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Postal Inspector Careers and Job Outlook Secure and protect the U.S. mail system in a postal inspector career.

postal inspector holding a clipboard

Postal inspectors work for the United States Postal Inspection Service and are considered federal law enforcement agents.

Most inspectors start off as mail carriers or sorters, but with a college degree and a few other requirements, you may be able to embark on a postal inspector career.

Postal Inspector Duties

Postal inspectors are charged with securing the mail system and protecting the U.S. Postal Service. They have investigative jurisdiction over any criminal, civil, or administrative crimes involving the U.S. Postal Service.

Postal inspectors often work with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to solve crimes related to:

  • International mail theft
  • Identity theft
  • Bank fraud
  • Armed robbery cases
  • Child exploitation
  • Organized crime
  • International drug trafficking
  • Mail bombs
  • International terrorism

Postal inspectors are expected and required to do the following:

  • Carry a firearm
  • Be involved in making arrests
  • Testify in court
  • Deliver subpoenas
  • Execute search warrants
  • Pursue and apprehend suspects

Postal Inspector Education and Qualifications

Becoming a postal inspector is very competitive so having special knowledge or skills can help you stand out from other candidates.

Aside from general requirements like citizenship, age, criminal background, and other factors, aspiring postal inspectors are required to have a bachelor’s degree. Due to the job tasks, a criminal justice or law enforcement degree can familiarize you with what your career might entail.

Certain areas of “special knowledge” can also help candidates be more competitive. These areas include:

  • Language skills
  • Postal experience
  • Specialized non-postal skills
  • Academic achievement

Postal Inspector Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2020 Occupational Employment Statistics, salaries for postmasters and mail superintendents average $78,060 per year. Job growth for postal workers is expected to decline by -9% through 2030, due to decreases in first class mail usage.

Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience, and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Sources: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/employment/eligibility.aspx, www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/2016/general-schedule/