How to Get a Border Patrol Job in California
If there’s a state that is in need of Border Patrol Agents and Air and Marine Interdiction Agents, it has to be California. There are various reasons for this. First, it has the largest population among all U.S. states. Second, it has an 840-mile Pacific Ocean and a 140.4-mile land border that it shares with Mexico. These features necessitate the deployment of Border Patrol Officers to ensure that terrorists, terrorist weapons, undocumented aliens, and smuggled items do not gain entry to the United States via the Golden State.
There are currently 20 ports of entry in California. These are located in 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); and Victorville – S. California Logistics Airport. Taken together these entry points provide numerous openings for those who wish to become Border Patrol Agents.
In fact, the CBP has California Border Patrol jobs available in California as of this writing. Based on their USAJOBS posting, they are accepting applications until May 20, 2013. If you want to become an agent, you have to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. The whole process can be arduous and lengthy and can really test your patience. But if you make it, you take pride in knowing that you are part of an elite team that does its share in preserving our homeland.
Do you meet the basic requirements? To apply, you need to have U.S. citizenship; hold a valid California driver’s license; and meet the educational and/or experience requirements (more in this in bit). You also need to be appointed as a Border Patrol Agent before you turn 40 years old. Furthermore, you should have a clean criminal record. Having a conviction for a misdemeanor crime for domestic violence and/or felonies will disqualify you since you are required to carry a firearm while on duty. You can’t do that if you have a tainted criminal record. You should also have been a resident in the U.S. or its protectorate territories for the past three years before your application.
As for the educational and/experience requirements, you need to have a bachelor’s degree (one in criminal justice or related to law enforcement gives you an edge) in order to qualify at the GS-5 grade level or the entry-level. Without a bachelor’s degree, you may substitute with one year experience which gives you the ability to take charge, make sound decisions, and maintain composure in stressful situations. The experience should also allow you to learn law enforcement regulations through classroom training and hands-on instruction on the job. The job should have also allowed you to gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents. A combination of education and experience may also be qualifying.
As soon as you begin your application through the USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov) portal, you will need to pass a Pre-Test and another crucial written test—the U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Examination. You need to pass this; otherwise, you have to wait for one year before you can retake. Failure to pass will mean an end to your dream of becoming a Border Patrol Agent in California, at least for this year. You can always try again after the waiting period has passed.
If you pass, your name will be included in the Border Patrol Agent inventory and will be tentatively selected for this position as soon as openings become available. No guarantees are made that all who pass the test will be given an offer.
You do need to comply with the other requirements—pass physical fitness tests; the background investigation; the drug test; the polygraph exam; and oral interview, among others—to be given an offer of employment. When you are successful in all of these, you also need to pass all the stringent requirements of the Border Patrol Academy where all new recruits are sent to train so you can become a full-fledged Border Patrol Agent.