USPS Hiring Overview For 2023

Founded 1971

Type Government

Headquarters Washington, DC

Size Large Corporation

Industry Mail

Today we’re looking at an employer many people with criminal records tend to dismiss. That’s right, we’re going to tell you if USPS hires felons and other people with criminal records. As you’re probably aware, the United States Postal Service (USPS) picks up and delivers mail coast-to-coast. What you may not be aware of are the variety of positions within the USPS. From mail handlers to mechanics, there’s bound to be a role for you here.

To help you get a job at the USPS with a felony, we’ll answer the following questions in this article:

  • Where can I find their job openings?
  • Does the USPS do background checks?
  • What does their hiring process look like?
  • Does the USPS hire people with misdemeanors?

Finding a job with a criminal record sometimes feels harder than working at the job you find! That’s why we make this process easier by contacting companies like USPS directly and asking them if they hire former felons. Then we go online and research the company to get a fuller picture of what they’re like to work for if you have a criminal record. And we’ve done this more than 1,000 times across the US to bring you useful information on the national job market.

We are happy to share what we’ve learned with you, including our own hard-earned wisdom of how to handle your criminal record. Most of our team members are former felons or people who’ve worked closely with reentry programs in the past.

Our mission at Relaunch Pad is to help you live a normal life after prison.

Now, let’s take an in-depth look at how to get hired at the USPS with a felony record.

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Does USPS hire felons?

Confirmed felon employer

USPS logo of an outline of an eagle done in blue and white on a blue and white background

Official company policy for hiring felons

We haven’t made contact with the USPS yet. Fortunately, their policy for hiring former offenders is clearly stated in the Background Checks section on their website:

“In fairness to applicants and in consideration of the Postal Service’s obligations to the public and the workforce, the Postal Service™ individually evaluates the employability of each candidate with a criminal conviction or pending criminal charge. The Postal Service recognizes that many persons with criminal records have demonstrated successful rehabilitation and are capable of performing the duties of postal jobs. These applicants are entitled to compete for jobs on individual merits. It is Postal Service policy to evaluate the employability of each applicant with a criminal conviction record individually.”

So their policy is to consider qualified former offenders. That’s great news!

Has the USPS hired felons in the past?

According to several comments made on by employees, the USPS has hired felons in the past. It’s important to note that we don’t know the nature of the felonies these employees committed, or where they’re working. Simply put, it’s possible not every Postmaster in every region will be as open to hiring felons.

Still, it’s great to know some former felons have gotten jobs with the USPS in the past!

Does the USPS hire people with misdemeanors?

We believe they do. Their policy says they make hiring decisions based on “individual merits”, so a person’s criminal record won’t immediately bar them. If you’re qualified for the position you’re applying for, you should be able to work here — even with a misdemeanor.

Will USPS hire you with pending charges?

While they didn’t say, we think they will since they’ve hired people with confirmed charges. It’s record-dependent for sure, so read on for more!


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What are the chances of USPS hiring a felon?

Is the USPS on the Ban the Box list?

We examine each company in light of two movements designed to make the hiring process fairer for former offenders. The first one is the Ban the Box Campaign. This effort seeks to remove the question about whether or not you’ve been convicted of a felony from application forms. The second one is the Fair Chance Business Pledge. The goal of this effort is to delay questions about an applicant’s criminal record until later in the hiring process.

We didn’t find a connection between the USPS and either of these movements. This isn’t surprising, as they’re up-front about conducting thorough background checks on every applicant. However, much like companies taking the Pledge, the USPS is committed to judging applicants based on their qualifications, not just their records.

Ultimately, they’re very serious about each applicant disclosing their entire record when they apply. Here’s another helpful note from their Background Checks section referenced above:

“All felony and misdemeanor convictions and all convictions in state and federal courts are criminal convictions and must be disclosed. Disclosure of such convictions is required even if you did not spend any time in jail and/or were not required to pay a fine.”

Does the USPS have special programs for hiring felons?

None of the information we came across mentioned a felon-specific hiring program.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

Average likelihood of hiring felons

Based on information from numerous sources, we believe your chances of getting hired at the USPS with a felony are average. We know they’ve hired former felons in the past. They also clearly state that applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.

This is great news, as it means they’re more concerned with your qualifications than your past mistakes. However, this doesn’t mean getting hired here with a felony will be easy. Nor will it be possible for all felonies (see below for more details).

With that being said, we believe that if your conviction was for a more minor offense, you have a good chance of getting a job here.

How to get hired at USPS with a felony

What are some entry-level jobs?

It’s not shocking to hear that the most widely-available and easily-accessible position at USPS is a mail carrier. There are jobs for sales and sorting agents, as well as other work online that you could work into your schedule if that’s more your style.

