A United States Postal Service inspector is a type of law enforcement official. Instead of handling garden-variety crimes, however, a person with this title investigates and makes arrests in criminal cases that involve the United States Postal Service. Individuals with this title carry firearms and often work closely with non-postal service law enforcement officials to uphold the law.
Basics of Eligibility
You must have United States citizenship to be considered for the position of United States Postal Service inspector. In addition, you will have to meet age requirements. At the time of hire, you must be at least 21 years old but no older than 37. A United States veteran, however, can apply for this job at any age. In addition, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, a valid driver's license, and a record free of felony convictions and domestic-violence-related misdemeanors. Likewise, you'll have to pass a hearing and vision test, demonstrate that you are in good physical health and pass a drug test.
In addition to the ability to speak and write in clear English, you'll need a range of other basic skills to become a U.S. postal inspector. As part of the application process for this position, you'll face evaluation of your ability to understand verbal and written instructions, to process information presented in verbal and nonverbal ways, and to interact well with other individuals. Likewise, you have to demonstrate the ability to analyze details, relate details to other information and perform tasks in a prioritized, logical order.
While not required, possessing special knowledge in other areas makes you a more competitive candidate for the postal inspector job. For example, having advanced foreign language skills, military experience, a law degree, specialized computer education or expertise, certification in a computer system, or law enforcement experience gives you a leg up when applying for this job. Likewise, a bioterrorism investigation work history and full-time work experience make you a more attractive candidate. Academic achievement also counts, as you may be considered more favorably if you've earned an advanced degree, such as a master's or Ph.D., or if you had a grade point average of at least 3.0 as an undergraduate. In addition, if you have worked for the United States Postal Service in the two years prior to seeking the inspector position, this will help you stand out from other applicants.
You will have to complete classroom instruction to become a United States postal inspector. This includes investigation and administrative topics and training in the safe use of firearms. Preparation for this job also includes physical fitness and self-defense training. In addition, you will have to participate in simulations to demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom and defensive training components. The simulations are referred to as practical exercises.
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