely, that they’re being outbid by carriers like FedEx and UPS for corporate and other shipments. Amazon, for example, does most of its shipping through UPS, and it’s even begun to enlist private delivery services.

Much of today’s billing is also either automated or “paperless.” That is to say, it’s become easy and even necessary for people to pay rent, water bills, or even loan money to a friend using nothing but a little bit of WiFi. Why pay someone to deliver a letter or a gift when it’s just as easy to buy a digital gift card?

But we love the USPS. Nothing beats a handwritten letter, and who else in their right mind would bring a letter all the way across the country for less than $.50? No one, that’s who. So is the USPS going out of business? In short, no.

A few years ago, the USPS was having a bit of trouble. The biggest period of trouble was in the early 2010s when the USPS lost almost $16 billion revenue dollars. See, they don’t rely on taxpayer money, and people were, simply, spending their money elsewhere.

But there are a few pieces of their business plan which will keep them in business for quite some time. First, they’re favored by the government in that there are actually laws in place which will prevent some things from being shipped via other carriers. Secondly, they receive very healthy tax breaks from the government. And finally, if the USPS does need to borrow money, they can do so at very inexpensive rates from the US Treasury.

So is the USPS going out of business? No. The Postal Service will likely be around for a very long time.

USPS Jobs Available

According to the USPS website, the organization pays out $1.9 billion in salaries and benefits every other week. And 7.5 million people are employees with the business.

So how do you, too, become a USPS employee? First, the job is unique in that it’s highly unlikely that knowing someone will help you to get your foot in the door. The United States Postal Service will give priority to those with a strong employment background, or with no lengthy gaps in education or job history. Other than that, you’ve got as much chance as anyone else of getting a job.

So how do you make yourself stand out when applying for jobs at USPS? You’re going to need to take a test. The test is somewhat vaguely named “Test 473,” and it’s basically an orientation for new postal workers. While high scores on the test won’t guarantee you a position, you’ll be more likely to bump yourself up the list if you do well.

The test is two hours long, and it covers such intellectual topics as address checking and form completion. Sound easy? Not really. In fact, most people score very low on the test, equivalent to about a C on the high school grading system. You can improve your chances of getting a higher test score by using the practice questions on the USPS site, or by taking an exam prep course.

Once you’ve passed this test with flying colors, you’re ready to apply for jobs at USPS.

How to Apply for USPS Jobs

The first thing you’ll have to do to apply for USPS jobs is to create an account on the website. You can search jobs prior to taking this step, but you won’t be able to apply without an account, so you might as well get it out of the way, and the hardest part of this step is creating a password that’s at least 15 characters long.

Within the registration, you’ll have the ability to let the USPS know your work history and your history of military service. This information is important, but again, the Postal Service isn’t particularly selective. You don’t even need a high school diploma. You must be 18 years old or older, not on drugs, not wanted by the law, and have a good driving record.

Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to apply for jobs. The job listings are searchable by state and by job function. You’ll be able to review a job description, and save jobs to your favorites. Log in each time you apply, because the jobs you’ve applied for will be saved in your history. You’ll also get a confirmation email each time you apply.

USPS Jobs: Why Work for USPS?

The United States Postal Service has competitors, sure. FedEx, UPS and DHL are also very popular carriers. But working with the USPS carries benefits.

The USPS will give you health and life insurance options. You and your family can opt in for fairly inexpensive rates. You’ll also have retirement options with the USPS. Postal workers in all positions also get plenty of sick and vacation days. Finally, if you’d like to go back to school, the USPS offers education assistance. Basically, you’ll get the same benefits as a federal employee.

We’re sure you’ve heard rumors of people who work for USPS having a hard time. “Going Postal” isn’t called that for nothing. Particularly during the holidays, some USPS positions can be quite stressful. You’ll often be on your feet for a majority of the day, and will deal with many angry people.

But as jobs go, USPS is a stable business with long term careers available. You’ll have opportunity for advancement, you’ll have benefits and you might even get a really cool uniform. Take Test 473, register on the web site, and give jobs at USPS a shot.

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