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U.S. Postal Service

U.S. Postal Service

Letter Carriers are among the most visible part of the Postal Service's 700,000 career workforce.

Appointment of Postal Employees

The United States Postal Service® is an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the United States Government. It operates in a businesslike way.

In the more than two centuries since USPS® began, it has grown and changed with America. Discovering the history of the Postal Service is a journey into the history of transportation, economics, industrialization, communications, and government.

Today, the Postal Service™ delivers hundreds of millions of messages each day to more than 141 million homes and businesses.

In accordance to section 1006 of title 39, United States Code, Postal Service employees serve under excepted appointments. They do not acquire competitive status or reinstatement eligibility for competitive service jobs. However, by law, they have special noncompetitive appointment eligibility for competitive service jobs.


An agency may give a noncompetitive appointment to an employee of the Postal Career Service who meets all the following conditions:

  • The employee’s Postal Service appointment has no time limit; and
  • Immediately before appointment in the competitive service, the employee served in the Postal Career Service for at least 3 months on a substantially full-time basis or for at least 520 hours if employed less than full time; and
  • The employee meets the qualification standard for the position; and
  • The employee will be appointed to the competitive service with no break in service from Postal Service employment. An individual who has a break in service of 1 day or more or who takes a temporary appointment in an agency loses appointment eligibility under this authority.


Prior to July 1, 1971, Post Office positions were in the competitive service. Employees of the Post Office prior to that date may have served under competitive appointment and may have reinstatement eligibility. Some employees may meet the criteria for both noncompetitive appointment and reinstatement. The hiring agency decides which appointment authority to use.


A person appointed under this authority receives a career-conditional appointment unless he/she has completed the service requirement for career tenure. Substantially continuous service, under a nontemporary appointment in the Postal Career Service immediately preceding appointment is creditable toward acquiring career tenure.


A person appointed under this authority must serve a new probationary period. However, service in the Postal Service immediately preceding appointment is creditable toward the completion of the probationary period.


Employees of the Postal Rate Commission also have noncompetitive appointment eligibility for competitive service jobs (section 1006, title 39, United States Code). They must have served in the Postal Rate Commission Career Service for at least 1 year on a substantially continuous basis under an appointment leading to completion of the probationary period in the Postal Rate Commission. Otherwise, the appointment eligibility is the same as for Postal Service employees.

A person appointed under this authority is not required to serve a probationary period in the competitive service.

Ever since Benjamin Franklin was named the first Postmaster General in 1775, the US postal system has been keeping America connected.

At USPS, we value our employees, because we know it’s our people who provide customer satisfaction, drive innovation, and ensure our continued success.

If you’re ready to join a dynamic, thriving organization with a sense of history and a drive toward the future, we’re ready to hear from you! Visit us at

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