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This Position Is No Longer Available

Department:  Department Of Homeland Security
Agency:  Customs and Border Protection
Job Announcement Number:  BPA 13-1

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$38,619.00 to $63,259.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 to Monday, August 26, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
Many vacancies in the following location(s):
CBP - BPA West Texas / New Mexico United States
CBP - BPA South Texas United States
CBP - BPA California United States
CBP - BPA Arizona United States
United States Citizens


CBP: Securing America's Borders

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.


Discover a challenging and rewarding career in 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 and illegal entrance into the United States while simultaneously facilitating the flow of legitimate travel and trade. At U.S. Border Patrol, we:

• Patrol international land border 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


Due to the extensive pre-employment screening process, we are actively recruiting to fill future Border Patrol Agent vacancies within CBP.  If you are interested in a career with CBP as a Border Patrol Agent we encourage you to apply to this announcement.


Female Border Patrol Agents are in high demand for the processing females that are apprehended, detained, interrogated and/or deported.  Therefore, CBP is currently seeking approval for an exception to Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 332, Section 332.407 which authorizes the specific recruitment of female agents in locations experiencing a critical need.  


Vacancy Announcement BPA 13-1 has been amended to extend the closing date to Monday, August 26, 2013


The video: Border Patrol – Protecting our Homeland emphasizes the importance of Border Patrol’s frontline role in helping CBP accomplish its mission. Watch it at:


For more information on CBP’s mission, activities, and careers, please visit our website at:  Our career site also provides more detailed information on the Border Patrol Agent position at:


Applicants will be selected for the Southwest Border of the United States and must be willing to accept placement anywhere along the Southwest Border.  Applicants may identify one regional preference of where they would prefer to work (South Texas, West Texas/New Mexico, Arizona or California) however this does not guarantee placement in that region.  More information on Border Patrol duty locations can be found under the “Benefits & Other Information” section of this announcement.   


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



  • US Citizenship required
  • Age requirement, candidates must be referred before their 40th birthday
  • Polygraph designated position
  • Background security investigation and residency in the US for last 3 years
  • No convictions for Misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  • Will be required to carry a firearm


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The Border Patrol Agent's primary responsibilities include:

  • Detection, prevention, and apprehension of undocumented aliens and smugglers of aliens at or near the land borders by maintaining surveillance from covert positions, following up leads, responding to electronic sensor alarms and infrared scopes during night operations, low light level television systems, aircraft sightings, and interpreting and following tracks, marks and other physical evidence.
  • Farm and ranch checks, traffic checks, traffic observation, city patrol, transportation checks, administrative, intelligence, and anti-smuggling activities.



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You must qualify for the BPA position based on experience, education, or a combination of both. 

Experience Requirements for a GL-5 level:  You must have at least one year of experience that fully demonstrates the ability to:

  1. Take charge, make sound decisions, and maintain composure in stressful situations;
  2. Learn law enforcement regulations, methods and techniques through classroom training and/or on-the-job instruction; and
  3. Gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents and records.

Experience Requirements for a GL-7 level:  You must have one year of experience in law enforcement work that fully demonstrates the ability to:

  1. Make arrests and exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms;
  2. Deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters;
  3. 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
  4. Develop and maintain contact with a network of informants.

Experience Requirements for a GL-9 Level:  You must have one year experience in law enforcement work that fully demonstrates the ability to:

  1. Develop cases, and conduct interviews or interrogations, apprehensions, and arrests in order to further the process or case development;
  2. Prepare cases and appear as a professional witness in court;
  3. Exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms and conduct training, qualification exercises, or courses in the proper care and use of firearms;
  4. Deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous and tactful manner in their detention, control or interrogation, and work to promote effective community-outreach programs and public relations;
  5. Analyze and disseminate intelligence information and data rapidly; and apply practical knowledge of the laws, concepts, operational practices and law enforcement methods and techniques in order to independently perform duties typically encountered in law enforcement;
  6. Develop and maintain contact with a network of informants, social and political organizations, state and local enforcement agencies, and private citizens, to ensure continuity of enforcement work and to carry out enforcement responsibilities;
  7. Use a variety of law enforcement databases and information retrieval systems, such as TECS, NCIC, and NEXUS; and
  8. Prepare reports and write other documents that deal with the collection, protection, and recording of evidence; and the presentation of testimony; and retain informational materials concerning illegal activities and practices encountered during daily activities.

Substitution of Education:

If you do not have the work experience described above, four (4) academic years above high school leading to a bachelor's degree or a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university can be substituted and is fully qualifying for the GL-5 grade level.  For the GL-7 grade level, one (1) full year of graduate education in law or in fields related to law enforcement (e.g. criminal justice, police science, etc.) is qualifying.  You may substitute superior academic achievement for the experience required at the GL-7 level.  You must have completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale; class standing in the upper third of a graduating class or major subdivision; or membership in a national scholastic honor society.

