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The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol sees to it that our nation is secured not only from the entry of illegal aliens seeking a better life in the United States but also from terrorists and their weapons that might seek to harm us. Border Patrol Agents, Marine Interdiction Agents, CBP Officers, Agriculture Specialists, and CBP Pilots or Air Interdiction Agents do their share in monitoring the air to prevent the entry of weapons of terror, illegal aliens, and illegal narcotics, just to name a few.
Border Patrol Agents, other specialists, and Marine Interdiction agents work on land and water to secure our country’s borders. However, the office of CBP Pilots is in the skies. Their space is their sophisticated fighter jets equipped with the latest technological advances to help them carry out their mission of patrolling the heavens for criminals on land more successfully.
If you want to be a CBP pilot, you should know what the pros and cons are so that you will get a full picture of what it’s like to be an Air Interdiction Agent. Let’s start with the benefits. CBP pilots are Federal workers, for starters, and as such, they receive a competitive pay and benefits package like life insurance, health insurance, generous retirement package, paid leaves, and holidays, among others. Entry-level pay for CBP pilots is also quite competitive at $70,000-plus annually, including law enforcement and other overrides. Pilot supervisors with tenure can earn up to $135,000 a year before they retire.
Another benefit that CBP pilots have is that they also fly the most sophisticated aircraft. The integrity of the aircraft is crucial to keeping a pilot safe and CBP Air Interdiction Agents have the advantage of flying the best planes. This also enables them to do their job quickly and more effectively.
The knowledge that you are part of an elite group of agents tasked with keeping America safe from terrorists and their weapons also gives you pride in what you do. This is another plus when you become a CBP pilot.
Like any other career, there are also drawbacks. Pilots often work long and unpredictable hours. You can be called anytime—even at night— to help in disaster relief or perform covert and overt operations. You must be ready to drop everything you are doing when you are called upon to fly by your supervisors. Aside from regular work hours, there is also time spent for the processing and paperwork after a mission.
Another drawback is, of course, the dangers faced in some missions by CBP pilots. These are real and CBP pilot-agents have already sacrificed their lives to help save others as they do their job. You need to be ready for anything if you want to become a CBP Air Interdiction Agent.