FBI Recruiting Agents &
Border Patrol Agents Needed by Homeland
Security's Customs and Border Agency
The Border Patrol has begun preparing its registry for the written exam. Many
vacancies must be filled.
Most jobs located in Southwestern U.S.--Texas, Arizona, California.
Applicants can pre-test themselves before registering for the exam.
The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency
which is responsible for securing U.S. borders from all threats, will be
accepting applications nationwide for CBP officer positions at air, land and sea
ports across the country. As a result of funding provided in the fiscal year
2014 budget, CBP will hire 2,000 additional officers by the end of fiscal year
2015 in order to enhance security, help reduce wait times and facilitate the
growing volumes of legitimate goods and travelers that are critical to the
health of our Nation’s economy.
The Customs and Border Protection Agency is especially seeking to hire Border
Patrol Agents. It is looking for candidates interested in preventing terrorists
and terrorist weapons from entering the United States; detecting and preventing
the smuggling and unlawful entry of undocumented aliens into the United States;
and apprehending those people found to be in violation of the immigration laws.
A Public Service
A past BPA Vacancy Announcement asks, “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 is calling. DHS..(works) to
prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws,
safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters.
The age limit for virtually all law enforcement positions in Federal service
Salary and Benefits
A major reason for the Agency’s recruitment difficulties is that other law
enforcement Agencies (Federal, State and local) are also seeking applicants from
the small pool of qualified candidates. To be competitive, BPA now starts its
Agents at $38,619 - $63,259 per year. This is the highest salary yet offered.
Agents qualify for two pension systems, the regular Federal system and the
Federal Law Enforcement system Both require 20 years of service. Retirees are
also eligible for Social Security benefits. Agents receive personal leave days
for vacation, illness and family care; a wide range of health insurance
programs, life insurance; long term care insurance; flexible spending accounts
for out-of-pocket medical expenses or the dependent care costs of a child or
parent; and a fully portable retirement program that includes a Thrift Savings
The environment in which Border Patrol Agents work is a particularly
corrosive one, because of drug and human trafficking. Frequent attempts are made
to bribe Agents. As a result the Agency’s hiring standards are very high. Among
them are a clean criminal record and a good credit rating. Personal references
and past employers will be interviewed.
Line-watch is one of the most important activities of a Border Patrol Agent.
This involves the detection, prevention, and apprehension of undocumented aliens
and smugglers of aliens at or near the land border by maintaining surveillance
from a covert position, following up leads, responding to electronic sensor
alarms, infrared scopes during night operations, low light level television
systems, aircraft sightings, and interpreting and following tracks, marks, and
other physical evidence.
Qualifications and Requirements
Border Patrol Agents positions start at GS-5/7. Candidates must meet all
pre-employment requirements--medical exam, fitness exam, drug screening,
background investigation and structured oral interview. One year of general
experience or a Bachelor’s degree in any major qualifies the candidate at GS-5.
Applicants must also meet the following requirements:
• be under age 37 unless you are a qualified Veterans’ Preference eligible
candidate or have previous Federal law enforcement experience
• be a U.S. citizen/U.S. resident
• be fluent in Spanish or be able to learn the Spanish language
• possess a valid state driver’s license
• pass a pre-employment fitness test-1 (pft1), medical examination, thorough
background investigation, pre-employment fitness test-2 (pft2), and a drug test
Qualifying experience is experience that has demonstrated the ability to do
all three of the following:
1) Take charge, make sound decisions, and maintain composure in stressful
2) Learn law enforcement regulations, methods and techniques through classroom
training and/or on-the-job instruction;
3) Gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination
of documents and records.
This experience may have been gained as an interviewer in the public or private
sector who deals with benefit requests, claims adjustment, or community action.
Other occupations providing general experience are building or prison guard,
institutional police officer or customer relations representative.
Candidates who have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime or domestic
violence are ineligible. BPA applicants must be physically able to perform
strenuous duties such as running long distances, climbing, jumping, etc.,
withstanding exposure to extreme weather conditions for extended periods; and
standing/stooping for long periods of time.
Specialized Experience Requirements
Specialized experience which qualifies a candidate at GS-7 is defined as;
That which demonstrated the ability to do all four of the following:
1) Make arrests and exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms;
2) Deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous,
tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters;
3) 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;
4) Develop and maintain contact with a network of informants.
This specialized experience may have been gained in occupations such as
inspection officer, correctional officer, rehabilitation for criminal offenders,
police officer, criminal investigator, or military police officer.
Superior Academic Achievement also qualifies the candidate at GS-7. In this case
the candidate must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited 4 year
college/university and: a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher out of a
Border Patrol Agents are required to speak and read Spanish, as well as
English. Applicants must successfully complete a language test. Candidates who
do not speak Spanish undergo an artificial language test (ALT) designed to test
their ability to learn Spanish. Language tests are administered on a pass/fail
Border Patrol Agent candidates are required to take and pass two
Pre-employment Fitness Tests prior to entry on duty.
Pre-Offer Fitness Battery of tests (3 – minutes between tests)
• Push-up Test – 20 push up in 60 seconds
• Sit-Up Test - 25 in 60 seconds
• Cardiovascular Endurance Test - 14” step- 30 steps in 5 minutes
Pre-Employment Fitness Test:
• a one and a half mile run within thirteen minutes,
• a two hundred twenty yard dash within forty six seconds,
• and a confidence (hazard) course within two and a half minutes.
How To Apply
The Hiring Process includes the following 5 steps.
Step 1 – Apply by Internet
Step 2 – Take the Written Test
Step 3 – Selection Process
Step 4 – Structured Interview
Step 5 – Pre-employment Process
For more information about the job and the hiring process, applicants may visit
or interested candidates
may view a
short video on-line
Apply By Internet
Applicants register for the exam online. During the registration applicants
are asked to respond to questions relating to their background and past
employment experience. Answers to these questions are used to determine, whether
the applicant meets the Border Patrol basic qualifications for Border Patrol
Agents. In this way candidates who are unqualified from the outset are spared
the need to take the written test.
If the internet applicant does meet the basic qualifications, he/she will be
sent the date, time, and place of the Border Patrol written exam in their local
area, plus sample test questions.
In addition to their ability to speak Spanish applicants are tested on
reasoning, aptitude and other factors intended to measure their likelihood for
success on the job. The Guide includes sample questions. A study guide for the
written test is available to
Applicants who score well on the Border Patrol Exam, who can speak Spanish,
and who have specialized experience are the most likely to be selected for the
final hurdle on the road to appointment to the Border Patrol Academy which is
the background check. Background checks can take up to 6 months. Upon successful
completion of the test and background check candidates are appointed to attend
the Border Patrol Academy. Apply by