How Do I Become A Border Patrol Agent?

Border Patrol AgentDo you want to become a Border Patrol Agent? If you are interested in working as a federal employee who receives competitive compensation and good benefits, this could be a great national security position to apply for. As a Border Patrol Agent, you will work to secure all of the land and sea borders of the nation as well as airspace boundaries to ensure the safety of your fellow citizens. In order to work as a Federal agent who prevent illegal activities from happening across U.S. borders, you must meet a strict set of educational and background requirements that are set by the Department of Homeland Security. Read on, and learn what you need to know about these requirements.

What Are Employment Eligibility Requirements to Work for the Department of Homeland Security?

The first step to becoming a Border Patrol Agent is meeting the employment requirements. To apply, you must be a U.S. citizen under the age of 40 prior to getting hired. As a federal law enforcement agency, you are expected to be in good health to work for any agency managed by the Department of Homeland Security. For applicants who are not currently working in Federal law enforcement, you will need to pass an entrance exam that tests your reasoning skills before you will be extended a job offer. Once you pass this test, you will need to pass a fitness test, drug test and medical exam along with a language test to see how quickly you can learn a foreign language. Statistics show that only 1 in 30 applicants who start the process will actually make it to the Academy to complete training.

Complete a 55-day Training Academy Program

Once you pass the exams that are required to enter into the Academy, the next step will be passing the Academy itself. Border Patrol Academy is held in New Mexico and will last 55 days in length. The intensive program will cover several different areas of training over the two month period. While you are in the Academy, you will learn: Spanish, Communications, Report Writing, Fingerprinting, Criminal Law, Physical Training, Use of Firearms, Border Patrol Operations, and Immigration Law. To graduate, you must pass each course and then pass a test on the Spanish language to show that you are proficient. After graduation, you will then be assigned to one o the 20 Border Patrol sectors in the United States.

Salaries and Job Outlook in Border Patrol

Anti-terrorism efforts have become a main focus in Federal law enforcement, and this has caused the demand for Border Patrol Agents to rise quickly. The demand for agents is still very high. In addition to good benefits, the average salary reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is $56,980. You may also be eligible for bonuses that can range between $976 and $5087 per year.

Related Resource: US Postal Inspector

You can meet the basic requirements and have a chance to get into border patrol, but the agency does prefer candidates who hold either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. If you would like to stand out in a highly competitive employment market, putting a degree on your resume can help you. Now that you know what it takes to become a Border Patrol Agent, decide if this is what you want to do.