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Not all individuals are given the chance to protect the country from terrorists and their weapons of mass destruction. This challenging and often dangerous task is reserved for Customs and Border Patrol agents of the Department of Homeland Security. But it is also a rewarding job—both at the practical and psychological levels.
The salary range of border patrol agents is quite competitive at around $38,000 to $63,000 annually. But aside from their pay, they also receive the benefits that are accorded to Federal employees. For starters, their future is taken care of as they are part of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) which includes three components. They can contribute to a Thrift Savings Plan which is similar to a 410k plan; Social Security; and FERS basic annuity. As a law enforcement employee, border patrol agents may voluntarily retire at any age after completing 25 years of service or at age 50 or older with 20 years of service. Your mandatory retirement age is 57 with 20 years of service. But you can work beyond this age until you meet the combination of age and service requirements to retire under law enforcement provisions.
Border patrol agents also enjoy Health Insurance Programs. They are covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program; Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP); Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS); and the Federal Long Term Care Insurance (FLTCIP). They also enjoy life insurance coverage. These include the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI); Basic Employee Death Benefit (BEDB) for FERS Employees; and the SAMBA Employee Benevolent Fund.
Agents also enjoy other benefits. If you or a family member gets sick, you are entitled to personal leave days to care for them. You may also use your leave days for vacation. In addition, border patrol agents also get ten paid holidays per year; paid training; transportation subsidy; and employee assistance program. If you choose to pursue further studies, tuition assistance may be possible. Repayment of your student loans may also be granted. To keep in shape, you also have access to the CBP’s fitness centers. Flexible work schedules and telework may also be arranged.
The psychological benefits are also equally rewarding. Being able to secure the country’s borders is no easy task but border patrol agents do it every day. Around a hundred border patrol agents have already lost their lives with thousands more wounded in their efforts to try to keep America’s borders safe. No doubt about it, you put your life and limb on the line every time you go on duty. But for the dedicated border patrol officers, they are working to prevent 9/11 from happening again and so they know that every effort is well worth it.
Yes, being a border patrol agent has its rewards. But the job also has its own set of dangers. If you feel that you are one of the special few who are willing to take on the challenge then you can start learning more about the Customs and Border Patrol and what it does on their website at http://www.cbp.gov.