Border Patrol Agent (VRA)

    Duties Summary

    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.

    Responsibilities

    As our nation navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, our agency remains committed more than ever to delivering our mission to safeguard America's borders and enable legitimate trade and travel. Driving forward our hiring process to staff mission critical positions continues to be one of our highest priorities. First and foremost, we want to provide you reassurance that CBP is still hiring, despite potential delays with some hiring process steps due to COVID-19 restrictions that impact in-person activities.

    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.
    This is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of 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. Promotions are at the discretion of the agency. For example you could:
    • start as a BPA in March 2021 to GL-7 and make $49,016 - $77,484 per year*
    • be promoted in March 2022 to GL-9 and make $54,668 - $88,176 per year*
    • be promoted in March 2023 to GS-11 and make $64,009 - $104,012 per year*
    • be promoted in March 2024 to GS-12 and make $76,721 - $124,676 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 2020 "Rest of the United States" salary table and do not take into consideration higher locality pay where applicable or yearly cost of living increases.

    Uniform/Grooming Standards: This position requires wearing an officially approved uniform and complying with established grooming standards found here; as established by the Border Patrol's Uniform and Grooming Standards Policy #07-09126. Please note that in accordance with these standards, tattoos and/or brandings on the head, face, neck or hands are not permitted. Obscene, racially/ethnically derogatory and/or gang tattoos or brandings shall not be visible. All visible tattoos and/or brandings will be covered while performing the following volunteer duties: Recruiting, Public Affairs Officer, Oral Hiring Boards, International Liaison duties, Community Affairs or judicial proceedings.
    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Travel may be required based on operational needs.

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    12

  • Job family (Series)

    1896 Border Patrol Enforcement Series

  • Requirements

    Requirements Conditions of Employment

    This is a VRA Excepted Service appointment. Upon satisfactory completion of the two-year trial period you will be converted to a competitive appointment. Failure to successfully complete the two-year trial period may result in termination.

    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.

    Residency Requirement: CBP has a residency requirement that applies to all applicants not currently employed by CBP. Individuals are required to have physically resided in the United States or its protectorates (as declared under international law) for at least three (3) of the last five (5) years, before completing an application for CBP employment. If you do not meet the residency requirement and you have been physically located in a foreign location for more than two (2) of the last five (5) years, you may request an exception to determine if you are eligible for a residency waiver by meeting one or more of the following conditions:

    • Working for the U.S. Government as a federal civilian or as a member of the military
    • A dependent of a federal civilian or member of the military who was working for the U.S. Government
    • Working as a contractor employee, a volunteer, consultant or an intern for the U.S. Government
    • Participation in a study abroad program sponsored by a U.S. affiliated college or university
    If selected for a position, you must provide documentation to support a request for an exception to the residency requirement.
    Qualifications
    The qualification requirements listed below must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

    You qualify for the GL-7 grade level if you possess one of the following:

    Experience: One year of specialized work experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level that shows you have the skills necessary to make sound judgements and decisions; to deal effectively with people in a courteous and tactful manner; to analyze information rapidly and make prompt decisions and apply these skills in a law enforcement capacity such as training others, managing finances, code enforcement, doing compliance work, corrections, security, military, emergency responders, etc.;OR

    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 equivalent to at least the next lower grade level 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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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. 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.

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is committed to ensuring that all of our employees act in a manner that embodies the Department's Mission Statement: With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland and our values. As an employee of CBP, you will be joining a workforce that is dedicated to accomplishing our mission while maintaining the trust of our Nation by strictly adhering to all government ethics standards. Your conduct will be subject to the ethics rules applicable to all Executive Branch employees, and to CBP employees specifically, as well as the criminal conflict of interest statutes. