Salary of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Employees

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The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency follow the Federal Government General Schedule Pay Scale. It has 15 pay levels, starting at a GS5 level and continuing upward! So what do these jobs pay anyway?

If you want to seek the highest possible pay when you enter the CBP, there are ways to prepare yourself. For Border Patrol Agent positions, for example, a bachelor’s degree is necessary to qualify at the GS-5 level. However, higher education like a master’s degree, doctorate, JD or LLB can increase your initial pay grade to two to four levels!

Professional experience can also increase your chances of getting higher pay, as well. If you’ve had at least a couple of years performing duties similar to that done in a particular pay grade, you’ll have a chance to be eligible to enter at the succeeding level. Military veterans may also be eligible for a higher pay rating when they enter the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Check out the 2012 salary range for the different General Schedule Grades:

General Schedule Grade

Salary Range


$27,431- $35,657


$30,577- $39,748


$33,979- $44,176


$37,631- $48,917


$41,563- $54,028


$45,771- $59,505


$50,287- $65,371


$60,274- $78,355


$71,674- $93,175


$84,697- $110,104


$99,628- $129,517

Take note that the table reflects just the basic salaries. Border Patrol workers also receive cost of living adjustments and Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP). With LEAP, employees get 25 percent of their base salary as bonus because they do long hours and undertake dangerous duties.

As you can see, not only are Border Patrol Agent’s careers rewarding, they can pay very well!