How Hard is it to Apply for Border Patrol?

To Get Started Please Click Your State on the Map Below:

usa-mapNow that we’ve outlined the process of how to apply for border patrol, let’s consider another question that all prospective applicants want answered: Just how hard is it to apply for border patrol?

The truth of the matter is that it is difficult if you don’t prepare correctly! That is why it is important to know the process and have help with your application. Do well on the border patrol exam – so getting a border patrol exam registration package like the one here is definitely recommended! While it is possible to do all this yourself with extensive research and detailed study – it is much easier when you have a step by step course to follow. This speeds things up and helps you to avoid common mistakes which can keep you from getting the job.

The process includes getting your papers together, preparing your resume, uploading, and sending your application package through the USAJOBS portal. Having a step by step tutorial to follow really helps the process so that you don’t skip important steps or put things on your resume that will exclude you from the job.

Craft a winning resume and gather all the necessary documents that are required to support your application. You need to give yourself a few days to go through the process so that you know you have put your best foot forward with the Border Patrol.

The next step comes after you have already sent your application. The first goal that you have is to do well on the CBP written test. You will be tested on general knowledge, logical reasoning, and Spanish language skills.

If you do not yet know Spanish, you will be taking the “ALT” or the Alternative Language Test which gauges your ability to learn a foreign language. The study guides on the Border Patrol website will help you with studying for the ALT.

The key to doing well on the border patrol exam is practice! There are a few practice exams you can find online for free – so take advantage!  The few free practice tests will get you started but to properly prepare for the test you should do as many border patrol practice exams as possible. Going over the border patrol practice tests multiple times is advised as it will help familiarize you with the material and take away anxiety on test day. There are border patrol exam practice tests available for sale on this website. You can find them here!

The next step is when you actually get tentatively selected to become a border patrol agent candidate. There is a physical fitness test, oral board interview and background check.

The pre-employment fitness test is there to make sure you can meet the physical demands of the job. The oral board interview with three experienced border patrol agents is to determine that you can think on your feet when necessary. The background investigation is normal as you would guess for any type government security career. So you should be sure to provide only true information on your application. Do not make anything up!

When you get hired as a new recruit, you then begin the Border Patrol Academy. The Border Patrol Academy consists of academic courses, physical training programs, firearms and driving techniques. If you do not speak Spanish, then you will also attend the Spanish Task-Based Language Program. These are the final steps in becoming a border patrol agent. Breaking it down like this makes it seem like a lot but in reality thousands of agents have already completed these exact steps – so you can do it too.

So how hard is it to apply for border patrol? That answer is really up to you! The process takes a few steps but with the right guidance and some work on your part it is definitely achievable. Many people have come before you and succeeded. You just need to take it one step at a time.

Working for the Border Patrol can be very rewarding. You are making a difference. Also, the job prospects for this career are only getting better. So you have a job with a lot of security. Job security, good pay and a rewarding career make the Border Patrol a great place to work.

If you are ready to check your eligibility and get the process started then just click your state on the map above and good luck!

How can you apply for Border Patrol?

To Get Started Please Click Your State on the Map Below:

usa-mapNow that you are convinced that you should apply for border patrol, the next question that you are eager to ask is most likely this one: How can I apply for border patrol jobs? Well read on because we will tackle that in this post.

You will know if the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is hiring because the CBP website will tell you that there are open positions. As of this writing for instance, the CBP is accepting applications for entry level Border Patrol agents for the Southwest border. The full job announcement for any vacancies in the CBP is also posted in the USA Jobs ( website. The government hiring process and especially the USA Jobs website can be a bit confusing but don’t worry about that as there is an easier way. The border patrol registration package for sale on this site will walk you through the job search process and simplify everything. If you can follow a few simple steps then you will be able to apply. Even better, the border patrol registration package will show you how to find out about jobs that other candidates won’t even know about. So it’s a real advantage to use the registration guide as you get started applying for the U.S. Border Patrol.

The registration guide will show you how to search for specific positions like CBP Officer, Agriculture Specialist, Marine Interdiction Agent, CBP Pilot, Import Specialist and many others. You will be able to find out when and where those positions are being filled. You can even have alerts set up to send you an email when a job of interest is about to be announced.

The next step to apply for the border patrol is to read the entire CBP job announcement carefully. It gives an overview, the duties, qualifications and evaluations, benefits, and how to apply. This can be tricky for the normal applicant but with the border patrol registration package there are checklists for applying which make the process much easier.

The most common forms that will be required are your resume and transcript (if you are using education to qualify for the announcement). You will want to make sure that your resume and transcript are formatted for federal jobs – if you haven’t done this before then you can either do research online on how to create a federal resume or you can use the template supplied in the Border Patrol Registration Package found on this site.

If you are claiming special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP), you will be asked to include a separation notice; SF-50B; current (or a last) performance rating of record of at least fully successful or equivalent; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; or a Military Department of National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456. If you don’t know what any of this means then don’t worry about it at this time – when you go through the Border Patrol Registration Package it will tell you if you qualify for special priority selection. If you do, then there is a detailed and easy to follow section on how to fill out and submit the proper forms to apply.

For those who have already been tentatively selected and are claiming veterans’ preference, you will be asked to submit your DD-214 or Certificate of Release or Discharge as proof of your eligibility to claim these points. If you are claiming 10-point preference, you must include Standard Form 15 and the proof requested on the back of the Form together with your application. Again, this is covered in more detail in the Border Patrol Registration Package.

Applicants may also be required to include other forms in their application such as the OF-306 or “Declaration of Federal Employment” and the Border Patrol Agent Agreements.

