What Does it Take to Become a Border Patrol Agent?
Are you interested in the prevention of unauthorized drugs, illegal immigration, or terrorists and terrorists weapons from entering the United States? Do you have superior problem-solving skills and integrity? If so, border patrol may be the career path for you. The United States Border Patrol is the mobile enforcement arm of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection within the Department of Homeland Security. The Border Patrol is specifically responsible for patrolling the 6,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian borders and the 2,000 miles of the coastal waters surrounding the Florida Peninsula and the Island of Puerto Rico.
Qualifications: In order to become a Border Patrol Agent you must be under the age of 40 and be a U.S. citizen. You need to possess a valid state driver’s license and pass a thorough background check, written exam, medical examination, fitness test, and drug test. Finally, you must speak fluent Spanish or be able to learn the Spanish language. If you have past arrests, convictions, or dismissals from job, you may not be eligible for application. Border Patrol Agents have to be willing to work overtime and shift work under strenuous conditions, and be proficient in the use of firearms. Visit the Customs Border Patrol Web site CBP.gov for a full description of the qualifications needed to apply for a border patrol position.
Along with these requirements, there are critical competency skills that are needed to complete the daily tasks such as decision making, problem solving, negotiation, and more. To see a complete list of the critical competencies and the skills associated with them, visit TSA.gov.
Duties: Line watch is one the most important duties of a Border Patrol Agent. Line watch is the detection, prevention, and apprehension of terrorists, undocumented aliens, and smugglers of aliens. Additionally, due to the increase in drug smuggling operations, Border Patrol Agents are the primary drug-interdicting agents along the land borders. This is done by surveillance, traffic checks, following up leads, and aircraft sightings.
Salary and benefits: New employees will be hired into one of three levels; GL-5, GL-7, or GL-9, with your level dependent on education and experience.View the current salary range for each level. There are also many opportunities for overtime compensation ranging from 10% to 25% additional pay along with night deferential, Sunday, and holiday pay. Furthermore, new employees receive a uniform allowance of $1500 and an excellent Federal Government benefits package that includes life insurance, health insurance, liberal retirement benefits, and a thrift savings plan (401-K).
To apply to be CPB Border Patrol Agent: Visit the CBP.gov website. When Border Patrol is actively recruiting for new agents, information will be posted on the website homepage. If you are interested in border patrol as a career option, you can read these FAQs for more information.