What is a U.S. postal inspector, and what exams do they need?
Postal inspectors and the exams they need to qualify
Infringement of any information considered sensitive or private by the recipient may cause a lot of problems.
With the current trend of personalized and targeted messaging mean that people are using more demographic and personal information as variable data and segmentation in all documents
This personalized messaging system has increased the risk of breach even on the processes such as direct mailing, where control of production has been loosely conducted over the past.
Security measures need to be enhanced in the document preparation and processing centers. Doing operations without considering the risks put the various companies and their businesses in line.
In this regard, we have put together this information to help understand what a U.S. postal inspector is and the exams they need to do to become one.
Who is a postal inspector?
Like the police officers or the detectives, a U.S. postal inspector is a law enforcement arm of the United States postal services. These are law enforcement agents who are tasked with protecting the integrity of the postal services.
These agents work throughout the United States and worldwide to help prevent frauds and mail-related criminal activities.
Apart from protecting the integrity of the postal services, uniformed postal officers and postal inspectors also ensure the postal employees' safety.
Duties and responsibilities of postal inspectors.
Postal inspectors are fully authorized, law enforcers. They are allowed to carry firearms and are granted powers to make arrests. They are also tasked to inquire about mail frauds, mail theft, identity theft, money laundering, mail and mailbox destruction, mail obstruction, and counterfeit stamps.
In addition, they have an essential role in investigating circumstances such as child trafficking provided for them under the Comstock act. This act controls the distribution of indecent materials via mail.
As one of the primary statutes in fighting child pornography, the initiative is regarded as one of the leaders in the fight for child protection.
The United postal inspection services is also the leading department in the investigations of frauds done through digital means like websites and emails. They are also involved in the fight against the theft and misuse of properties and equipment such as secured computers, credit card scanners, and identification and financial information.
Basically, the U.S. postal inspector job needs the ability to carry out the following responsibilities:
- Make arrests.
- Prepare reports.
- Prepare and carry out search warrants.
- Give courtroom testimonies.
- Operate closely with state, federal, and local law enforcers.
- Conduct conclusive and extensive investigations.
Education, training, and certifications requirements for postal inspectors post.
Budding postal inspectors should be between the ages of 21 to 37 years old before the appointment; this is considered with the exception of federal employees and the retired military officers.
They must be U.S. citizens holding a valid driving license. They should also have a clear background without past charges of a felony or misconduct of domestic violence.
Education: aspiring candidates for this position must have at least a bachelor's degree from a recognized university by the federal government of the United States of America.
Training: successful candidates who are hired are required to attend a compulsory 12-weeks training at the postal inspectorate services career development center based at the Potomac, Maryland U.S.A.
The training covers investigation methods, physical and self-defense training, firearms training, practical exercises, and defensive tactics.
Certifications: applicants are taken through various assessments to gauge their ability to speak, read and write English. They must also display the highest power to understand written or oral directions and interpret verbal and nonverbal cues.
Additionally, they must demonstrate the ability to identify facts and professionally interact with other people when collecting information.
Certifications in computer operations and general systems and one-year work experience under this category are highly advantageous for this position.
Employment assessments: candidates who fit the minimum requirements will be subjected to different assessments like eye exams, physical and medical tests. Applicants will further be needed to agree to a thorough background check and face the polygraph test.
Required skills and competencies for U.S. postal inspectors.
Similar to the FBI, postal inspectors are recruited on one of the four major knowledge sets. Applicants who do not meet one of these special knowledge categories are less likely to be hired.
However, successful applicants who fall into one of the tracks will also be assessed on personal responsibility, communication skills, problem-solving skills, leadership, and decision-making skills.
- Language skills: Candidates who need to be eligible for this post must demonstrate an advanced competency level in foreign languages certified by the United States postal services.
Applicants are also required to pass an oral proficiency test conducted by the postal inspection agency contractor.
Additionally, they must have at least one year of full-time work experience with a similar firm or company for two years before the time of application.
- Postal experience.
Candidates required for this post should have been the U.S. postal services employee for at least two years and above. They should be either former contractors or interns within the postal services.
- Specialized non-postal experience.
Individuals looking for considerations under the category of specialized non-postal experience must display expertise in the areas considered critical by the United States postal services. They should also have at least one year of experience working with a similar company or firm.
The critical skills include but not restricted to the following:
- Military experience: former military personnel with a minimum of two years of service and experience in international terrorism and had an honorary discharge from the service are preferred for this position.
- Certifications in auditing and investigation skills: candidates possessing auditing certifications such as certified public accountants, certified management accountant, and certified internal auditors are also encouraged for the post.
