Customs and Border Patrol Agent Jobs
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for securing the United States borders. This includes preventing terrorists and weapons from entering the U.S., preventing smuggling, stopping the entry of illegal immigrants, and catching those people who do try to illegally enter the United States.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a CBP Agent
Entry-level CBP agents start their careers working on the southwestern border of the U.S. Agents may patrol the border, ensuring its security by monitoring for any illegal activity, apprehending smugglers, and checking for broken barriers, among other duties. CBP agents frequently patrol on foot in rural areas but may also patrol in cars, ATVs or other vehicles. Agents must keep meticulous records of any out-of-the-ordinary or illegal activities they discover during the day so, as with any law enforcement job, paperwork is also an essential part of any CBP agent’s job.
General Requirements and Training
Applicants interested in CBP agent jobs must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered: be a legal U.S. resident for at least three years; under age 40; carry a valid driver’s license; have sufficient acceptable experience demonstrating an ability to take charge and make decisions under stress or hold a four-year Bachelor’s Degree. A polygraph test, physical fitness test, medical exam, and drug test. Spanish language skills are also an asset.
Successful applicants are required to complete a 19-week paid training course at the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. CBP agent training covers topics such as immigration and nationality laws, physical training, driving, marksmanship and Spanish language training.
CBP agents must be available to move on short notice for temporary assignments and for permanent reassignment. Applicants should also be aware that all border patrol agents begin work along the Southwest U.S. border upon completing training.
Salary, Benefits and Opportunities for Advancement
Depending on education and experience, entry-level CBP officers begin with the government pay scale level of GL-5 (averaging approximately $37,630 base pay annually), GL-7 ($46,609), or GL-9 ($57,015) based on 2018 Federal Government pay rates.
A uniform allowance and overtime pay are also provided, in addition to paid training. Federal Government benefits for CBP agents include life and health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid vacation and sick leave.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection offers excellent opportunities for advancement thanks to the growth of the organization since U.S. terrorism concerns spiked after the 9/11 attacks. Qualified agents who prove themselves on the job may advance to GS-12 supervisory positions, receiving increasing salary, responsibilities and leadership.
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Also, see job openings with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
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