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. That first year, Border Patrol started operations with 450 officers, and set to work regulating traffic across the country’s borders. Most of the patrol’s work was focused on stopping illegal immigration and alien smuggling.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and subsequent attacks, 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.
President Donald Trump has preached that he will make protecting the southern border of the United States on of his top priorities. Shortly after getting into office he announced the immediate construction of a wall and that the United States would hire 5,000 additional border patrol agents to help curb illegal immigration at the southwest border. This is fantastic news for those interested in getting a border patrol agent job.
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Details on How to Get a Border Patrol Agent Job
Personality Traits of Agents
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 Agent 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.
Fluency in Spanish or the aptitude to learn Spanish is necessary. Spanish language immersion is provided at the Academy for those who need it.
Here are the Basic Qualifications to be a Border Patrol Agent:
- You must be a United States citizen.
- You must possess a valid automobile driver’s license.
- You must take and pass the CBP Border Patrol entrance examination. The CBP Border Patrol entrance examination is a three-part test that covers logical reasoning skill; the Spanish language or, if you don’t speak Spanish, an artificial language test that predicts your ability to learn Spanish; and an assessment of job-related experiences and achievements.
- Your resume must completely and specifically describe your job duties that you want considered in the determination. All transcripts, grade-point calculations, and other documentation must be submitted to the CBP Minneapolis Hiring Center. Failure to provide this documentation will result in your ineligibility for the position.
- You must pass a urine drug test: tentative selectees for this position will be required to submit to a urine drug screen for illegal substances prior to appointment. This position is designated for testing for illegal drug use; after hiring, incumbents are subject to random testing. In addition to drug screening, candidates must meet specific medical and physical requirements.
- You must be younger than 37 at the time of selection. The limitation may be waived for applicants who are currently in Federal civilian law enforcement positions covered under the special retirement provisions of Public Law 100-238 or who have been in such positions in the past.
- You must appear before an oral interview panel and demonstrate that you possess the abilities and other characteristics important to Border Patrol Agent positions. Among these are interpersonal skills, judgment, and problem-solving abilities.
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Border Patrol Training
The CBP has established standardized training, The Office of Border Patrol’s Field Training Standard Operating Procedures, and has made many significant improvements to the training process in recent years.
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.