Third, make sure that you have a USAJOBS account so that you can start the application process. Registration is free. Follow the instructions in the Border Patrol Registration Package carefully when you apply so that your application will be considered. Be sure to attach all required documents. If there is a pre-test questionnaire that must be answered, take the time to fill it in. This is all covered in your Registration Package.

Once you have successfully sent your application, you will be scheduled for a written exam. You also need to pass this (get a score of at least 70) so that you will get the chance to become tentatively selected for the job. While a passing score is 70, it is important to score much better on the exam. Your goal should be to score in the 90’s because the higher scores are called in first.

Your registration package has everything you need to get started including several complete practice exams. Taking your practice exams in advance gives you a real advantage in the process – so make sure to do those first.

Failure to pass the entrance exam means you will have to wait for another year before you can take the test again. So doing well on the exam the first try is critical. This is why the practice exams in your registration package are the latest most up to date border patrol practice tests for sale today.

If you are among those who will be tentatively selected for the job, you will undergo a formal hiring process. All newly-hired Border Patrol Agents will be sent to train at the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. Once you complete the Border Patrol Academy, you will be sent to your first duty-station.

Why should you apply for Border Patrol?

Working for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can be dangerous. After all, your job involves protecting the country from terrorists and preventing the entry of illegal aliens, drugs and narcotics, and even pests and other agricultural threats into the United States. You take part in covert and overt operations, interdict, and apprehend and all these could potentially pose a threat to your health and safety. There is definitely danger involved. So the question now is: Why should or would you apply for border patrol?

Believe it or not, there are still many reasons why you should apply for border patrol. In this post, we outline three reasons.

1. You should apply for border patrol because it is a stable well paying form of employment. As a federal employee, you receive all the federal benefits which include competitive pay, law enforcement availability pay for overtime work, and a comprehensive benefits package. The border patrol benefits package comprises health and life insurance, a generous retirement package, personal leave days, paid vacation, family care, and illness pay, paid training, ten paid holidays per year, transportation subsidy, and an employee assistance program. Other benefits like tuition assistance, fitness centers, and student loan repayment may also be available. To summarize, you should apply for border patrol because it gives you great pay, great benefits and a quality of life now that enables you to provide a better future for yourself and your family.

2. You should apply for border patrol because it gives you the chance to serve your country. Not all jobs are as noble. What makes law enforcement occupations like that of Border Patrol Agents, Air and Marine Interdiction Agents, and CBP Officers, among others, is that it showcases your patriotism on a daily basis. Not everyone is able to feel the difference they are making to their country like Border Patrol employees do. You will be making a difference. Serving and Protecting. Standing on the front lines for America. What could be a higher calling?

3. You should apply for border patrol because you love it. Not everyone is called to become a Border Patrol Agent, especially a frontline agent. The job is for someone who is called by heart to serve their country. However, if you know deep down that your calling is to protect your country by becoming a Border Patrol agent or specialist then you are in the right place. We salute you and good luck getting started with your new job at the Border Patrol.

U.S. Border Patrol Jobs: Who May Apply?

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency under the Department of Homeland Security, advertises all openings for U.S. Border Patrol Jobs in the USAJOBS ( website.U.S. Border Patrol Jobs: Who May Apply?

This is the official online portal for federal government jobs where you can create your profile, upload your resumes, and send your applications online. It gives you an overview of these positions, what the duties are, the qualifications needed and evaluation process, information on pay and benefits, and how to apply. Thus, all applicants for border patrol jobs need to read the announcement in its entirety. By the way, searching for job opportunities with the CBP can be done even without registering for a USAJOBS account. However, if you want to apply for these U.S. border patrol jobs through the system, you need to have your own account with the system first.

Registering is free!

Border Patrol Agents, CBP Officers, Agriculture Specialists, Air and Marine Interdiction Agents, and Import Specialists are the frontline positions with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There are also other U.S. Border Patrol Jobs in mission and operation support. In both job categories, the employees work towards a common goal: keeping our homeland safe from terrorists and terrorist weapons and ensuring that illegal aliens, smuggled goods and narcotics are prevented from entering our country.

The CBP has three “Areas of Consideration” for every announcement they post on the USAJOBS website. These areas are: 1) Open to the public (All Sources); 2) Restricted to current or former Federal employees (Merit Promotion); and 3) Current CBP employees only. In the USAJOBS announcement, this is found in the Overview section under the “Who May Apply” line.

Anyone can send their application if the announcement says that the position is open to the public/any/all sources for as long as they meet the basic qualifications and requirements. Key requirements for U.S. border patrol jobs include U.S. Citizenship, possession of a state driver’s license, be less than 40 years old at the time of appointment, and have no convictions for the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. There are also educational and/or experience requirements that must be met in order to apply. Veterans’ Preference points are given to preference eligible veterans applying under an All Sources announcement.

If the announcement is a Merit Promotion opportunity, this means that all permanent Federal employees in a competitive position or excepted service position under an interchange agreement or someone eligible for reinstatement may lodge their applications. All preference eligible veterans or any veteran who is honorably separated after 3 years or more of continuous service can apply and will receive the same consideration as civil service employees currently holding a competitive position or status employees.

Some of these Merit Promotion announcements are internal—that is, they are only available to current CBP employees. If this is the case, only those who are already employed with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection meeting the eligibility requirements can submit their application and be considered for the position.

U.S. Border Patrol Jobs:  Where are the Duty Locations?

If you are eligible to apply for U.S. Border Patrol Jobs, then the next logical question for many who want to apply for these CBP positions is: Where can I expect to work? Actually, where you will be assigned in depends on the needs of the various Border Patrol sectors. The kind of job you hold with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection will also play a role in your duty location.