Combining qualifying experience and education:  If you do not qualify based on experience or education alone, you may be able to qualify based on a combination of your experience and education. 

Physical Requirements: You must be physically able to perform strenuous duties, under rigorous environmental conditions.  For example, duties require physical stamina in running long distances, climbing, jumping, etc., withstanding exposure to extreme weather conditions for extended periods; and standing/stooping for long periods of time.  Irregular and protracted hours of work are also required. 


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 will be required to serve a probationary period in accordance with 5 CFR 315 and may be required to accept a change to lower grade which may reduce their current salary based on Federal pay regulations.


Probationary Period:  All employees new to the federal government must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of his/her initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment.


Mandatory Completion of Basic Training:  Soon after entering on duty, Border Patrol Agents are 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.  All trainees are tested in their language abilities.  Those who score below an established benchmark are assigned to an additional 8-week Spanish class at the Border Patrol Academy which will extend their stay to 19 weeks.  Upon successful completion of the Academy training, all BPA’s begin the Field Training Program (FTP) and the Post Academy Training Program (PATP) at their stations and sectors.  The FTP will consist of on-the-job, hands-on training with an experienced agent.  The PATP is a combination of web-based training and instructor-led training and will require the BPA to successfully pass seven unit exams and ten web-based scenario exams.  


Motor Vehicle Operation: Border Patrol Agents must possess a valid state driver's license at the time of appointment.


Uniforms:  This position requires you to wear an officially approved uniform while in a duty status.


Shift Work: 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 must pass the U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Examination. This examination consists of general abilities, logical reasoning and language ability testing.  Border Patrol Agents must speak and read Spanish, therefore, applicants are required to take either an artificial language test designed to predict ability to learn a foreign language, or a Spanish proficiency test designed to test their Spanish language ability. 

To be eligible for the Border Patrol Agent position, you must have a score of at least 70 (excluding veterans' preference points) on the written examination.  If you take and fail the written examination you will not be able to retake it for one year. 

If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be placed in one of the following categories:

  • Best Qualified: Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position.
  • Very Highly Qualified:  Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that exceeds, to a very considerable extent, the minimum qualifications of the position.
  • Highly Qualified:  Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that exceeds, to a considerable extent, the minimum qualifications of the position.
  • Well Qualified:  Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that marginally exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and who demonstrate average proficiency in most of the critical competencies of the position.
  • Qualified:  Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position. 

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


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CBP offers competitive starting salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health insurance, Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k)), Flexible Spending Account, retirement plan, life and long-term care insurance, 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.  CBP is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and development opportunities.  For more information, go to


Federal Law Enforcement Retirement Coverage: Border Patrol Agents are covered under the provisions of both the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and Title 5 USC 8412(d) (commonly known as the “12(d)”) law enforcement retirement benefit.  Law enforcement employees may voluntarily retire at any age after completing 25 years of service or at age 50 or older with 20 years of service.  The mandatory retirement age is 57 with 20 years of service; however, employees could work beyond 57 until they meet the combination of age and service requirements to retire under law enforcement provisions.


Uniform Allowance: Border Patrol Agents receive a uniform allowance to offset the cost of purchasing the required BPA uniform.


Polygraph: The Border Patrol Agent position is a polygraph-required position.  You will be required to successfully complete a favorable polygraph examination that takes approximately 4-6 hours to complete.  The results will be used to determine your suitability for the position. For more information on the polygraph examination please see the following link:


Background Investigation: Prior to appointment, you must undergo and satisfactorily complete a background investigation, which includes but is not limited to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) name and fingerprint check and a 10-year background investigation.  As part of the investigation you will be asked to complete and submit a security questionnaire (SF-86).  The questionnaire will ask you questions regarding education, residences, past and current employers, police records, financial situation, drug and alcohol use, etc.  A history of problems in any of these areas may result in your disqualification for this position.  Keep in mind that because we have a law enforcement mission; we set a very high standard for our employees. For more information on the background investigation process please see the following link:


Age Requirement: You must be referred for selection before reaching your 40th birthday.  In accordance with Public Law 100-238, this position is covered under law enforcement retirement provisions.  Please see the following link:  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). The age restriction does not apply if you are a veterans’ preference eligible.


