Border Patrol Agent
Customs and Border Protection

CBP - BPA Arizona, United States; CBP - BPA South Texas, United States; CBP - BPA West Texas / New Mexico, United States
No longer open

Permanent - Full Time

  • Posting Dates
    Open: April 8, 2016 ()
    Close: May 7, 2016 ()
  • Position Properties
    Border Patrol Enforcement Series
    Internal Job Number: BPA 16-6
  • Organization Details
    Customs and Border Protection
    Department Of Homeland Security
  • Salary Information
    $39,858.00 - $50,600.00 Per Year
    48% below average

    Pay Band: GL-1896-05/09
  • Who Can Apply?
    United States Citizens
Position Summary

Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS Components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS. Discover a challenging and rewarding career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sole organization responsible for securing the nation's borders. CBP employees protect our Nation's borders from terrorism, human and drug smuggling, illegal migration, and agricultural pests while simultaneously facilitating the flow of legitimate travel and trade. The border patrol agent position starts at a salary of $39,858 (GL-5 grade level), and offers promotion potential in 4 years to the GS-12 grade level with a salary of $71,012 (upon successful performance). Apply to this exciting opportunity to strengthen the Department's and our partners' ability to perform their homeland security functions by doing the following: Patrol international land borders and coastal waters Detect and prevent the illegal entry and smuggling of aliens into the United States Detect and prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering into the United States Prevent the illegal trafficking of people, narcotics and contraband into the United States Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Twitter @CustomsBorder The video: Border Patrol - Protecting the Homeland emphasizes the importance of Border Patrol's frontline role in helping CBP accomplish its mission. For more information on CBP's mission, activities, and careers please visit our website at . This is a polygraph-designated position. You must take and pass a polygraph examination to be eligible for the position. This announcement is open to VRA-eligible applicants. Please see the Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans for more information. CBP encourages women, minorities, and veterans to apply for an exciting career with Customs and Border Protection. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has granted CBP an exception to Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 332, Section 332.407 which authorizes the targeted recruitment of female agents to meet mission critical needs along the southwest border of the United States.


The qualification requirements listed below must be met by the closing date of this announcement.


You qualify for the GL-5 grade level (starting salary $39,858) if you possess one of the following:

a.      One year of general work experience that demonstrates the ability to take charge, make sound decisions, and maintain composure in stressful situations; learn law enforcement regulations, methods and techniques through classroom training and/or on-the-job instruction; and gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents and records; OR

b.      A bachelor's degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university; OR

c.      A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and general work experience.  This will be calculated using your resume and unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.


You qualify for the GL-7 grade level (starting salary $45,371) if you possess one of the following:

a.      One year of specialized work experience that demonstrates the ability to make arrests and exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms; deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters; analyze information rapidly and make prompt decisions or take prompt and appropriate law enforcement action in light of applicable laws, court decisions and sound law enforcement matters; and develop and maintain contact with a network of informants; OR

b.      A bachelor's degree with superior academic achievement, which is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership. Go to Superior Academic Achievement to see if you qualify under this provision; OR

c.      One full year of graduate level education in a field of study related to law enforcement (e.g., criminal justice, homeland security, justice studies, law enforcement, courts and judicial systems, forensic technology, forensic psychology, corrections and rehabilitation) at an accredited or pre-accredited college or university; OR

d.      A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized work experience.  This will be calculated using your resume and unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.


You qualify for the GL-9 grade level (starting salary $50,600) if you possess the following:

One year of specialized work experience in law enforcement that demonstrates the ability to develop cases and conduct interviews or interrogations, apprehensions and arrests in order to further the process or case development; prepare cases and appear as a professional witness in court; exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms and conduct training, qualification exercises, or courses in the proper care and use of firearms; deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous and tactful manner in their detention, control or interrogation, and work to promote effective community outreach programs and public relations; analyze and disseminate intelligence information and data rapidly; and apply a practical knowledge of the laws, concepts, operational practices and law enforcement methods and techniques in order to independently perform duties typically encountered in law enforcement; develop and maintain contact with a network of informants, social and political organizations, state and local enforcement agencies, and private citizens, to ensure continuity of enforcement work and to carry out enforcement responsibilities; use a variety of law enforcement databases and information retrieval systems, such as TECS, NCIC, and NEXUS; and prepare reports and write other documents that deal with the collection, protection, and recording of evidence; and the presentation of testimony; and retain informational materials concerning illegal activities and practices encountered during daily activities.


If basing qualifications on education then a bachelor's degree or graduate's degree or higher must be attained within 9-months after the closing date of the announcement.


National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience) Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Experience as a CBP Explorer may be qualifying if your resume provides sufficient information to credit your experience. To receive full credit for your experience, please be sure to describe your duties, roles and responsibilities in detail.


Firearm Proficiency: Firearm proficiency is required for Border Patrol Agents and is part of the training provided.

Current Federal Employees: Current federal employees who apply to this announcement will be required to serve a probationary period in accordance with 5 CFR 315 and may be required to accept a change to lower grade which may reduce their current salary based on Federal pay regulations. Note: If you are a current GS-12 step 1, your salary may be reduced to a GL-5 step 10, which equates to an approximate $21,460 salary reduction (based on locality). Re-promotion is not guaranteed. Timeframes and grade level re-promotion is at the discretion of the agency and may be subject to a probationary period.

Probationary Period: You must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of your initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment. 

Formal Training: You will be detailed to the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico for approximately 11 weeks of intensive instruction in immigration and nationality laws, law enforcement and Border Patrol-specific operations, drivers training, physical techniques, firearms, and other courses. You will also be tested on your language abilities. If you score below an established benchmark, you will attend an additional 8-week Spanish language class at the border patrol academy, which will extend your stay to 19 weeks.   

Uniform: This position requires you to wear an officially-approved uniform while in a duty status.

Shift Work:  This position requires regular and recurring shift work. You must be willing and available to work rotating shifts. You may also be rotated between assignments and duty locations.



Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • No

Being a border patrol agent makes you a valuable member of the federal Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) profession. Typical assignments include:

? Detecting, preventing, and apprehending undocumented aliens and smugglers of aliens at or near the land borders by maintaining surveillance from covert positions
? Responding to electronic sensor alarms
? Interpreting and following tracks, marks and other physical evidence
? Using infrared scopes during night operations
? Responding to aircraft sights and other anti-smuggling activities
? Performing farm and ranch checks, traffic checks, city patrols, and transportation checks


Review our benefits

DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select ?Employee Benefits."


Polygraph Examination: The BPA position is a polygraph-required position. You must take a polygraph exam and have favorable results in order to continue in the pre-employment process. Please see Polygraph Examination. A previous cleared polygraph examination administered by another federal agency may potentially be used in lieu of a CBP polygraph examination, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) as a condition of placement into this position. This may include but is not limited to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) name and fingerprint check, review of financial issues, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs. Please see Background Investigation.


Age Requirement: You must be referred for consideration before reaching your 37th birthday in accordance with Public Law 93-350 and 100-238. The age restriction does not apply if you are a veterans' preference eligible. If you are serving or have served in a federal civilian law enforcement position covered by Title 5 U.S.C. 8331(20) or Title 5 U.S.C. 8401(17) you may have sufficient service to meet the requirement. There are no other exceptions to Public Law 93-350 and 100-238.

Residency Requirement: If you are not a current CBP employee you must meet one or more of the following primary residency criteria for the last three years prior to applying to this announcement up through entering on duty:
1.  Resided (lived) in the United States or its protectorate or territories (excluding short trips abroad, such as vacations); or
2.  Worked for the United States government as an employee overseas in a federal or military capacity; or
3.  Been a dependent of a US federal or military employee serving overseas.

Exceptions may be granted to the above requirement if you can provide complete state-side coverage information required to make a waiver determination.

Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: The Border Patrol Agent position is a weapons-carrying position. Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition. Therefore, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you are not qualified for this position.

Drug Testing: You must complete a drug test as a condition of employment for this position. Once employed, Border Patrol Agents are subject to random and unannounced drug testing.

Medical Examination: You must undergo and successfully pass the medical screening process.


Physical Fitness Screening: You may be required to successfully complete a physical fitness test. Please see the Pre-Employment Fitness Test-1 Physical Readiness Program for additional information. This a 6-week program designed to assist you in achieving a level of physical fitness that will help you successfully pass CBP fitness tests. 

Interview Process: You will be required to pass an oral hiring board (OHB) interview.

Driver's License: You must possess a valid driver's license.

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