Many people are interested in working for the postal service because of the decent pay and the good benefits. But how decent is a USPS salary? That’s not so easy to answer as there are a lot of factors to take into account when you want to calculate what you might be making as a postal worker.
Things to take into account when calculating your USPS salary
Here are a few things you need to take into account when trying to calculate your USPS pay rate:
- are you a casual or a fully employed worker? Casual employees do not receive benefits and their salary is different as well.
- are you a bargaining unit or a non-bargaining unit worker? If you are a bargaining worker, it’s the union who negotiates your pay and pay systems on behalf of you. That means that there are different pay scale and pay scale systems within the postal service.
- will you do overtime, work night shifts or work Sundays? There’s extra pay for all of those.
- when were you hired? You’re probably here because you want a job at the postal service, not because you have one already, but for current postal workers this date is important as the pay scale system for some positions has been changed and become effective only for workers hired after a certain date.
The USPS pay scale: USPS pay grades and USPS pay steps
If you’ve answered these questions and you know what your position will be, you still don’t necessarily know where you’ll fall on the USPS pay scale. You see, all postal positions are linked to a grade in the USPS payscale and each of those postal pay grades is divided into different steps. When you get promoted, you move up a step within your grade. Once need to complete all the USPS steps within your current post office grade level before you can move up to the next grade. You can only get promoted after you’ve spent a minimum amount of weeks within your current step. How many weeks that is, is also shown in the post office salary scale.
Here’s an example of a USPS salary table:
The above is the USPSMail Handler pay scale. In mpe pay grade 4, a Mail Handler would start with an annual pay of $32,290 (benefits and all aside) in step BB. After 52 weeks he/she could move up to step AA and make $33,698. After another 52 weeks, he/she could make promotion again and so on.
So if you’re wondering how to move up in the post office, it mostly just comes down to doing a good job and staying there.
Resources for figuring out your postal service pay grade
If you want to calculate your own USPS pay grade, you can find a list of all postal pay scales on the website of the APWU (American Postal Workers Union). Here you can find the exact USPS salary table for the job you’re interested in.
Another interesting website to look at is PayScale.com. Here you can check the wage for a specific function.