How to Get a Border Patrol Job in Alabama
The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), an agency that secures our borders and guards against the entry of terrorists to the United States, has three ports of entry in Alabama. These are located in Mobile, Birmingham, and Huntsville. Mobile is a saltwater service port, the only one in the state, which was opened in 1927 primarily to prevent the smuggling of human cargo through large ships and small boats from Cuba and the West Indies. Birmingham and Huntsville are ports of entry authorized to accept entries of merchandise to collect duties, and to enforce the various provisions of the customs and navigation laws. Alabama belongs to the Rio Grande Valley Sector together with Mississippi, Tennessee, and East Texas.
Alabama Border Patrol jobs include CBP Officers, Border Patrol Agents, Marine Interdiction Agents, Contract Specialists, and Intelligence Specialists. If you want to apply for these jobs, you must first see to it that you meet the basic requirements for these positions. The key requirements are: 1) You must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of the U.S. for the last three years; 2) You must possess a valid Alabama driver’s license; 3) You must be fluent in Spanish or be able to learn the Spanish language; and 4) You must be under age 40 unless you are a qualified Veterans’ Preference eligible candidate or have previous Federal law enforcement experience. You must also pass a thorough background investigation, medical examination, drug test, polygraph test, and two physical fitness tests before you can be hired.
Even if you meet the basic qualifications, you will be disqualified from being considered for the post if your background reveals past or present arrests; convictions (including misdemeanor domestic violence charges); dismissals from previous jobs; debts and financial issues; excessive use of alcohol; and use of illegal drugs, and/or the sale and distribution of illegal drugs. Border Patrol Agents are law enforcers and are required to carry firearms and as such their backgrounds must be free from criminal histories.
Alabama Border Patrol Agent applicants can qualify based on experience, education, or a combination of both. If you want to enter as a Border Patrol Trainee (the GS-5 level), a one year experience demonstrating your ability to make decisions and maintain composure in stressful and difficult situations is required. You must show that you can learn topics related to law enforcement through classroom training and/or hands-on training.
If you do not have this experience, you may still qualify if you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This means spending four academic years in college after you have earned your high school diploma. You can consider getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice or any related course in colleges in Alabama to increase your chances of getting hired. You may also combine work experience and education to meet the qualifying standards at the GS-5 level.
The application process starts when you apply for a vacancy listed in the official portal for Federal jobs, USAJOBS (https://www.usajobs.gov). All you need to do is type the keywords like “border patrol” or “border patrol agent” on the search box and Alabama on the location box. Be sure to read the entire vacancy announcement and see if you qualify before applying. You will need to open an account (free) with USAJOBS before you can submit your application online.
A mandatory requirement that will determine if you will proceed to the next stage of the hiring process is passing the entrance exam of the CBP position in Alabama that you are applying for. There are study guides available in the CBP website (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/) to help you study for the test. It’s important that you obtain a passing score; otherwise you will have to wait for one year before you can retake it.
After passing the test, your name will be placed in an inventory of qualified applicants. If you are selected, you will be emailed a tentative selection package which will further explain the requirements for the oral interview with a panel of Border Patrol Agents, medical examination, fitness test, drug test, background investigation, polygraph examination and the second physical fitness test, which all need to be satisfactorily completed before a firm offer of employment can be made.
If you pass this rigorous assessment process, you will then be required to undergo 58-day training at the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, NM. Here, you will be given instruction on integrated law, physical training, firearms instruction, and driving. If you are not fluent in the Spanish, you are also required to complete a 40-day Task-Based Language Training program. You must pass all courses of instruction if you want to become a full-fledged Border Patrol Agent in Alabama.
Still unsure if you want or qualify to be on Alabama Border Patrol? Then talk to a recruiter and have your questions answered. The phone number for the recruiter assigned in the Rio Grande Valley Sector where Alabama is a part is 1-800-863-9382. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.