Tips to get hired here with a felony

Ready to apply for a job with the USPS? Here are some things you can do to make sure your application stands out:

  • Start by putting together an attractive resume. Remember, this is your chance to make a great impression, so make it count.
  • Spend some time thinking about the position you’re applying for. What skills will it require? (If there’s a job description available, read over it a few times and try to match your skills to it.)
  • Now, customize your resume to highlight the skills required for that position, as well as where you gained these skills. For example, being a mail carrier requires a lot of walking. If you’ve had a job with long shifts where you spent the whole time on your feet, point out this connection.
  • Once all of your relevant experience is included in your resume, be sure to have someone else look over it. Many of us aren’t very good at selling ourselves. However, our friends and family members can often give us great advice on experience or skills we might’ve overlooked. They can also catch any typos we might miss!

It’s not every day that a job opens up at your local USPS location. This means the competition for positions here can get pretty fierce. Here are some tips for standing out during the interview process:

  • You can set a positive tone from your very first conversation with the person who’ll be interviewing you. This includes the phone call to set up the interview. After you apply for a position here, be sure to answer your phone with an upbeat tone. A little positivity can go a long way!
  • Show up on time, or early. USPS employees are constantly working against the clock. Being ready when the interviewer comes to get you will put you ahead of the people who wander in five minutes late.
  • Don’t try to hide your prison time. What we mean here is not that you should use prison slang or tell horror stories from your time inside. However, it’s likely the interviewer knows about your past and has decided to give you a chance anyway. So, don’t try to pretend you’re perfect. Instead, focus on your “successful rehabilitation” (as their statement says). Talk about how you’ve grown since the time of your offense, and why the opportunity to work here means so much to you.
  • Be an active participant. Answer questions using specific examples, just like we mentioned above. When they talk about how much walking you’ll have to do, mention the job you had where you were on your feet the entire shift. Be sure to send some questions back their way as well to show them how interested you are.
  • One last tip: Until you know what their policies are for tattoos or piercings, be sure to cover up any that you can. This will keep them from distracting the interviewer, which means they can focus on why you’re the perfect candidate.

Does USPS do background checks?

Absolutely. We know they will do an incredibly thorough background check. It looks like they’ll conduct their check upon receiving your application. If they decide to move forward, they’ll contact you for an interview or have you complete an assessment.

Here’s some helpful information on background checks:

Background checks can look a little different from state-to-state.

For example, the background checks in some states only go back seven years. Here’s a list of these states:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

(*Certain positions may require a more in-depth background check)

There are also states where your background check won’t bring up any cases where you were found not guilty. Here are the states in this category:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana (limited check)
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

In the majority of states, your background check still will show your entire record (including not guilty verdicts). So, if you live in one of these states, just be aware that they’ll see your whole record:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (extensive check)
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

What do people think about working for the USPS? We went on to find out. Over 6,000 employees have left reviews so far, leaving the USPS with a rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars. A little less than half of these employees (44%) said they would recommend the USPS to a friend.

When we looked a little further into these reviews, we found this information:

  • Culture and Values: 2.5
  • Work/Life Balance: 2.2
  • Senior Management: 2.2
  • Comp & Benefits: 3.6
  • Career Opportunities: 3.0

Each of those categories is ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. So, as you can see, employees seem to like the compensation and benefits, but believe the work/life balance is lacking.

What felonies USPS will not hire

While undoubtedly there are charges that will make you unhireable, USPS didn’t share them with us. However, you should know that mail fraud will likely disqualify you from working in any role at the USPS. The next section will showcase the charges we think most likely to hold you up.

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

Does the USPS hire felons? They definitely do! However, as we mentioned before, certain crimes could make it difficult (if not nearly impossible) to get a job here. Here are some examples:

  • Theft — You could have access to the cash register, and would definitely have access to packages and envelopes.
  • Sex offenses — If you work as a mail carrier, you could be asked to deliver mail to facilities you’re not allowed to enter.
  • Vehicular offenses — These could keep you from working as a mail carrier or a tractor trailer driver.

Does USPS hire sex offenders?

We’re not sure if USPS hires sex offenders because we don’t have an answer from the company or from previous employees.

Does the USPS drug test?

Several people who left comments on said they didn’t have to go through a drug test. However, we found this statement on several job postings:

“Qualified applicants must successfully pass a pre-employment drug screening to meet the U.S. Postal Service’s requirement to be drug free. Applicants must also be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident alien status.”

Our advice is to proceed as though you’ll be tested. That way you won’t be caught off-guard.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

If you’ve been able to get a job at the USPS with a felony, we’d love to hear your story. Please leave us a comment below and tell us about your journey from the application through the interview.

Do you have any advice for other former felons? Feel free to include that as well!

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