Border Patrol Agents and other CBP employees are usually assigned in one of the four geographic locations along the U.S. Southwest border with Mexico. These are the land borders in California, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas, among others. There are U.S. Border Patrol Jobs in the different Border Patrol sectors around the country. The following are the Border Patrol Sectors and the stations where CBP employees, mostly the frontliners like Border Patrol Agents, work in:

Border Patrol Sectors and their Respective Stations

Big Bend Sector (Texas)

Stations: Alpine Station (APT), Amarillo Sub-Station (AMT), Big Bend Sub-Station (BBP), Fort Stockton Station (FTS), Lubbock Station (LBK), Marfa Station (MRS), Midland Station (MID), Pecos Station (PEC), Presidio Station (PRS), Sanderson Station (SNN), Sierra Blanca Station (SBT), Van Horn Station (VHT)

Blaine Sector (Washington)

Stations: Bellingham Station, Blaine Station, Port Angeles Station, Sumas Station

Buffalo Sector (New York)

Stations: Buffalo Station, Erie Station, Niagara Falls Station, Oswego Station, Rochester Station, Wellesley Island Station

Del Rio Sector (Texas)

Stations: Abilene Station, Brackettville Station, Carrizo Springs Station, Comstock Station, Del Rio Station, Eagle Pass Station, Rocksprings Station, San Angelo Station, Uvalde Station

Detroit Sector (Selfridge ANGB, Michigan)

Stations: Detroit Station, Gibraltar Station, Marysville Station, Sault Sainte Marie Station, Sandusky Bay Station

El Centro Sector (California)

Stations: Calexico Station, El Centro Station, Indio Station, Riverside Station

El Paso Sector (Texas)

Stations: Alamogordo Station, Albuquerque Station, Clint Station, Deming Station, El Paso Station, Fort Hancock Station, Las Cruces Station, Lordsburg Station, Santa Teresa Station, Truth or Consequences Station, Ysleta Station

Grand Forks Sector (North Dakota)

Stations: Bottineau Station, Duluth Station, Grand Forks Station, Grand Marais Station, International Falls Station, Pembina Station, Portal Station, Warroad Station

Havre Sector (Montana)

Stations: Billings Sub-Station, Havre Station, Malta Station, Plentywood Station , Scobey Station, Shelby Station, St. Mary Station, Sweetgrass Station,Twin Falls Sub-Station

Houlton Sector (Maine)

Stations: Calais Station, Fort Fairfield Station, Houlton Station, Jackman Station, Rangeley Station, Van Buren Station

Laredo Sector (Texas)

Stations: Cotulla Station, Dallas Station, Freer Station, Hebbronville Station, Laredo North Station, Laredo South Station, Laredo West Station, San Antonio Station, Zapata Station

Miami Sector (Florida)

Stations: Jacksonville Station, Marathon Station, Orlando Station, Dania Beach Station, Tampa Station, West Palm Beach Station

New Orleans Sector (Louisiana)

Stations: Baton Rouge Station, Gulfport Station, Lake Charles Station, Little Rock Station, Mobile Station, New Orleans Station

Ramey Sector (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico)

Station: Ramey Station, the only Border Patrol Station outside of the continental United States.

Rio Grande Valley Sector (Texas)

Stations: Brownsville Station, Corpus Christi Station, Falfurrias Station, Fort Brown Station, Harlingen Station, Kingsville Station, McAllen Station, Rio Grande City Station, Weslaco Station

San Diego Sector (California)

Stations: Boulevard Station, Brown Field Station, Campo Station, Chula Vista Station, El Cajon Station, Imperial Beach Station, Murrieta Station, San Clemente Station

Spokane Sector (Washington)

Stations: Bonners Ferry Station, Colville Station, Curlew Station, Eureka Station, Metaline Falls Station, Oroville Station, Whitefish Station, Sub-Stations (Pasco and Wenatchee)

Swanton Sector (Vermont)

Stations: Beecher Falls Station, Burke Station, Champlain Station, Massena Station, Newport Station, Ogdensburg Station, Richford Station, Swanton Station

Tucson Sector (Arizona)

Stations: Ajo Station, Casa Grande Station, Douglas Station, Naco Station, Nogales Station, Sonoita Station, Tucson Station, Willcox Station

Yuma Sector (Arizona)

Stations: Blythe Station, Wellton Station, Yuma Station

Ports of Entry

CBP Officers, meanwhile, man the 329 ports of entry in the United States that are responsible for daily port-specific operations. They are responsible for enforcing the import and export laws and regulations of the U.S. federal government and conducting immigration policy and programs. Agriculture Specialists also work in these ports of entry to inspect agricultural cargo for the presence of pests or diseases that could otherwise damage America’s crops, livestock, pets, and the environment. Some Agriculture Specialists who are also canine handlers inspect cargo for the presence of bioweapons and potential threats of agro-terrorism.

