When you are debating on becoming a postal worker, you will likely have questions about what your workdays will look like. It is common to also wonder how many breaks you will receive throughout each shift. Since you will be consistently driving or walking to deliver mail to your route, it is normal to question if you’ll get to take breaks throughout the day. This is especially true if your area experiences harsh weather. We have the answer to how many breaks you’ll get as a postal worker, along with all of the details.
Postal workers do get breaks. The US Postal Service follows all state laws. Most states require that employees get at least a 30-minute lunch and two 10-minute breaks for an eight-hour shift. If you work more than 8 hours per day, you may receive additional breaks. Although most breaks are 10 minutes, there is a chance yours may be longer depending on the specific US Postal Service location you work for.
How Many Breaks Do Postal Workers Get?
In most states, postal workers get two ten-minute breaks and one lunch during each of their shifts that are approximately eight hours long. The specific length of the breaks may depend on your exact locations. Some locations may allow for fifteen-minute breaks, but some may keep break times to a minimum of ten minutes each.
The number of breaks may also depend on the work that you do for the US Postal Service. If you are delivering mail, you will be more likely to get the two ten-minute breaks and not any longer. This is due to the schedule being very strict when ensuring that the delivery route is completed by a certain time every day.
However, if you are a clerk that works inside of the US Postal Service buildings, you may get longer breaks, especially if the lines are not long during the times that you are taking your breaks. You may also want to note that you most likely will not be able to take breaks during the busy hours for your location. Most US Postal Service locations will keep breaks to a bare minimum during lunchtime and after 5 PM when the lines will be longer.
Another important factor about the breaks is your two ten-minute breaks should be on the clock. This means that you will not have to clock out for the breaks and will still be paid during this time. Then your 30-minute lunch will not be paid. You will need to clock out for your full lunch to avoid breaking any rules.
Your two ten-minute breaks do not necessarily include any breaks you need to take to go to the restroom. Most locations will not give you any trouble with taking an adequate amount of restroom breaks throughout the day. No matter what you are doing for the US Postal Service, it’s important to stay hydrated!
If there is any reason or circumstance that may result in you needing more than the standard amount of breaks, this is not a reason to stop you from working for the US Postal Service! Exceptions can always be made. If you are in the interviewing process, we recommend reaching out to the person in charge of hiring to see if they can work with you on providing an extra break or two throughout your shifts.
Where Do Postal Workers Have Lunch?
Since postal workers that work in delivery spend most of their shifts in their mail truck, it is common to wonder where postal workers take their lunches! Postal workers can take their break in their trucks, stop at a place near their route, or may even have their lunch in the office on occasion. This widely depends on the day and depends on the location that you work for.
If you work over a six-hour shift, it is required by law in most states that every employee gets at least a 30-minute lunch. This does not change when you work for the US Postal Service! Many postal workers will eat their lunch in their mail truck during an authorized stop throughout their delivery route. This can often be the easiest way to take time for your lunch without getting too far off your route.
The majority of the locations for the US Postal Service will have a limit on how far you can go from your route when going to lunch. For example: For many, you can only travel up to one mile outside of your route if you are going anywhere for your lunch. This is to save time throughout the day. In most scenarios, you will need to be back from your route by a certain time every evening. If you are taking a large amount of time driving to your lunch destination and back to your route, this can cause you to be later than management would like at night.
Since every location can vary on where postal workers take their lunches and how long of lunch you are allowed to, we recommend asking the hiring manager these types of questions when you are interviewing to work for the US Postal Service. They will be able to provide more clarification on how their specific location works for the position you are applying for.
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Do Postal Workers Get Paid Time Off?
Along with breaks during each shift, you may also be wondering if you will get any paid time off when you work for the US Postal Service. This is actually a large benefit of working as a postal worker! The US Postal Service offers a very generous amount of paid time off to all of their employees.
Typically, you will receive around 13 days paid off each year for the first 3 years that you work for the US Postal Service. As you gain more experience and stay with the organization for longer, your amount of paid time off will increase. For example, you will typically get around 20 days of paid time off every year once you’ve worked for them for 4 years or longer. Once you reach 15 years with the US Postal Service, you’ll receive 26 days off each year.
One great thing about your paid time off is this does not include holidays that you will also get off. There are standard holidays when the US Postal Service does not deliver mail, which is similar to the banking holidays. This is largely due to the US Postal Service being an organization that is employed by the government.
When it comes to your paid time off, you do have to get your specific days off approved by your supervisor. To ensure that deliveries are still done efficiently, each location can only allow a certain amount of employees of each day. Therefore, we recommend requesting the specific days off that you want as far in advance as you can. This will help you ensure that you get the days off that you’d like.
Working for the US Postal Service as a postal worker can be a very rewarding career. There are a large number of benefits that come with the position. With adequate break times and paid time off throughout the year, it can be a great place to work. There is also advancement opportunity and more benefits that come once you work for the organization for a longer length of time.
Do postal workers get paid competitively?
Yes, most postal workers do get a competitive salary. This is true for all positions within the US Postal Service. The specific amount that you make as a postal worker does depend on the area you live in, what job title you have, and how long you have worked for the US Postal Service. Your pay will steadily increase over time.
Starting pay for the entry-level positions is typically around $35,000 or higher. This is the lowest amount you’ll start currently for the US Postal Service. Some positions can go up to as high as $85,000 per year. If you have a higher education or a large amount of experience in your job field, your salary can increase as well.
How do I qualify to work for the US Postal Service?
The qualifications needed to work for the US Postal Service largely depends on the specific job title that you are trying to obtain. For entry-level positions like a clerk in the lobby or a delivery driver, you will likely not need a large list of qualifications. You will need to be 18 years old, a resident of the US, and have a high school diploma.
If you are applying to be a delivery driver, you will also need a valid driver’s license and will also need to have a clean driving record. For more advanced jobs within the US Postal Service, you may also need a college degree and more experience in the area that you’re going into.
What positions are available when you apply for the US Postal Service?
The US Postal Service has a large number of positions available. When you think of working for a post office, you likely first think of working as a delivery driver. However, there are other positions! You can work as a clerk in the lobby, helping people send packages.
There are also management roles, financial positions, and administrative positions. The specific positions available will likely depend on your location and the size of the building that you are in. If it’s a very large post office, it will likely have more positions.
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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Hi! I’m Shawn Chun and I’m so grateful that you’re here.
Civil servants are some of the hardest working, most generous people I know. I have been passionate about all types of civil service career paths for years now and enjoy sharing everything I continue to learn about them.
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