• Help



    A fully trained Border Patrol Agent (BPA) may be eligible for overtime pay (up to an additional 25% of salary). Border Patrol Agents (BPA) may also have a higher starting salary based on their duty location.  Please visit the OPM website for more information.

    This announcement is for a Veteran's Recruitment Authority (VRA) eligible applicants only. For more information on VRA eligibilities, see Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans.  

    Discover a challenging and rewarding career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sole organization responsible for securing the nation's borders. CBP employees protect our Nation's borders from terrorism, human and drug smuggling, illegal migration, and agricultural pests while simultaneously facilitating the flow of legitimate travel and trade.

    This is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GL-5, GL-7, GL-9, GS-11, and GS-12. You will be eligible for a promotion to the next higher grade level (without re-applying) once you successfully complete 52 weeks in each grade level (with supervisor approval). For example you could:

    ·         start as a BPA in July 2017 as a GL-5 and make $40,511 - $50,639 per year*

    ·         be promoted in July 2018 to GL-7 and make $46,110 - $57,637 per year*

    ·         be promoted in July 2019 to GL-9 and make $51,424 - $64,280 per year*

    ·         be promoted in July 2020 to GS-11 and make $60,210 - $75,262 per year*

    ·         be promoted in July 2021 to GS-12 and make $72,168 - $90,210 per year*

    *Please note this example includes a range from minimum locality pay up to maximum potential salary with overtime earnings. Pay rates are based on the 2017 "Rest of the United States" salary table and do not take into consideration higher locality pay where applicable or yearly cost of living increases.

    Polygraph Information: Border Patrol Agent (BPA) is a polygraph-designated position. You must complete and pass a polygraph examination to be eligible for the position. If you have a current TS-SCI clearance, you may be eligible for a polygraph waiver. Polygraph Reciprocity: CBP may accept the results of a prior in federal polygraph exam lieu of a CBP polygraph exam. You may request reciprocity at the time of polygraph exam scheduling.

    Applying early, completing the BPA Experience Record assessment, and scheduling the online entrance exam as soon as possible will ensure the most options for testing. The last day of online testing ends May 3, 2017.

    Learn more about this agency


    The video: Border Patrol – Protecting the Homeland emphasizes the importance of Border Patrol's frontline role in helping CBP accomplish its mission. For more information on CBP's mission, activities, and careers please visit our website at CBP.gov.

    Apply to this exciting opportunity to strengthen the Department's and our partners' ability to perform their homeland security functions by doing the following:

    ·         Patrol international land borders and coastal waters

    ·         Detect and prevent the illegal entry and smuggling of aliens into the United States

    ·         Detect and prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering into the United States

    ·         Prevent the illegal trafficking of people, narcotics and contraband into the United States

    Being a Border Patrol Agent makes you a valuable member of the federal Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) profession. Typical assignments include:

    ·         Detecting, preventing, and apprehending undocumented aliens and smugglers of aliens at or near the land borders by maintaining surveillance from covert positions 

    ·         Responding to electronic sensor alarms

    ·         Interpreting and following tracks, marks and other physical evidence

    ·         Using infrared scopes during night operations

    ·         Responding to aircraft sightings and other anti-smuggling activities

    ·       Performing farm and ranch checks, traffic checks, city patrols, and transportation checks

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Travel may be required based on operational needs

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    VRA Eligible Applicants Only

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • Help


    Conditions Of Employment

    • You must successfully pass a polygraph examination
    • You must successfully pass a background investigation
    • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position
    • Referred for selection prior to your 40th birthday (waiver for Veterans)
    • Convictions of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence are disqualifying
    • You will be required to carry a firearm
    • You will be required to work regular and recurring shift work
    • You must have resided in the U.S. for the last 3 years
    • You must meet job-related medical, fitness and drug-testing standards
    • You must have a valid driver's license

    This is an Excepted Service appointment.  After successfully completing 2 years of service, you will be converted to the competitive service.

    Firearm Proficiency: Firearm proficiency is required for Border Patrol Agents and is part of the training provided.