The following are the various ports of entry in the different states in the country and its territories and protectorates:


Ports of Entry: Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile (Including Theodore)-(Service Port)


Ports of Entry: Alcan, Anchorage-(Service Port), Dalton Cache, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Nome, Skagway, Sitka, Valdez, Wrangell


Ports of Entry: Douglas, Lukeville, Naco, Nogales-(Service Port), Phoenix-(Service Port), San Luis, Sasabe, Scottsdale Airport-(User Fee Airport), Tucson, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport-(User Fee Airport)


Ports of Entry: Little Rock-North Little Rock, Rogers Airport-(User Fee Airport)


Ports of Entry: Andrade – Class A, Calexico East – Class A-(Service Port), Calexico West – Class A, Eureka, Fresno (2803/2882), Port Hueneme, Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport-(Service Port), Los Angeles International Airport-Cargo Operations-(Service Port), Monterey, Ontario Airport, Otay Mesa-(Service Port), Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose International Airport, San Francisco-(Service Port), San Francisco International Airport, San Ysidro – Class A, Tecate – Class A-(Service Port), Victorville – S. California Logistics Airport


Ports of Entry: Centennial Airport-(User Fee Airport), Denver-(Service Port), Eagle County Regional Airport-(User Fee Airport), Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport-(User Fee Airport)

Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

Ports of Entry: Rota, Saipan, Tinian


Ports of Entry: Bridgeport, Hartford-(Service Port), New Haven, New London


Port of Entry: Wilmington

District of Columbia

Port of Entry: Port of Washington-Dulles


Ports of Entry: Cape Canaveral, Daytona Beach-(User Fee Airport), Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale, Fernandina Beach, Fort Myers, Area Port of Jacksonville-(Service Port), Key West, Leesburg-(User Fee Airport), Melbourne-(User Fee Airport), Miami Seaport, Miami International Airport-(Service Port), Orlando Executive Airport-(User Fee Airport), Naples-(User Fee Airport), Orlando International Airport-(Service Port), Panama City, Pensacola, Port Manatee, Sanford, Sarasota-(User Fee Airport), St. Augustine-(User Fee Airport), St. Petersburg, Area Port of Tampa-(Service Port),   West Palm Beach


Ports of Entry: Atlanta-(Service Port), Brunswick, Savannah-(Service Port)


Ports of Entry: Hagatna


Ports of Entry: Hilo, Honolulu-(Service Port), Honolulu International Airport, Kahului, Kona, Nawiliwili-Port Allen


Ports of Entry: Boise, Eastport, Porthill


Ports of Entry: Chicago-(Service Port), Davenport, IA-Moline and Rock Island, Decatur-(User Fee Airport), Mascoutah/ MidAmerica St. Louis-(User Fee Airport), Peoria, Rockford, Waukegan-(User Fee Airport), West Chicago-(User Fee Airport), Wheeling-(User Fee Airport)


Ports of Entry: Fort Wayne-(User Fee Airport),  Indianapolis, Owensboro, KY-Evansville, IN


Port of Entry: Des Moines


Port of Entry: Wichita


Ports of Entry: Lexington-(User Fee Airport), Louisville


Ports of Entry: Baton Rouge, Gramercy, Lake Charles, Morgan City, New Orleans-(Service Port), Shreveport-Bossier City


Ports of Entry: Bangor, Bar Harbor, Bath, Belfast, Bridgewater, Calais, Eastport, Fort Fairfield, Fort Kent, Houlton, Jackman, Jonesport (Calais), Limestone, Madawaska, Portland-(Service Port),Rockland (Belfast), Van Buren, Vanceboro


Port of Entry: Baltimore-(Service Port)


Ports of Entry: Boston-(Service Port), Fall River (New Bedford), Gloucester, Lawrence (Gloucester), Logan Airport, New Bedford, Plymouth (New Bedford), Salem (Gloucester), Springfield, Worcester


Ports of Entry: Battle Creek, Saginaw/Bay City/Flint, Detroit-(Service Port), Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Grand Rapids,Capital Region International Airport Lansing-(User Fee Airport), Port Huron, Sault Sainte Marie


Ports of Entry: Baudette, Duluth, MN and Superior, WI, Grand Portage, International Falls, Lancaster, Minneapolis-(Service Port), Pinecreek, Rochester-(User Fee Airport),  Roseau, Warroad


Ports of Entry: Gulfport, Pascagoula, Vicksburg


Ports of Entry: Kansas City, Spirit of St. Louis Airport, Springfield, St. Louis-(Service Port)


Ports of Entry: Bozeman Yellowstone User Fee Airport, Butte Airport, Del Bonita, Area Port Great Falls, MT-(Service Port), Kalispell Airport, Morgan, Opheim, Piegan, Raymond, Roosville, Scobey, Sweetgrass, Turner, Whitlash, Wild Horse, Willow Creek


Port of Entry: Omaha


Ports of Entry: Las Vegas, Reno

New Hampshire

Ports of Entry: Manchester (User Fee Airport), Portsmouth

New Jersey

Ports of Entry: Morristown Airport, New York/Newark-(Service Port), Perth Amboy

New Mexico

Ports of Entry: Albuquerque-(User Fee Airport), Columbus, Santa Teresa

New York

Ports of Entry: Albany, Alexandria Bay, Binghamton-(User Fee Airport), Buffalo-(Service Port), Champlain-(Service Port), John F. Kennedy International Airport-(Service Port), Massena, Ogdensburg, Rochester, Syracuse, Trout River

North Carolina

Ports of Entry: Charlotte-(Service Port), Raleigh-Durham, Morehead City – Beaufort, Wilmington, Winston-Salem

North Dakota

Ports of Entry: Ambrose, Antler, Carbury, Dunseith, Fortuna, Grand Forks – Mark Andrews International Airport, Hannah, Hansboro, Fargo – Hector International Airport, Maida, Minot – Minot International Airport, Neche, Noonan, Northgate, Pembina – (Area Port)-(Service Port), Portal, Sarles, Sherwood, Saint John, Walhalla, Westhope, Williston – Sloulin Field Int’l. Airport


Ports of Entry: Ashtabula/Conneaut, Cincinnati, OH-Lawrenceburg, IN, Cleveland-(Service Port), Columbus, Dayton, Toledo-Sandusky


