What is a Transitional Employee at USPS | Roles and Responsibilities

Are you curious about different job roles at USPS? One important position you might not know about is the transitional employee. So, what is a transitional employee at USPS?

Simply put, transitional employees are temporary workers who help meet the increased workload, especially during busy periods like holidays.

They play a crucial role in ensuring that mail and packages are delivered on time. This position offers valuable work experience and can sometimes lead to permanent jobs.

Understanding the role of transitional employees at USPS can help you appreciate the hard work behind getting your mail and packages delivered every day.

What is a Transitional Employee at USPS?

A Transitional Employee (TE) at the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a non-permanent worker hired on a temporary basis to help meet operational needs, especially during peak periods.

TEs perform various duties similar to those of regular USPS employees, such as mail processing, delivery, and customer service.

However, they do not receive the same benefits as full-time employees, and their employment is typically limited by contract terms specifying a maximum duration.

TEs serve as a flexible workforce solution, allowing USPS to adapt quickly to fluctuations in mail volume and staffing requirements.

Key Responsibilities and Daily Tasks

Transitional employees at USPS perform various duties similar to those of regular employees, including:

  • Sorting and delivering mail: Ensuring that mail reaches its correct destination.
  • Operating postal equipment: Handling machines used for sorting and processing mail.
  • Customer service: Assisting customers with their postal needs, including selling stamps and handling inquiries.
  • Administrative tasks: Completing paperwork and maintaining records.

Employment Terms and Benefits

Transitional employees typically work on a part-time basis with flexible hours. While they are not entitled to the same benefits as full-time employees, they do receive:

  1. Hourly wages: Competitive pay based on the role.
  2. Limited health benefits: Access to basic health services.
  3. Potential for overtime: Opportunities to earn additional income during busy periods.

The Hiring Process and Requirements

Securing a position as a transitional employee at USPS involves a few key steps:

Application: Submit your application through the USPS careers website.

Assessment: Complete an online assessment to gauge your suitability for the role.

Interview: Attend an interview to discuss your qualifications and interest in the position.

Background check: Undergo a background check and drug screening.

Training: Participate in training sessions to familiarize yourself with USPS procedures and equipment.

Here is the Table Requirement:

Serial NumberRequirementDetails
1Minimum ageMust be at least 18 years old.
2EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent.
3Physical fitnessAbility to lift heavy packages and stand for extended periods.

Can USPS Employees Transfer?

Yes, USPS employees can transfer to different locations or positions within the organization. The Employee and Labor Relations Manual outlines specific processes for transferring, which often involve bidding for open positions or applying for reassignments.

Transfers are subject to availability and seniority, and employees must meet certain criteria to be eligible.

This system helps employees find roles that suit their needs and career aspirations while maintaining operational efficiency within the United States Postal Service.

How Many Hours Does a Mail Carrier Work a Day?

what is a transitional employee at usps

The daily working hours of a mail carrier can vary depending on the region and employer policies. Typically, a full-time mail carrier works around 8 hours a day, five days a week, amounting to a 40-hour workweek.

However, some mail carriers may work longer hours, particularly during peak seasons like holidays. Additionally, part-time mail carriers may have shorter shifts, working fewer hours per day but spread across more days in the week.

Challenges and Rewards


  • Physical demands: The job can be physically taxing, requiring long hours on your feet and lifting heavy packages.
  • Weather conditions: Delivering mail in extreme weather can be challenging.
  • Temporary status: Limited job security and benefits compared to full-time positions.


  • Valuable experience: Gain skills and experience that can lead to permanent employment.
  • Flexible hours: Ideal for those seeking part-time work or supplementary income.
  • Community service: Enjoy the satisfaction of serving your community and ensuring timely mail delivery.

Final Words

Becoming a transitional employee at USPS offers a unique opportunity to gain valuable work experience, earn competitive wages, and potentially transition to a permanent role.

While the job comes with its challenges, the rewards can be significant for those willing to put in the effort.

The highest-paying position at USPS is typically a Postmaster General, followed by executive and managerial positions.

ANK stands for “Address Not Known.” It is used to indicate that the address provided does not exist or cannot be found.

USPS workers typically work 8-hour shifts, but this can extend to 10-12 hours during peak seasons or heavy mail days.

Mail carriers generally work 8 to 10 hours a day. However, hours can vary based on mail volume and route length.

Night work at USPS refers to shifts that occur during overnight hours, typically from 11 PM to 7 AM. These shifts are essential for sorting and processing mail to ensure timely delivery.

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