    Current Federal Employees: Current federal employees who apply to this announcement may be required to accept a change to lower grade which will reduce their current salary based on Federal pay regulations. Note: If you are a current GS-12 step 1, your salary may be reduced to a GL-5 step 10, which equates to an approximate $21,460 salary reduction (based on locality). Re-promotion is not guaranteed. Timeframes and grade level re-promotion is at the discretion of the agency.

    Formal Training: You will be detailed to the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico for approximately 11 weeks of intensive instruction in immigration and nationality laws, law enforcement and Border Patrol-specific operations, drivers training, physical techniques, firearms, and other courses. You will also be tested on your language abilities. If you score below an established benchmark, you will attend an additional 8-week Spanish language class at the border patrol academy, which will extend your stay to 19 weeks. This position requires you to wear an officially-approved uniform while in a duty status.

    Residency Requirement: To be considered for this position, an applicant must meet the residency requirement for three years before his or her application by:

    1.     Residing within the United States or its protectorate or territories; or

    2.     Working for the U.S. government as an overseas Federal or military employee; or

    3.     Being a dependent of a U.S. Federal or military employee serving overseas.

    Exceptions may be granted if you provide complete state-side coverage information regarding participation in "Study Abroad" programs, overseas church missions, or state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with you overseas. You must provide information and related documentation at the time of application.

    Driver's License: You must possess a valid driver's license.


    The qualification requirements listed below must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

    You qualify for the GL-5 grade level (starting salary $40,511 up to $50,639 with potential overtime) if you possess one of the following:

    a.      One year of general work experience that demonstrates the ability to take charge, make sound decisions, and maintain composure in stressful situations; learn law enforcement regulations, methods and techniques through classroom training and/or on-the-job instruction; and gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents and records; OR

    b.      A bachelor's degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university; OR

    c.      A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and general work experience.  This will be calculated using your resume and official or unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.

    You qualify for the GL-7 grade level (starting salary $46,110 up to $57,637 with the potential overtime) if you possess one of the following:

    a.      One year of specialized work experience that demonstrates the 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; OR

    b.      A bachelor's degree with superior academic achievement, which is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership. Go to Superior Academic Achievement to see if you qualify under this provision; OR

    c.      One full year of graduate level education in a field of study related to law enforcement (e.g., criminal justice, homeland security, justice studies, law enforcement, courts and judicial systems, forensic technology, forensic psychology, corrections and rehabilitation) at an accredited or pre-accredited college or university; OR

    d.      A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized work experience.  This will be calculated using your resume and official or unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.

    If basing qualifications of education, then a bachelor's degree or graduate's degree or higher must be attained within 9-months after the closing date of the announcement. To be eligible for overtime, employees must be fully trained.

    If you have previous or current law enforcement or military  law enforcement experience, you may qualify at the GL-9 grade level. Please refer to the BPA GL-9 announcement:  Apply Here!  

    National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience): refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Age Requirement: Effective with announcement BPA VRA 16-5, May 14, 2016, the Commissioner of CBP has approved a temporary increase in the maximum allowable age for original placement into a BPA position; therefore, candidates must be referred for selection before reaching their 40th birthday (increased from age 37). In accordance with Public Law 100-238, this position is covered under law enforcement retirement provisions. However, the age restriction may not apply if you are currently serving or have previously served in a federal civilian law enforcement (non-military) position covered by Title 5 U.S.C. 8336(c) or Title 5 U.S.C. 8412(d). This measure will increase the statutorily mandatory retirement to an age of up to 60 to allow individuals the opportunity to complete 20 years of law enforcement service (See U.S.C 8425 (b)(1) and 8335 (b)(1)).

    The age restriction does not apply if you are a veterans' preference eligible. For more information on eligibility as a veterans' preference eligible please see the OPM veterans' guide.


    Additional information

    Polygraph Examination: The BPA position is a polygraph-required position. You must take a polygraph exam and have favorable results in order to continue in the pre-employment process. Please see Polygraph Examination.   

    Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) as a condition of placement into this position. Please see Background Investigation.

    Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: The Border Patrol Agent position is a weapons-carrying position. Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition. Therefore, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you are not qualified for this position.

    Medical/Physical Requirements: This position has medical/physical requirements. Click here for position specific requirements.  You must complete the medical screening process and be found to meet the medical standards for the position. Employees in this position may be required to undergo a medical examination/evaluation at the request of the Agency.  If a candidate/employee does not meet the medical standards for the position, s/he may request a waiver of the medical standard by demonstrating with non-medical information that s/he, with or without reasonable accommodation, can safely perform the essential duties of the position.

    Drug Testing Requirements: This is a drug testing designated position. You must complete and pass a drug test as a condition of employment. Employees are subject to drug testing in compliance with the Agency's Drug-Free Workplace Program.

    Physical Fitness Screening: You may be required to successfully complete a physical fitness test. Please see the Pre-Employment Fitness Test-1 Physical Readiness Program for additional information. This a 6-week program designed to assist you in achieving a level of physical fitness that will help you successfully pass CBP fitness tests.

    Interview Process: You will be required to pass a face-to-face structured interview

    Shift Work/Overtime: This position requires regular and recurring shift work. You must be willing and available to work rotating shifts. You may also be rotated between assignments and duty locations.  You could be required to work overtime on a daily basis and will be compensated up to an additional 25% of your base pay in accordance with the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated based on your passing entrance examination score (external assessments), resume, supporting documents, and responses to the job questionnaire. 

    The entrance exam (external assessment) contains the following three (3) assessments: The Border Patrol Experience Record assessment, Logical Reasoning Skills, and Spanish Language or Artificial Language Assessment. To be eligible, applicants must pass the exam with a score of at least 70. Proper test preparation is essential for the successful candidate; therefore, we strongly encourage you to review the Border Patrol Agent Study Guides. Test scores prior to December 1, 2014, are no longer valid. You should take the BPA Entrance Exam Pre-Test (sample entrance examination). The pre-test will give you a preview of the types of questions you can expect to see on the actual exam.

    You will not be able to retake the entrance exam for six (6) months, regardless of whether you pass or fail.

    Reasonable Accommodation Requests: If you believe you have a disability (i.e., physical or mental), covered by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and Americans with Disabilities Act 1990, as amended, that would interfere with completing the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam, click here for more information about the request process: Reasonable Accommodations Request Process. Requests for Reasonable Accommodations for the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam must be received before the JOA closes to be considered for this job opening. Decisions on requests for Reasonable Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. After notification of the adjudication of your request, you will receive an email invitation to complete the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Exam.

    If you pass the entrance exam and meet minimum qualifications, you will be considered as follows:

    1. Eligible applicants are considered as defined by 5 CFR 302.304(b).

    2. Each qualified 10-point preference eligible who has a 10 percent or more compensable, service-connected disability is first, followed second by other 10-point preference eligible, and third, by 5-point preference eligible and last, by non-preference eligible.

    Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed at the top of the highest quality category depending on grade levels. Veterans with 5-point preference or 10-point non-compensable preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligible within the category in which they qualify.

    View common definitions of terms found in this announcement.

    Background checks and security clearance

  • Help

    Required Documents

    Resume: A resume in English is required. It must contain your full legal name, address, phone number, complete work history, a detailed description of your duties, the dates you performed those duties (MM/DD/YY), as well as your hours worked per week.  Please see the CBP Border Patrol Agent Resume Aid for specific information and examples.

    Transcripts: Required if basing any part of your qualifications on education and must be in English from an accredited institution. Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended are required.  Official transcripts preferred but will accept unofficial at the time of application.

    Veteran's Documents: If you claim VRA eligibility you will be required to submit proof of eligibility (DD 214, Member-4 copy, Certificate of Release or Discharge). If you are qualifying for VRA eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must also submit documentation as listed on the SF-15

    Statement of Service (Certification letter): If you are still on active duty, you must submit certification from the Armed Service showing that you will be discharged or released from active duty. This certification should be on letterhead of the appropriate military branch of the service and contain (1) the military service dates including the expected discharge or release date; (2) campaign badges and expeditionary medals; and (3) the character of service. View more veterans'  Preference.

    Documents must be uploaded as the correct document type or they will not be considered. Example: Resume must be submitted as a Resume. If you fax your documents you must use the Fax Cover Sheet and fax to (478)757-3144 You must indicate Vacancy Identification Number LN1923820 on the fax cover sheet or your documents will not be properly uploaded.

    It is your responsibility to verify that information entered, or supporting documents that are uploaded or faxed are received and are accurate. CBP will not modify, change, or contact you regarding the completeness or accuracy of your application. If a document is not legible, you will not be able to view it in Application Manager and you must again upload or fax it by the closing date.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Help


    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

    Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS Components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

    DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select Benefits.


    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • Help

    How to Apply

    In order to begin your application, you will need an active USA Jobs account.  To begin your online application, sign into USA Jobs or create a USA Jobs account if you do not already have one. Click "Apply" and follow the online prompts to fill out the questionnaire and submit your application. Your application packet must include a completed assessment questionnaire. All application materials, including transcripts, must be in English. If you are planning to apply using your phone or tablet, see Browser Compatibility.

    Applications will not be accepted by mail or email. The address posted below is for inquiries only. You may apply only once. You must submit your resume, application questionnaire, and any supporting documents by 11:59 pm Eastern time TAG:Closing Date or by the date of your scheduled entrance exam test session, whichever comes first. Applicants with valid test scores may be eligible for early consideration. Please see the "What to Expect Next" section for more information.

    Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the federal government, you are not ICTAP eligible. View information about ICTAP eligibility on OPM's Career Transition Resources website. To be considered well qualified under ICTAP, you must possess the knowledge, skills and abilities and/or competencies clearly exceeding the minimum requirements of the position. This will be measured by your written examination score of 85 or higher.  In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the required documents section of this announcement. 

    Duty Locations: Locations for this announcement will be negotiated after VRA eligible applicants have cleared all pre-employment requirements. Locations available are based on the needs of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the time an applicant clears all pre-employment requirements. No location is guaranteed.

    Relocation expenses will not be paid. To compare the cost of living data, calculate mortgage scenarios or gather information on communities and schools, see Relocation Tools.

    CBP encourages women, minorities, and veterans to apply for an exciting career with Customs and Border Protection.

    Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Twitter @CustomsBorder.  

    If you pass the entrance exam and meet qualifications, you will be contacted for placement into the hiring process.  CBP does not pay for travel.

    DHS uses e-Verify, an internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities

    All agency employees are required to participate in Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer for salary payments.

    View more information on applying for federal employment

    Agency contact information

    Frontline CBP VRA


    CBP VRA Entry Level
    5600 American Blvd
    Bloomington, MN 55437-1450
    Learn more about this agency

    Customs & Border Protection (CBP):  Securing America's Borders

    Visit our careers page

    Learn more about what it's like to work at Customs and Border Protection, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.


    Next steps

    Once you submit your application, you will receive an email from assessments@usahire.opm.com with a link to complete the Border Patrol Experience Record assessment of the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Examination. You must complete this portion of the exam on a personal computer within 72 hours of receipt. Upon completion, you will receive a second email from USAHire_support@panpowered.com to schedule the two remaining assessments of the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Examination at a local testing center.  Please be sure to check your email, spam, and junk folders daily. Testing will be conducted March 21-May 3, 2017. The proctored assessments may take up to four (4) hours to complete. After test scores are uploaded, we will assess your experience and training. If you meet the qualifications for this position you will be put into the pre-employment process. Applicants will be referred for selection consideration throughout the announcement open period as they successfully complete the entrance exam and meet minimum qualifications. For example, applicants who successfully complete the entrance exam from March 21-April 4,0217, will be referred in the first round. Applicants who successfully complete the entrance exam will be referred based on the following round, April 5-April 19, 2017 and April 20-May 3, 2017.  A passing score does not guarantee selection. Your status will be updated on USA Jobs throughout the process. To check your status, log into your USA Jobs account and go to your home page to view active applications. For detailed status, click on the plus sign (+) next to the announcement.  

    Note: If you wish to have early consideration you must submit your resume and supporting documentation by the date you complete your entrance exam; or if you have a current passing test score, you must submit your resume and supporting documentation on the day you complete your application or by the end date of the first round of testing, as stated above.

    If you are already in the pre-employment process for a VRA Border Patrol Agent position and you reapply under this announcement and are referred for a position, your new referral will replace any existing VRA Border Patrol Agent referral, and may delay your pre-employment processes.


Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/465443200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.