As a truck driver with a CDL, you know that you're in high demand, and you're always keeping an eye on the job market for your next trucking job. What equals a better job is a matter of personal opinion. Some truck drivers are looking for more money while others want a reliable amount of work or the right benefits for them and their spouses.
One of the companies that may have caught your eye is the United States Postal Service (USPS). Before distributing mail in a local area, it must come from the far corners of the United States and beyond. The mail travels around the United States in the big shipping trucks, which are driven by CDL holders. The USPS offers a decent pay rate, benefits, and schedules. Here's a look at what being a USPS driver has to offer and what it takes to become a driver for USPS.
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How Much Do USPS Drivers Make?
Payscale.com reports the average truck driver salary at U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is $56,365 for late-career professionals. Starting salaries would be lower, and also depend on your location, experience, etc. While the pay maybe a little lower than some other trucking jobs, USPS offers other benefits, such as dedicated routes and available work that other trucking companies don't necessarily offer.
As an independent government agency, USPS has some solid benefits to offer truck drivers. You get healthcare along with Flexible Spending Accounts that can help you pay for co-payments and deductibles that your health insurance doesn't cover.
You can also use the funds in your Flexible Spending Accounts to help cover the costs of daycare for your dependent children. Since you're on the road a lot, this extra money can really help your family at home.
The USPS celebrates 10 federal holidays per year, including:
- New Year's Day
- Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Washington's Birthday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
If you're asked to work on these holidays and drive on them, you'll receive extra pay. You also receive vacation time and sick time, so you don't worry about losing money if you fall ill or decide to spend some quality time with your family.
What Are the Responsibilities and Duties of a USPS Driver?
As your considering USPS careers, you might wonder what the company expects from you on a daily basis. USPS verify clearly defines the duties and responsibilities that they expect their drivers to fulfill. Here's a look at some of them:
- Drive your truck while conforming to the time table set up by the company. You also need to travel the route assigned to you by dispatch. Sometimes through a telephone, two-way radio, or through designated supervisors, you might be asked to make unscheduled changes, which you'll carry out step-by-step to ensure you're conforming to USPS's wishes.
- You pick up and deliver mail in bulk quantities from various postal installations, mailing concerns, railroad mail facilities, and airports. You might be required to pick up from multiple locations and deliver to a single location, or you might pick up from a single location and deliver to multiple locations. You'll get a detailed itinerary for each trip with directions and pick up and delivery addresses.
- One of your duties is to inspect the truck and make sure it's in good working condition before leaving on a trip. You need to repeat the inspection after reaching your final destination. During and after each trip, it's up to you to report any accidents, mechanical failures, or mechanical defects. Depending on the severity of the issue, you might need to stop and notify someone of the mechanical problems before driving any further.
- In cases of emergency, you might be called on to make decisions about the route that you're following on a trip. You might also need to make decisions about whether to accept a load of mail or leave it for another trip. These emergency decisions could be caused by accidents on the road or natural disasters causing road closures.
- You might be required to create daily trip reports. In an emergency situation, you might need to make small mechanical adjustments to your truck to keep it running properly. From time-to-time, you might be asked to load or unload the mail. Your supervisor might ask you to do other things.
How Hard Is It to Get a Job at USPS?
USPS employees many drivers, and there always seem to be positions open. The company hires by state, so you would begin by looking for an open position in your home state or search for jobs near your residence zip code. You need to meet certain qualifications to successfully secure a position.
You must be at least 18 years old with two years of general driving experience under your belt. You must have a least one year of experience driving with a seven-ton truck or buses of 16 passengers or more. Also, you need six months of experience driving a tractor-trailer truck. While you can have up to three moving violations and two preventable accidents, you can't have any driving under the influence convictions on your record.
These are just minimum requirements to be considered for the job. Your actual experience needs to reflect your ability to perform the duties of the job. You can apply online if working for USPS sounds like a good fit for you, we can help you apply and score the job.