Ports of Entry: Oklahoma City, Tulsa


Ports of Entry: Astoria, Coos Bay, Hillsboro-(User Fee Airport), Newport, Portland-(Service Port)


Ports of Entry:   Erie, Harrisburg, Philadelphia-(Service Port), Pittsburgh

Puerto Rico

Ports of Entry: Aguadilla, Fajardo, Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, Mayaguez, Ponce, San Juan (Area Port)-(Service Port)

Rhode Island

Ports of Entry: Newport, Providence-(Service Port)

South Carolina

Ports of Entry: Charleston-(Service Port), Columbia, Georgetown-(Service Port), Greenville-Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach International Airport-(User Fee Airport)

South Dakota

Port of Entry: Sioux Falls Regional Airport-Joe Foss Field


Ports of Entry: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis-(Service Port), Nashville, Tri-Cities


Ports of Entry: Addison Airport-(User Fee Airport), Alliance Airport-(User Fee Airport), Amarillo, Austin, Brownsville/Los Indios, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Ft. Worth-(Service Port), Del Rio/Amistad Dam, Eagle Pass, El Paso-(Service Port), Fabens, Freeport, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas, Houston Airport-(Service Port), Houston Sea Port, Laredo-(Service Port), Lubbock, Midland-(User Fee Airport), McKinney-(User Fee Airport), Port Arthur-Beaumont, Port Lavaca-Point Comfort, Presidio, Progreso/Donna, Rio Grande City/Los Ebanos, Roma/Falcon Dam, Sabine, San Antonio, Sugarland-(User Fee Airport), Valley International Airport-(User Fee Airport)


Port of Entry: Salt Lake City


Ports of Entry: Beecher Falls, Burlington International Airport, Derby Line, Highgate Springs, Norton, Richford, St. Albans-(Service Port)

Virgin Islands

Ports of Entry: Charlotte Amalie (Area Port of St. Thomas)-(Service Port), Cruz Bay (St. John), Saint Croix


Ports of Entry: Front Royal, New River Valley Airport, Norfolk-(Service Port), Richmond – Petersburg


Ports of Entry: Blaine-(Service Port), Longview, Oroville, Seattle-(Service Port), Sumas, Tacoma, Washington

West Virginia

Port of Entry: Charleston


Ports of Entry: Green Bay, Milwaukee-(Service Port), Racine


Port of Entry: Natrona County Airport

U.S. Border Patrol Jobs: The Importance of the Spanish Language

If you want to work for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, knowing how to speak, read, and write in Spanish is a must. This is not a requirement at the time of application, of course, but you will be taught it at the Border Patrol Academy and must pass the Spanish language test before you can be sent to your first duty station.

You may ask: Why is there such a prime importance on Spanish? Well, the majority of the illegal immigrants who try to come to the United States speak nothing but Spanish. Learning this language will allow you to interact with them and explain to them what is going to happen afterwards. Moreover, many U.S. Border Patrol Jobs require CBP workers to actually speak the language because some of them will be assigned in places along the border that are more Mexican than American. Speaking in Spanish is the only way to be able to interact with the locals. Knowing how to speak the language will also allow you to gather essential information for various border-related crimes such as human smuggling and drug trafficking.

Border Patrol Agents also work together with other law enforcement agencies and Mexican authorities to share information and intelligence to prevent crimes in communities along the border from escalating. Speaking Spanish helps facilitate better understanding on the steps that have to be taken to solve the problems.

If you do not currently speak Spanish, don’t despair! Your potential to learn the language will be tested through an Artificial Language Test in the Border Patrol Entrance Examination. Once you do get selected as a new recruit for the Border Patrol, be sure to take your 8-week Spanish Language lessons seriously. You will only be sent to your duty station once you have passed all the requirements—Spanish language testing included—of the Border Patrol Academy.

Field Canine Coordinator

For Field Canine Coordinators of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), their animal partners are more than their best friends. Their dogs allow them to do their jobs successfully. Trained to detect concealed humans and the odors of controlled substances like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, hashish, and ecstasy, these canines are integral to the success of the mission of the CBP.CBP Field Canine Coordinator

Field Canine Coordinators work with their canine partners to support other CBP personnel during interdiction operations. They manage interdiction strategies at ports of entry and border crossings. Together with their partners, coordinators conduct investigations into narcotics, weapons, or human smuggling operations and detect and locate explosives, chemical or biological weapons. With their keen and highly-trained animal partners, coordinators search and rescue individuals who are lost, injured or incapacitated due to accident or natural disaster; pursue and apprehend aliens who try enter the U.S. illegally; and track and capture fugitives or criminals of foreign origin.

If you love animals and think you have what it takes to be a Field Canine Coordinator, you can definitely apply when the CBP calls for applications. To be considered, you must be a U.S. citizen; possess a valid state driver’s license; and pass the various tests during the entire application process. These include drug test, background security check, and medical examination. You should also have a bachelor’s degree at the least or have three years’ work experience related to this position. A combination of course work and work experience are also qualifying.  To increase your chances of getting hired, having a degree in fields like criminal justice; police administration; police science; law and evidence; police investigation; criminology; and law enforcement will be advantageous. Those with post graduate education will be hired at the higher pay scale and have more chances for promotion. If you are aiming for supervisory and instructor positions, some training with canine units may be required.

When you have submitted all your requirements and the CBP hiring committee thinks you are qualified, you are going to be asked to take a writing test which will evaluate your organization, reasoning, and written communication skills. Upon passing this test, you will be called for two interviews. The first interview is meant to assess your reasoning skills, emotional maturity, and character. This will be conducted by a panel of three Field Canine Coordinators. The second interview will be done by a U.S. CBP manager. You may also be asked to write another sample for further evaluation.

