This announcement is for Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA) eligible applicants only. For more information on VRA eligibilities, see Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans. If you have not served in the US military or if you do not qualify under VRA, please apply to our Direct Hire Announcement here.Learn more about this agency
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 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 September 2019 as a GL-5 and make $41,868 - $52,335 per year*
- be promoted in September 2020 to GL-7 and make $47,661 - $59,576 per year*
- be promoted in September 2021 to GL-9 and make $53,154 - $66,443 per year*
- be promoted in September 2022 to GS-11 and make $62,236 - $77,795 per year*
- be promoted in September 2023 to GS-12 and make $74,596 - $93,245 per year*
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 sighting and other anti-smuggling activities
- Performing farm and ranch checks, traffic checks, city patrols, and transportation checks
- Patrolling the international boundary and coastal waterways and using a variety of Government assets for the accomplishment of the USBP Mission. These assets may include, but are not limited to: vehicles, horses, vessels, watercrafts, off-road vehicles, ATVs, snowmobiles, and motorcycles.
Occasional travel - Travel may be required based on operational needs
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
This is an Excepted Service appointment. After successfully completing 2 years of service, you will be converted to the competitive service.
Selective Service: Males born after 12/31/59 must verify registration with Selective Service. To verify your registration OR request a Status Information Letter go to https://www.sss.gov/Home/Verification
Firearm Proficiency: You will be required to carry a firearm. Firearm proficiency is required for all Border Patrol Agents and is part of the training provided.
Formal Training: You will be detailed to the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico for approximately 6 months 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 provided training to become proficient with the Spanish language and will be tested on your language abilities.
Language Proficiency: Border Patrol work requires the ability to speak and read Spanish, as well as English.
Uniform: This position requires wearing an officially approved uniform while in a duty status.
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.
Residency Requirement: If you are not a current CBP employee you must meet one or more of the following primary residency criteria for at least three (3) of the last five (5) years, prior to completing an application for CBP employment
1. Resided (lived) in the United States or its protectorate or territories (excluding short trips abroad, such as vacations); or
2. Worked for the United States government as an employee overseas in a federal or military capacity; or
3. Been a dependent of a US federal or military employee serving overseas.
Exceptions may be granted to the above requirement if you can provide complete state-side coverage information required to make a waiver determination.
You must meet job-related medical, fitness, suitability and drug-testing standards.
All agency employees are required to participate in Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer for salary payments.
QualificationsThe qualification requirements listed below must be met by the closing date of this announcement.
You qualify for the GL-5 grade level (starting salary $41,868 up to $52,335 with potential overtime) if your supporting documentation shows you possess one of the following:
Experience: One year of general work experience that shows you have the ability to take charge, make sound decisions, and maintain composure in stressful situations; that you can learn law enforcement regulations, methods and techniques through classroom training and/or on-the-job instruction; and you have the ability to gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents and records
Education Substitution: A bachelor's degree or successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in any field leading to a bachelor's degree from an accredited or college or university; OR will receive a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university within 9 months from the closing date of this announcement and will upload all official or unofficial transcripts before the closing date of this announcement; OR
Combination of Experience and Education: A combination of general work experience AND successfully completed college education. 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 $47,661 up to $59,576 with the potential overtime) if you possess one of the following:
Experience: One year of specialized work experience that shows you have the ability to make arrests and exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms; the ability to deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters; the ability to 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 the ability to develop and maintain contact with a network of informants
Education Substitution: A bachelor's degree with superior academic achievement, which is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average (i.e., GPA of 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0), or (3) honor society membership. Go to Superior Academic Achievement to see if you qualify under this provision; OR
Will receive a bachelor's degree with Superior Academic Achievement or 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, or corrections and rehabilitation) from an accredited college or university within 9 months from the closing date of this announcement; OR
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) from an accredited or college or university; OR
Combination of Experience and Education: A combination of specialized work experience AND graduate level education completed 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) from an accredited college or university. This will be calculated using your resume and official or unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.
Note: 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 VRA GL-9 announcement: Apply Here!
Age Requirement: Effective May 8, 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.
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.
Experience as a CBP Explorer may be qualifying if your resume provides sufficient information to credit your experience. To receive full credit for your experience, please be sure to describe your duties, roles and responsibilities in detail.
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 $22,547 salary reduction (based on locality). Re-promotion is not guaranteed. Timeframes and grade level re-promotion is at the discretion of the agency.
Political Appointees: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.
See the Qualifications Section for education substitution.
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. For more information and videos about the polygraph process, please see Polygraph Examination.
Polygraph Reciprocity: CBP may accept the results of a prior federal polygraph exam in lieu of a CBP polygraph exam. You will receive information to request reciprocity in your Background Investigation package.