Residency:  If you are not currently a CBP employee, you must meet one or more of the following primary residency criteria for the last three years prior to applying to this announcement:

1.    Resided in the United States or its protectorate or territories (excluding short trips abroad, such as vacations);

2.    Worked for the United States government as an employee overseas in a federal or military capacity; or

3.    Been a dependent of a United States federal or military employee serving overseas.

Exceptions may be granted to applicants if they can provide complete state-side coverage information required to make a suitability/security determination.  Examples of state-side coverage information include: the state-side address of the company headquarters where the applicant's personnel file is located, the state-side address of the Professor in charge of the applicant's "Study Abroad" program, the church records for the applicant's overseas church missions, and/or the state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with the applicant while overseas.


Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence:  If you have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, it is a felony for you to possess any firearm or ammunition.  A misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is defined as any offense, which has as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former domestic partner, parent, or guardian of the victim. The term "convicted" does not include anyone whose conviction has been expunged or set aside or who has received a pardon.


Drug Testing:  Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of employment into the position.  We will schedule, provide, and pay for the drug test.  Once employed, Border Patrol Agents are subject to random and unannounced drug testing.


Medical Requirements:  You must undergo and successfully pass our medical screening process.  We will schedule, provide and pay for the required basic medical examination.


Physical Fitness Screening: Due to the strenuous nature of the BPA duties and the associated training programs, fitness tests have been developed and will be used to screen candidates for entry-level Border Patrol Agent positions.  You will be required to pass the pre-employment fitness test (PFT-1) early in the pre-employment process.  The PFT-1 consists of a: (1) push-up test, (2) sit-up test, and (3) 5-minute step test or 1.5 mile run.  Approximately 30 days prior to your entrance on duty, you will be required to take a second pre-employment fitness exam (PFT-2).  The PFT-2 consists of a: (1) 220 yard run, (2) sit-up test, (3) push-up test, and (4) 1.5 mile run.


Oral Hiring Board: You must take and pass an oral hiring board (OHB) interview.  You will appear before an OHB panel and demonstrate that they possess the abilities and other characteristics important to Border Patrol Agent positions.  Among these are the competencies of judgment/decision-making, emotional maturity, interpersonal skills, and cooperativeness/sensitivity to the needs of others.  The OHB will be rated on a pass/fail basis.  You must receive a “pass” in all areas in order to continue in the hiring process.  During the registration process for the entrance examination, you will be asked to choose one of 27 cities where you would like to take the OHB.


Duty Locations: Duty locations along the Southwest Border of the United States include but are not limited to the locations listed below. The U.S. Border Patrol does not allow the initial assignment of Border Patrol Agent trainees to duty stations within a 100-mile radius of their pre-employment home of record.  This will not affect your future career decisions or your ability to apply for or be selected for positions that are near your pre-employment home of record:

  • South Texas Preference - (to include but not limited to the following locations) Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Cotulla, Dallas, Falfurrias, Fort Brown, Freer, Harlingen, Hebbronville, Kingsville, Laredo North, Laredo South, Laredo West, McAllen, San Antonio, Weslaco, and Zapata, TEXAS
  • West Texas/New Mexico Preference - (to include but not limited to the following locations) Abilene, Alpine, Amarillo, Big Bend National Park, Brackettville, Carrizo Springs, Comstock, Del Rio, Eagle Pass North, Eagle Pass South, El Paso, Fabens, Fort Hancock, Fort Stockton, Lubbock, Marfa, Midland, Pecos, Presidio, Rocksprings, San Angelo, Sanderson, Sierra Blanca, and Uvalde, TEXAS; Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Deming, Las Cruces, Lordsburg, Santa Teresa, and Truth or Consequences, NEW MEXICO
  • California Preference - (to include but not limited to the following locations) Boulevard, Brown Field, Calexico, Campo, Chula Vista, El Cajon, El Centro, Imperial Beach, Indio, Murrieta, Riverside, and San Clemente, CALIFORNIA
  • Arizona Preference - (to include but not limited to the following locations) Ajo, Blythe, Casa Grande, Douglas, Naco, Nogales, Sonoita, Tucson, Wellton, Willcox, and Yuma, ARIZONA

A detailed map of Border Patrol Sectors can be found at:


Relocation expenses will not be paid.  To compare cost of living data, calculate mortgage scenarios, or gather information on communities and school districts, please visit the website: 


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


Equal Employment Opportunity: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All candidates will be considered regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, status as a parent, lawful political affiliation, marital status, physical/mental disability (if not a job factor), membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or any other non-merit factor.