Besides, candidates showing proof of investigative certifications in security, protection, and fraud examinations such as the CFE and the CPP are eligible for this post. However, they must have a minimum of one year of work experience in their respective certification fields.
- Specialized computer training and expertise: applicants possessing a degree in computer science, telecommunications, or computer information systems and related field with one year of job experience are also eligible for considerations for this post.
- Academic achievements: to boost competitiveness and have a diverse set of experts, candidates may be shortlisted for the recruitment process using a fourth track education achievement with or without work experience.
Those having academic qualifications and job experience should have at least one year of full-time work experience within the two years of application to be eligible for the position.
Candidates with either bachelor's or advanced degree in any field of study must also have a minimum of one year of job experience.
Applicants having academic achievements but do not have any work experience should have an accumulative grade point of 3.0 or more (4.0 on an average) or an equivalent. Those possessing an advanced degree in any area of specialization are eligible for this position.
Postal inspectors qualifying exams.
Before qualifying for any entry-level postal jobs, candidates must sit and pass an entrance examination.
These entrance exams are created to test applicants' ability to understand and memorize the postal operations procedures and their speed and accuracy with the numbers and names.
These exams are not always offered at regular intervals but are posted anytime a local post needs to hire new employees.
Being a law enforcement department of the federal state, U.S. postal inspectors are mandated with investigating breaches of postal policies, laws, and procedures at the state and national level.
The USPS inspection services have laid a rigorous milt-faceted interviewing process. Every interview process should be passed to proceed to the next assessment level.
After submitting your qualified application, you are expected to sit postal inspector entrance exams. The assessment checks your character traits and reasoning abilities necessary for proper job performance.
This exam is designed on a pass or fail basis; once you pass the exams and proceed to the next verification phase, which entails extensive and more prolonged personality and cognitive exams.
After passing the verification test, you are taken through a business writing test where you will need to work with the application system, background investigation questionnaire, and communication exchange.
The next step features a language assessments test, which involves polygraph management interviews, assessment testing centers, medical examination and exams testing, and the eventual employment offer.Though it may seem a complicated process, it is doable with proper and adequate preparation. This exam will give you the actual types of questions and exam structure to expect in the real USPIS test.
The more you practice on the various exam practice tests, the more you will improve your speed, accuracy, and comfort level during the exams.
Sections of U.S. post inspector exams.
There are three sub-contents in the post inspector assessment exams;
- Inductive reasoning.
This section involves finding the links and rules available in people, events, or set of objects. This area entails two questions having a time limit of 4 minutes.
You will further find informational paragraphs followed by a compulsory question and five alternatives. Choose a completely valid statement given from information found in the paragraph.
- Deductive reasoning.
Deductive reasoning is the application of standard rules to specific situations. This section has ten questions, which are to be completed within 22 minutes.
Most of the items in this category present guidelines or legal procedures to answer the questions. The test requires that conclusions be made based on the application of the rule and techniques.
- Life experience.
This category contains 60 questions that need to be complete within a time frame of 30 minutes. Items under this category involve personal work preferences, personal traits, opinions, and interpersonal relations.
By doing thorough practice with the last sample papers, you will get an insight into what to expect when you are going to sit for a behavioral test.
After passing all three tests, you will also be asked to take a writing test. For instance, if you are asked to do business writing, you should expect to be tested on sentence and paragraph structure, English usage, grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation.
The writing test is further divided into three parts:
- Writing section- in this section, you will be given 10-15 to show your ability to write memos, reports or letters, and sample questions.
- Audio section- under this section, you will be required to listen to different audio recordings, take notes, and answer the questions based on the recording.
- Multiple-choice- this section is primarily for assessing the level of English comprehension.
With a broad range of responsibilities and investigative duties, being a postal inspector is likely to present challenges and hurdles that one has to face. They must be willing to move and work in any location the service presents itself.
According to the U.S. Bureau of statistics, employments in the postal field is projected to decline by 13% by 2026, while general employment across all occupations is expected to grow by 7%.
U.S. postal inspector is a law enforcement agent working under the United States Postal inspectorate department. They are similar to other specialized government agents and has the responsibility of investigating allegations related to the U.S. postal systems and services.
U.S. postal inspectors are empowered and are allowed to carry guns. They can also do the following duties making arrests, writing reports, preparing and executing search warrants.
Getting a job as a postal inspector is intensely competitive. Application opportunities are only once in a while. Successful candidates are also taken through rigorous assessment tests and exams to measure their abilities, personalities, and general attributes needed for the job.
High education standards are also required in this field. For instance, applicants should possess at least a bachelors' degree from a recognized university.