The next stage is the background investigation. A history of arrests, convictions, drug use, domestic violence, or extreme financial debts could render you unfit to become a Field Canine Coordinator. If you pass this, you will be asked to take a medical exam and drug test.

If you pass these tests, you will be given an offer of employment subject to your passing a training program for Field Canine Coordinators at the National Canine Facility in El Paso, Texas. This is a long and rigorous six-week training program where you will be paired with your canine partner who will then stay with you for as long as you remain as a Coordinator—unless, of course, something happens to either of you while you are both discharging your duties. After the training, you will then be sent to your posts but must complete 16 hours of maintenance training every month.

CBP Contract Specialist

CBP Contract Specialist
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency cannot effectively carry out its job of keeping the country safe from terrorists and their weapons of mass destruction if they don’t have the necessary furniture, telecommunications and surveillance equipment, and ammunition. Ensuring that these needs are met and the service and maintenance efforts are continuously delivered is a job that falls in the hands of CBP’s Contract Specialists.

Essentially, Contract Specialists solicit, negotiate, administer, close out, and terminate purchase orders and contracts for the various things that the CBP needs in its operations—stuff like the ones we mentioned above. They develop, implement and review contracting plans for pre and post-awards, price/cost analysis and different kinds of procurement activities. Contract Specialists also give technical advice, guidance, and legal interpretation in the various areas of contracting.

If you want to work as a Contract Specialist for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, you need to hold a bachelor’s degree (major in any field is acceptable). Without a bachelor’s degree, you need to have at least 24 semester hours in any combination of fields like accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management. With your academic background, you should know how to develop procurement plans, quotations requests, solicitations, contract awards, and management of contracts. You should also know how to perform cost analysis, do a comparative analysis of proposals, perform negotiation strategies and cost negotiation, and have knowledge of federal contract laws and regulations.

For those who wish to enter at a higher pay grade, such as at the GS-9 level, one year specialized experience on reviewing requisitions to determine that proper specifications or purchase descriptions are included in solicitation documents; evaluating bids or proposals for compliance with specifications or purchase descriptions and applicable clauses; and coordinating contracting activities with other Government agencies having interrelated requirements is qualifying. For more advanced experience in contracting and developmental assignments, qualifying at the GS-11 is possible. At the higher pay grades, a postgraduate degree (e.g. masters) is necessary.

Having related professional certifications can also enhance your chances of getting hired. One of these is the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) which enables you to specialize in one of the following fields: Business, Cost Estimations, and Financial Management; Auditing; Contracting; Facilities Engineering; Information Technology; Industrial/Contract Property Management; Life Cycle Logistics; Program Management; Purchasing; Production, Quality and Manufacturing; Program Systems Engineering; Science and Technology Manager; Systems Engineering; and Test and Evaluation. The DAWIA can be availed of if you qualify at the Basic or Entry, Intermediate or Journeyman, or Advanced or Senior Levels.

Another certification which you can obtain by completing a course in the Department of Defense Acquisition is the Federal Acquisition Certification-Contracting (FAC-C). To maintain this certification, you need to attend ongoing training and undergo a review every two years.

The CBP posts vacancies for Contract Specialists in the USAJOBS ( website. Applications are also accepted through this online portal. You need to create an account to be able to save your resume and fill out the online application form. Be sure to read the entire announcement, especially the how to apply section of the announcement.

UAV Pilot


Unmanned aerial vehicle pilots or UAV pilots are among the CBP’s elite. They are a rare breed of highly-trained professionals operating the CBP’s Predator-B Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The UAS, of which the CBP has fleet of 8, is one of the new technologies utilized by the CBP to prevent the unauthorized entry of terrorists and undocumented aliens. Two pilots are required to operate the Predator-B and which are based in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and North Dakota. The CBP seeks to add more to their existing fleet.

There are many reasons why UAV pilots are highly-valued by the CBP. First is the fact that these pilots help maximize the use of limited national resources. Now, the CBP does not have to put up surveillance systems in the long border stretches it secures. Rather, they minimize cost through the use of the Predator-B while delivering the same level or even exceeding their present performance. These aircrafts can also go on clandestine missions and get a closer look at terrorist or criminal bases to monitor their activities.

One of the perks of being a pilot of a UAV is that you get to do your job without having to put yourself or your co-pilot in danger. You even get to fly your plane to locations abroad and gather critical intelligence but you rest in the knowledge that the chances of getting physically hurt or even taken as a prisoner is nonexistent.

As a UAV Pilot, you get to monitor large areas of land, sea and airspace; detect and track unauthorized vehicles, ships, aircraft or personnel until law enforcement personnel are able to interdict; and recognize threats to national security and public safety, and activate defense protocols that neutralize them. You get the chance to operate sophisticated surveillance and detection equipment while coordinating with CBP and other federal personnel during an interdiction operation. You do not only get intelligence about terrorist or criminal activity localized to the U.S. borders, you also liaise with foreign governments, police agencies and personnel about activity occurring on their territory. You also monitor the situational disposition of hostile individuals as CBP personnel move to engage.

So what does it take to become a UAV Pilot with the CBP? The basic qualifications include U.S. Citizenship; passing an intensive security check and polygraph test as well as ongoing drug tests; and meeting the age qualifications. Applicants must be under 40 years of age at the time of appointment (although this may be waived for military veterans and other experienced professionals).

