How Do I Become a Postal Inspector?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A postal inspector investigates crimes and enforces laws that pertain to a country’s postal service. You will typically find age and education requirements when you want to become a postal inspector. Most countries also set requirements pertaining to criminal background and physical fitness. Experience with the postal service or in a related field is usually required as well. In addition, you will likely have to take examinations and participate in a rigorous training program to join a postal police force.

To become a postal inspector, you will likely need to have a certain level of education and job experience, in addition to meeting age requirements.
To become a postal inspector, you will likely need to have a certain level of education and job experience, in addition to meeting age requirements.

Age can matter a good deal when you want to become a postal inspector. While age requirements vary from country to country, you many places will require you to be a legal adult for this job, with some places setting a minimum age of 21 years old. Many also set a maximum age for this job, so you may not be eligible if you are older than about 36 or 37 years old. In some places, the minimum age requirement corresponds with the age at which you can legally purchase a handgun. The upper age limit for law enforcement jobs often corresponds to the age at which people in these positions must retire and the amount of service years they need for retirement benefits.

Most jurisdictions will also require you to possess a college degree when you want to pursue a job with the postal police. In most cases, you can land this job after earning any type of four-year degree awarded by an accredited institution. To boost your chances of getting hired for this job, however, you might consider earning a degree in a law-related major.

Since this job involves investigating criminal actions and making arrests, you will typically need a clear criminal background to qualify for it. As part of the application process, you will have to submit to a criminal background check and demonstrate that you have never been convicted of a felony. Some types of misdemeanors may also prevent you from qualifying for this job. For example, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving domestic violence, you may not qualify to become a postal inspector in some places.

Physical matters can also affect your ability to become a postal inspector. In most cases, you will need to have good hearing and eyesight for this job, and both of these senses are usually tested during the application process. Some jurisdictions will also require you to weigh an amount that is in proportion to your height. In addition, you may have to submit to a medical examination and drug testing to begin this career.

In many places, a year or two of experience working with the postal system is required. In some jurisdictions, however, you can substitute some type of specialized experience for postal service experience. For instance, if you have been in the military or possess investigative or auditing certifications, this may be considered an appropriate substitute. Likewise, if you have a degree in a law or computer field combined with a year of experience in a career related to your degree, you may qualify to become a postal inspector. Certification with computer systems, law enforcement experience, or a work history that includes bio-terrorism investigations may help you get hired for this job.

You will likely have to pass examinations to take your place on the postal police force. For example, you will usually have to pass an entrance exam, and in some cases, a language proficiency test is required as well. You may also have to submit to a polygraph test by demonstrating that you haven’t lied or concealed information on your application or during the application process.

If you are deemed a good fit for this job, you will usually have to participate in a training program. The training will typically cover investigative procedures and the many tasks you will perform when you become a postal inspector. You will likely receive firearms training and learn how to defend yourself as well. Additionally, your training will likely include a hands-on component during which you can practice what you learn in class.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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