However, there are also those who don’t necessarily work in the frontlines but are integral to the success of the CBP. They are those in mission support and one of these is that of an Intelligence Research Specialist. They are tasked with gathering, analyzing, and repackaging intelligence that agency personnel will use. In particular, they process raw intelligence and together with other data gathered from various sources, are able to understand the activities of criminals, terrorists, and smugglers. The information they have gathered is essential in ensuring that the CBP agents are able to secure the borders and ports of entry.The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is identified mainly with Border Patrol Agents who patrol the nation’s international borders. Together with CBP Officers who man the ports of entry, they are the frontliners in ensuring that the CBP carries out its primary mission — that of ensuring terrorists, their weapons, illegal entrants, and smuggled items like illegal drugs are not able to enter the United States.
So why should you be an Intelligence Research Specialist for the CBP? Here are some reasons:
- The work is exciting and engaging. Duties involve collecting data from international, criminal, and other intelligence sources; translating or decrypting raw data; and classifying, storing, managing, or destroying intelligence information. If doing research of this nature fires you up then this job is for you.
- It gives you the chance to influence key decision makers in government. You have to correlate information from various sources about criminal or terrorist actions and make intelligence reports for use by government officials. In these reports, you can recommend plans of action to curb threats to national security.
- You take pride in the knowledge that your work is important. Without your skill in collating information and analyzing them, the security of the United States would be compromised. Even if you’re not actually in the frontlines apprehending criminals, you are doing your own research to provide Border Patrol Agents and CBP Officers with the information they need to get the job done.
- You receive a generous pay and benefits package. Intelligence Research Specialists start at GS-7 and can earn a minimum of close to $34,000 a year. They can, however, be promoted to GS-14 where their annual salary can go over $100,000 a year. In addition, you are provided with a cost of living allowance and enjoy other federal benefits which include insurance, full retirement after 30 years, and flexible spending accounts, among others.
- If you work regularly long hours, you can expect to earn more since Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime entitles you to earn 10 to 25 percent of your base salary plus COLA.