All applicants must also have a valid FAA Commercial Pilots license and meet the flight time requirements. Thus, you should have at least 1,500 hours of flight time (but this may be reduced to half in some cases); have at least 250 hours as a Pilot-in-Command; have 75 hours of night time flying experience; and have 100 hours of flight time in the last year. Of course, applicants must also possess a UAV Predator B (or Predator A) piloting license to be considered.

Since the Predator-B and similar UAVs are expensive equipment, the CBP would prefer applicants who have obtained post-secondary education (bachelor’s or higher) as this would mean that they have the intellectual capacity to handle such equipment. Ideally, applying for a UAS: Special Airworthiness Certificates – Experimental Category (SAC-EC) for civil aircraft, or Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA) with the Federal Aviation Administration is the best way to gain piloting experience with unmanned aerial vehicles. If you do not have this academic credentials but have acquired extensive experience flying UAVs in the military or other law enforcement agencies then that you can also use that to qualify.  In the event that you pass the paper application process, you will still need to be interviewed by the CBP hiring personnel. The final step before you can be a full-fledged UAV Pilot is to show that you can operate a UAV Predator B at the CBP training facility located in Oklahoma City.

You can only apply to become a UAV Pilot if the CBP announces a job opening. This will be posted in the official portal for federal government jobs USAJOBS. You need to create an account so you can save your resume and apply online. If you would like to check your eligibility then click the map above.

Intelligence Research Specialist

Intelligence Research Specialist

Do you have strong communication, critical thinking, and research skills? Do you have a degree in Foreign Affairs/International Relations (with an interest in Security Studies)? Does gathering critical intelligence to help combat drug trafficking, terrorism threats, weapons of mass destruction, human smuggling, and trade violations pump up your adrenalin and give you a sense of purpose? If you answer yes to all these questions, then you could be part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as an Intelligence Research Specialist.

Intelligence Research Specialists are not as visible as the Border Patrol Agents or CBP Officers but their work behind the scenes help is equally valuable. As their job title suggests, they provide that much needed intelligence to support the mission and operations of the CBP. Intelligence Research Specialists are usually assigned in the CBP Commissioners Situation Room and Intelligence Watch.

Duties for incumbents in this position include conducting time sensitive research, analysis, production and dissemination of all-source intelligence and law enforcement information; producing and disseminating time sensitive intelligence alerts, reports and other intelligence related bulletins/products in support of senior CBP leadership and field-level operational components; and preparing and conducting all-source intelligence briefings, as requested. Intelligence Research Specialists routinely interact with the CBPs federal law enforcement and intelligence community partners. They also maintain complete situational awareness during fast-paced crisis situations that impact national security.

When the CBP posts an opening for Intelligence Research Specialists, you have to meet the basic qualifications in order to apply. You have to be U.S. Citizens and possess the three-year residency requirement before applying; be able to pass a background investigation; and be registered with the Selective Service if you are male. You should possess a valid state drivers license and pass the drug test, polygraph test, and be able to qualify for a Top Secret clearance. Aside from these basic qualifications, you should have the willingness to travel and work extended and even late hours.

The background investigation will cover your activities in the past 10 years. If your history is marked with arrests, convictions, dismissals from previous jobs, outstanding debts or financial issues, alcohol use, and/or involvement with illegal drugs, your chance of getting employed with the CBP could be jeopardized. You could get disqualified.

If you are entering at the GS-7 level, you should have a bachelors degree or one year of professional experience. A degree in Foreign Affairs, International Relations or Security Studies will give you an edge. The work experience can include conducting investigations or research for production of reports of findings and management of classified documents including storage, control and destruction. A combination of post-secondary education and professional experience can be qualifying.

Should you wish to enter at the GS-9 level, you should have at least a Masters degree, J.D. or LL.B. At least one year of experience performing duties equivalent to a GS-7 intelligence specialist including assisting senior analysts collect information and analyze it for trends, patterns, estimates and profiles; reviewing data and research in order to generate intelligence products; developing intelligence collection programs; and producing recommendations based on intelligence. A combination of professional and academic experience can also qualify.

To enter as an Intelligence Research Specialist of the CBP at the GS-11 level, you should possess at least a PhD or 3 years of doctoral studies or at least one year of experience equivalent to a GS-9 intelligence officer. This means that your duties should include processing intelligence to produce recommendations; producing intelligence reports for government officials; identification of terrorists using intelligence; and working with other intelligence agencies and personnel with regards to classified information. A combination of professional and academic experience is also qualifying.

All newly-hired Intelligence Research Specialists will have to undergo a Mandatory Intelligence Specialist Training to become permanent employees of the CBP.

Import Specialist

Import Specialist

As the world continues to become more interconnected and trade with other countries has burgeoned, complying with all the legal requirements have become more complex. Every year billions of dollars worth of commercially imported goods enter the country and they have to be classified and appraised. In addition, laws that protect public health and safety, intellectual property rights, fair trade practices, and the like will also have to be enforced before these goods can enter the country and this requires legal and technical knowledge. Smuggling, commercial fraud, and counterfeiting are real challenges faced by Federal government authorities that designating people who can prevent these activities is a must. For the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the government agency in-charge of keeping our borders secure from terrorists, illegal aliens, and unlawful trade, this responsibility falls on the hands of Import Specialists.

Import Specialists are part of the CBPs Operational and Mission Support Team. They are tasked mainly with protecting our commerce. Their job includes the following activities: 1) Mastering a particular commodity of import/export goods (e.g. textiles, industrial machinery or pharmaceuticals); 2) Joining a team of other Import Specialists in a particular field who track and inspect goods going in and out of the country at a land border crossing, seaport, or airport; 3) Inspecting cargo manifests and documents in an office and also making physical inspections in cargo holds and terminal facilities; 4) Maintaining your discipline by constantly updating your knowledge, both in your commodity area and in changing U.S. import/export laws and regulations; 5) Working side by side with law enforcement officers and legal professionals; and 6) Having the authority to issue penalties and fines, to seize prohibited or suspect cargo and to participate in negotiations and legal prosecution.

