What Is A Career Employee At USPS?

A career employee at USPS is someone who has successfully completed a probationary period and been converted to a permanent position within the United States Postal Service. This typically involves meeting specific performance standards and completing any required training during the probationary period, which usually lasts one year. Once converted, career employees enjoy several benefits and job security not available to non-career employees.

Here’s a breakdown of what defines a career employee at USPS:


  • Must pass a competitive exam and background check.
  • Complete the required training and probationary period.


  • Job security: Protection from layoffs due to lack of work or budget cuts (except under specific circumstances).
  • Health insurance: Access to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB).
  • Life insurance: Basic life insurance coverage with options to purchase additional coverage.
  • Retirement benefits: Participation in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) with government matching contributions and eligibility for a federal pension.
  • Paid time off: Annual leave, sick leave, and holidays.
  • Opportunities for advancement: Potential for promotions and career growth within the USPS.

Union representation:

  • Career employees in specific divisions (Clerk, Maintenance, Motor Vehicle, and Support Services) are eligible to join the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which advocates for their rights and benefits.

Key points to remember:

  • Not all USPS employees are career employees. Non-career employees may include temporary hires, seasonal workers, and contract employees.
  • Converting to a career employee takes time and effort, but it offers significant advantages in terms of job security, benefits, and potential for advancement.
  • For more detailed information about career opportunities and benefits at USPS, you can visit their official website: https://about.usps.com/careers/

I hope this clarifies what a career employee at USPS is and helps you understand the associated benefits and requirements.

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