Finding a stable job comes with many perks. Besides the steady pay, there are often good benefits attached. This can include medical cover and retirement savings plans.
For felons who struggle to find such work, it becomes vital to target top employers. The Post Office is one such employer. But can felons work at the Post Office?
USPS is an independent federal authority tasked with the duty of postal services. It serves all 50 states and U.S. territories.
As of 2019, USPS had 469,934 employees. They also had further 136,174 temporary staff.
There is a good chance that they will still need to further add to their numbers. This is thanks to the growing need for parcel delivery services.
People have increasingly shifted to online shopping. To support this trend, the postal service must boost its capacity to meet demand.
But is a job here really worth it? Let’s discuss.
Why Work for USPS?
The Post Office is a federal body. This means you would become a government worker. There are many benefits attached to this.
Employees get competitive salaries that come with a gradual cost of living adjustment. They also get paid annual and sick leave. These days can be accumulated and even donated.
There is access to multiple health and life insurance options. Financial planning is further boosted by retirement and thrift savings plans. There are also pretax flexible spending accounts to help cover out of pocket medical expenses.
Pension benefits are catered to by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSCRS) plans.
Those that participate in commuter programs also get to enjoy some savings on public transport and parking.
Because postal services are in such high demand, it is a very stable industry. Job security is high for those that perform well.
USPS is supportive of those that seek to improve their learning. The Post Office helps by offering leadership training programs.
They also run a National Center for Employee Development (NCED). This is targeted at those who work in maintaining high technology postal systems. NCED helps in improving their skills through on-hands training.
The widespread operations of USPS also mean plenty of work opportunities. There is a good chance you can find a position at a location within reasonable commuting distance.
Hiring Process at USPS
To be hired, one must meet certain requirements. These include:
- Be 18 years or older. 16 years can be accepted if they have a high school diploma
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Have a safe driving record. For jobs that involve driving
- Pass medical assessment
- Have registered with Selective Service if applicable
- Pass a criminal background check and drug screening
USPS has a careers website with plenty of helpful information. Access the site using a desktop or laptop computer. It is not configured for mobile use.
Be sure to register an account on the site. You will need to provide a username and password.
The site offers details on benefits offered and the various key roles and departments within USPS.
One can easily explore open positions. You can further refine your search by state and department.
Each listing provides the requirements for the job. Those marked with an asterisk are mandatory.
It is advisable to ensure that your skills, education, and training match the requirements. There is also the option for uploading a resume. Do take advantage of this.
If you decide to complete the job application, please be thorough. Fill out your education, work history, and any other achievements.
You will also need to undertake certain postal exams. These are done at designated test centers. You will be informed of the location, time, and date.
These exams count towards your qualifying for the job. One must achieve a score of over 70 to pass.
Once you pass the test, you will be invited for a pre-employment interview. Depending on the job and location this may be one-on-one or a group interview.
Once a final hiring decision is made, you will be informed. A background check and drug test are made a condition of this job offer.
Does The Post Office Hire Felons?
This is a legitimate concern given the mandatory background checks. But there is no need for worry.
Based on their ‘Background Checks FAQs’ section, USPS acknowledges that successful rehabilitation is possible. They consider this when evaluating job candidates.
They appear to evaluate candidates with criminal records on a case-to-case basis.
Many online testimonials from current and former employees confirm that USPS hires felons. some opinions suggest that certain crimes may however exclude candidates. These may include theft, sexual offenses, vehicular offenses, and mail fraud.
Applicants will know the check is about to happen when asked to sign a consent form. Failure to do so will disqualify their application.
USPS requires applicants to reveal all criminal convictions, both state and federal. Felony and misdemeanor.
They also confirm that there will be a full criminal background check and DMV check. The motor vehicle record check only applies if the job role includes driving.
Pre-employment drug screening is also likely. USPS requires employees to be drug-free.
Some testimonials however suggest that testing is not always done. Because it is however a public policy, it is best to be prepared for this to happen.
The Post Office is a good but challenging place to work. The hours can be long and the physical demands strenuous.
It is however a steady job with good pay and benefits. Many that join this institution do not leave till retirement.
For felons worried about how to join, the focus should be on rehabilitation. Proving that you have made positive life changes will work in your favor.
Steady work history and academic accomplishments can also help. Having strong references that can attest to your changes is also advisable.
Also, try to pass the Virtual Entry Assessment Exam the best you can. The higher your score, the better candidate you become. You can use online resources to help prep.
If you however do not succeed, do not give up. there are many other felony friendly careers and employers. They can still offer you good earnings and other great benefits.