If this sounds like the job you would be interested in, you need to meet the basic requirements to qualify when the CBP announces that they are hiring. Import Specialist applicants must be U.S. Citizens who meet the residency requirement.  They must also possess a bachelors degree in a job-related area. Your education could be in the field of economics, business, or accounting. Without this kind of education, three years of general work experience reflecting your ability to meet and deal with people and apply a body of facts will help you qualify. It is also possible to qualify based on a combination of education and experience. Applicants must also work equally well in independent situations and as part of a team and be able to successfully complete a thorough background investigation and drug test.

In the event that you make it through the rigorous selection process, you will undergo seven weeks of specialized training to enable you to develop an expert knowledge of import and export trends, commodities, and industries, as well as complex international trade agreements.

So who succeeds in this job? First, those who can use their intellect, discipline, organizational abilities, and analytical skills to perform the work required will be highly-valued. Knowing how to interact well with others is also a must. You will be interacting with international shippers and freight forwarders, domestic and foreign manufacturers, ship captains, corporate lawyers, small business owners and law enforcement personnel from CBP and other U.S. Federal agencies. Most of the time, you will be dealing with very senior level officers so impeccable interpersonal skills are a must.

Border Patrol Agent

Border Patrol Agent

When we talk about the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the image that immediately comes to mind is that of the Border Patrol Agent. Assigned to keep our international land borders secure, Border Patrol Agents are the front-liners in the quest of the Department of Homeland Security to keep our country safe from terrorists and their weapons. They are also tasked with detecting and preventing the illegal entry of aliens and smuggled goods into the United States while facilitating the flow of legal trade and travel.

Their job is not an easy one. It can even be dangerous at times. They perform line-watch, farm and ranch checks, traffic checks, traffic observation, city patrol, and transportation checks. They also conduct administrative duties, intelligence gathering, and anti-smuggling activities. To detect, prevent, and apprehend undocumented aliens and smugglers of aliens, they maintain surveillance from covert positions and follow up leads. They also respond to electronic sensor alarms and infrared scopes during night operations, low light level television systems, aircraft sightings, as well as interpret and follow tracks, marks, and other physical evidence. It is also strenuous as some agents who are assigned in remote places that are inaccessible to all-terrain vehicles and even horses will have to do their patrols on foot.

If this sounds like the job for you, then you can qualify to become an agent. In fact, the CBP is currently hiring Border Patrol Agents from February 20, 2013 to May 20, 2013. To qualify, you need to be a U.S. Citizen and have resided in the U.S. or its territories for the last 3 years, possess a valid state drivers license at the time of appointment, and must be referred for selection before you reach your 40th birthday. You also need to pass physical fitness tests, background investigation, polygraph test, medical assessment, and drug test before you can be hired.

At the entry level (GS-5), you need to hold a bachelors degree if you are using your education to qualify. A one year work experience which demonstrates your ability to stay calm and composed in stressful situations, learn law enforcement regulations, and gather information will also be qualifying. A combination of both experience and education is also acceptable.

If you want to qualify at a higher grade level (GS-7), you need to have one full year of graduate education in law or in fields related to law enforcement (e.g. criminal justice, police science, etc.) if using education to qualify. For applicants using experience to qualify, the one year work experience must be in the field of law enforcement which fully demonstrates your 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.

All applicants must take the Border Patrol Entrance Examination which will cover general abilities, logical reasoning, and language ability testing. Since Spanish is mandatory for this position, applicants who do not yet speak the language will take an artificial language test which will predict their ability to learn a foreign language. If you already know Spanish and are confident of your ability to speak, read, and write in it, you will take a Spanish proficiency test which will test your Spanish language ability. You need to score at least 70 to be placed on the Border Patrol Agent inventory.

The CBP has also developed fitness tests to screen those who have the physical capability to meet the demands of Border Patrol work. The first pre-employment fitness test is taken early in the selection process. You will undergo a push up test, a sit-up test, and a 5 minute step test or a 1.5 mile run. About a month before you are set to go on duty, you will take a second pre-employment fitness exam which will consist of a 220-yard run, a sit-up test, a push-up test, and a 1.5 mile run.

Another crucial part of selection is passing the oral hiring board (OHB) interview. You will be fired questions by an OHB panel to assess your decision-making skills, emotional maturity, interpersonal skills, and sensitivity to the needs of others. You must get a pass to stay in the game.

The background investigation will reveal if you have been convicted of a felony or the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Having either of these will automatically disqualify you from being considered as a Border Patrol Agent. Dismissals from previous jobs, debts and other financial issues, excessive use of alcohol, and involvement with drugs could potentially make you unsuitable for this position as well.

If you pass all the requirements, you will be given an offer of employment subject to your attending and passing the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. You will undergo about 11 weeks of instruction on immigration and nationality laws, law enforcement and Border Patrol-specific operations, drivers training, physical techniques, firearms, and other courses.  Your Spanish language abilities will also be tested. If you score below an established benchmark, you will be assigned to an additional 8-week Spanish class at the Border Patrol Academy which will extend their stay to 19 weeks.

When you complete Border Patrol Academy training, you will also start the Field Training Program (FTP) with an experienced agent who will teach the ins-and-outs of the job. The Post Academy Training Program (PATP) at your duty station is composed of web-based training and instructor-led training. You must pass seven unit exams and ten web-based scenario exams in the PATP.