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In order to begin you application you will need an active USA Jobs account.  We strongly encourage you to create a USA Jobs account or log into your USA Jobs account before you apply.  In order to create an account or to log into your account go to and click on “My Account” at the top of the page and follow the prompts.  Once you have logged into your account search for this vacancy announcement using the announcement number (BPA 13-1) or control number (333901000).  Once you open the announcement click the "Apply Online" button and follow the prompts.  This announcement closes at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday, August 26, 2013 or at 11:59 pm EST on the day that our staffing needs are met, whichever comes first.  Applications will NOT be accepted after that date and time.  We recommend that you apply as soon as possible in order to ensure consideration.Pre-Test: You will be directed to a pre-test for the Border Patrol Agent position.  The pre-test provides insight into how well you might do on the U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Examination. 

We believe that proper exam preparation is essential for the successful candidate and suggest that you take time to carefully read the study guide before you begin the application process.  You may download the study guide from our website at:


Written Examination:  As soon as you have registered and been scheduled for the written exam, you will be able to print your test admission notice which will contain the date, location, and time for the written exam. CBP provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. If a reasonable accommodation is needed for any part of the registration and hiring process, applicants should contact the office scheduling them for that portion of the process.


You ARE required to bring the BPA test admission notice and a government-issued photo ID with you to the written exam.


You will be instructed on how to submit your complete application package during the application process.  Please see the "Required Documents" section for additional information.  Applicants who successfully complete the application process will be scheduled for the U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Examination by the Office of Personnel Management.


Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles:  If you have never worked for the Federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible.  Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found at: To be considered well qualified under CTAP/ICTAP, you must be placed in the Best Qualified category for this position, as described above.  In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed in the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.


Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA):  VRA eligible applicants include the following: Disabled veterans; veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; or veterans separated from active duty within the past three years.  For more information on VRA eligibility, please visit



  • Resume:  A resume is required and must be in English.  It must contain your full name, address, phone number, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, a detailed description of your duties and the dates you performed them (MM/DD/YY), as well as your work schedule and salary.  You will be required to upload your resume to USA Test Manager at the following website:  OR  you may  fax your resume to USA Test Manager.  You must use the fax cover sheet found at: and fax to 478-757-3144.  You must indicate Vacancy Identification Number LN776411 on the fax cover sheet or your resume will not be properly uploaded.
  • Transcripts: Transcripts are required if basing any part of your qualifications on education and must be submitted in English.
  • Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)?  You must submit a separation notice; SF-50B; a current (or a last) performance rating of record of at least fully successful or equivalent; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; or a Military Department of National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456.
  • Proof of Veterans' Preference: If you are tentatively selected and you claimed veterans' preference, you will be required to submit proof of eligibility (DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge) with the required application forms. Applicants claiming 10-point preference must also submit Standard Form 15, as well as the proof requested on the back of the Form. For more information please visit .  For further information on whether you are eligible for veterans' preference, please visit:

  • OF-306 “Declaration for Federal Employment”

  • Border Patrol Agent Agreements – specific training and conditions of employment forms


You will be required to upload your documents to USA Test Manager at the following website AFTER successfully passing the entrance exam:  OR you may fax your documents to USA Test Manager.  You must use the fax cover sheet found at: and fax to (478)757-3144.  You must indicate Vacancy Identification Number LN776411 on the fax cover sheet or your documents will not be properly uploaded.


Border Patrol MHC OBP DEU
Phone: (952)857-2927
Agency Information:
CBP Entry Level OFO OBP
5600 American Blvd
Bloomington, MN


Once you have completed the application process and passed the U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Examination, your name will be added to the Border Patrol Agent inventory.  You will be considered for future openings in “category order" in accordance with veterans' preference regulations.  As referrals are made and your category is reached, you will be referred for tentative selection.  If you are tentatively selected for a position, you will be emailed a tentative selection letter and your name will be removed from the inventory. 


You will be considered for selection based on future needs of Customs and Border Protection for as long as the inventory is active, typically for a period of 12 months.  There is no guarantee that everyone on the inventory will be selected for a position.


If you have already been tentatively selected for a Border Patrol Agent position and you reapply under this announcement and are subsequently referred and selected for a position, your referral and selection will replace any existing Border Patrol Agent selection for which you are currently in process, and may delay your pre-employment processes.


The Office of Personnel Management and the Minneapolis Hiring Center uses e-mail to communicate with applicants; therefore, it is important to ensure your e-mail address and all other contact information is kept current.  We also encourage applicants to check their e-mail account frequently (e.g. once a week) during the pre-selection process, to include their spam or junk mail folders.


Applicants who receive a tenative offer of selection will be offered an opportunity to sign up for a new customer service option of receiving text messages to remind them of upcoming appointments and due dates as they move through the pre-employment process. Text messaging is a courtesy service and will not replace official means of communication with the applicant.


CBP uses E-Verify to validate all newly hired applicants' ability to work legally in the United States.  To learn more about E-Verify, please follow this link: 


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

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