Border Patrol Jobs
The United States Border Patrol is the uniformed part CBP, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to their website, CBP was founded in 1924.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 changed that mission. Now, Border Patrol's focus has shifted toward prevention of terrorism through working to stop the flow of terrorists and terrorist weapons into the country. Border Patrol works to secure the 6,000 miles of international border with Canada and Mexico, and the 2,000 miles of coastal waters around Florida and Puerto Rico.
CBP Public Affairs Officer Tara Dunlop said that the agency's ideal recruit is someone "who prefers working outdoors and can successfully complete an oral interview, medical and fitness exams, drug testing, and background investigation."
Dunlop also said that military veterans are strong candidates because "we offer an opportunity to protect America, in America. In fact, veterans make up more than 20 percent of the Border Patrol."
While prior law enforcement experience is helpful, Dunlop said, it is not required because the Academy will provide agents with the knowledge and skills they will need to do the job.
Border Patrol Qualifications
The CBP trains students from a variety of backgrounds, and Dunlop said the agency welcomes those with college degrees, and those with a military background have proven to be highly successful.
Border Patrol Training
According to Public Affairs officer Tara Dunlop, the CBP standardized its training procedures in August 2007 by issuing the Office of Border Patrol's Field Training Standard Operating Procedures, and has made many significant improvements to the training process.
Agents attend a rigorous training academy, currently located in Artesia, New Mexico, where they learn immigration, nationality and criminal law, and receive defensive techniques training, firearms training, and task-based Spanish language immersion training.
Dunlop said many candidates are surprised by the in-depth nature of the training program, and that they receive full pay and benefits during training.
In 2006, President George W. Bush announced his commitment to add 6,000 additional Border Patrol agents by the end of 2008. To do this, the Border Patrol ramped up its traditional recruiting efforts with additional creative ways to increase the number of qualified agents.
With respect to Border Patrol staffing, Dunlop said the agency has seen a dramatic increase since the President took office in fiscal year 2002. At the end of fiscal year 2001, CBP started with approximately 9,800 Border Patrol agents, Dunlop said. Today, their numbers are more than 16,690. "Our goal for the end of 2008 is 18,000 Border Patrol agents on duty ('boots on the ground') and we are on track to meet that goal," Dunlop said.