Polygraph Waiver: Certain Veterans may be eligible to obtain a polygraph waiver. You will receive information to request a waiver in your Background Investigation package.
Background Investigation: This position is a sensitive National Security Position and, upon selection, applicants will be required to undergo, and must successfully pass, a Tier 5 investigation or equivalent for placement and retention in this position. For more information 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 the 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 you do not meet the medical standards for the position, you may request a waiver of the medical standard by demonstrating with non-medical information that, with or without reasonable accommodation, you 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 will be required to successfully pass the Pre-employment Fitness Test. Please see the Pre-Employment Fitness Test 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 (SI).
If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.
Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated based on your passing entrance examination score (external assessments), resume, supporting documents, and responses to the job questionnaire. Test scores prior to August 5, 2018, are no longer valid.
The entrance exam (external assessment) contains the following two (2) assessments: The Border Patrol Experience Record assessment and Logical Reasoning Skills 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. 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. Applying early and scheduling the online entrance exam as soon as possible will ensure the most options for testing. The last day of proctored testing ends May 14, 2019.You will not be able to retake the entrance exam for six (6) months, regardless of whether you pass or fail. If you pass the exam and meet minimum qualifications, you will be placed into the pre-employment process.
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. 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:
- Eligible applicants are considered as defined by 5 CFR 302.304(b)
- 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
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
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. Note: Most applicants are screened out for insufficient information on their resume. 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 are preferred but will accept unofficial at the time of application. Official transcripts are required upon receipt of a final offer of employment. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal qualifications requirements if you can show that your foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence with your application. See Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information.
Veterans' Preference Documents: If you claim Veterans' Preference you will be required to submit proof of eligibility (DD 214, Member-4 copy, Certificate of Release or Discharge). Those applying for 10-Point preference must submit documentation that demonstrates preference eligibility. Please see the 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 Forces showing when you will be discharged or released from active duty. The certification letter 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 about Veterans' Preference.
Age Requirement Documents: If you are over the age of 40 you will need to submit proof you are eligible for the position of Border Patrol Agent. If you are claiming an age waiver based on Federal law enforcement service; you must submit copies of your SF-50s reflecting the beginning date and end date of creditable Federal civilian (not military) service under Title 5 U.S.C. 8331(20), and Title 5 U.S.C. 8401(17). Block 30 of your SF-50 should show Retirement Code M or O. If you do not meet the age requirement and you are unable to provide this required documentation, you will not receive consideration under this announcement. If you are claiming an age waiver based on Veterans' Preference, submit the required Veterans' Preference documents.
Reasonable Accommodation Documents: If you are requesting a reasonable accommodation to the Border Patrol Agent external assessments, submit documentation to support your request, including the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form found here.
Are you a current or former political appointee? If you are or have been a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential appointee employee, you must submit a copy of your applicable SF-50, along with a statement that provides the following information regarding your most recent political appointment:
- Position title
- Type of appointment (Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES, or Presidential Appointee)
- Beginning and ending dates of appointment
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.
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. Learn more about federal 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.
How to Apply
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 prompts to fill out the online questionnaire and submit your application. Your application packet must include a completed assessment questionnaire, a resume, and any applicable and/or required supporting documentation. Please see the Required Documents section for additional information. All application materials, including transcripts, must be in English. If you are planning to apply using your phone or tablet, see Browser Compatibility.
Applications and supporting documentation will not be accepted by mail or email. The address posted below is for inquiries only. Applicants may not update assessment responses after submitting an application. You must submit your resume, application questionnaire, and any supporting documents at the time of application. Please see the Next Steps section for more information.
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. 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.
For more information on CBP's mission, activities, and careers please visit our website at CBP.gov.
DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select Benefits. Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a Veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
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.
Applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for DHS to share your application with others in DHS for similar positions. View more information on applying for federal employment. View common definitions of terms found in this announcement.
CBP encourages women, minorities, and Veterans to apply for an exciting career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Twitter @CustomsBorder
Agency contact information
CBP Hiring Frontline Veterans Recruitment
AddressUnited States Border Patrol
CBP Hiring Center
5600 American Boulevard
Bloomington, MN 55437
Once you submit your application, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org 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 remaining assessment of the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Examination at a local testing center. Please be sure to check your email, spam, and junk folders daily. Proctored testing will be conducted April 2 - May 14, 2019. The proctored assessment may take up to four (4) hours to complete. After test scores are uploaded, we will assess your experience and training.
Applicants will be referred for selection consideration throughout the announcement open period as they successfully complete the entrance exam and meet minimum qualifications. Due to the critical needs of this position, all eligible and qualified applicants will be referred for selection consideration. 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. You must submit your resume and supporting documentation at the time of application.
If you are already in the pre-employment process under a VRA selection for a Border Patrol Agent position and you reapply under this announcement and are referred for a position, your new referral may 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/528318700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.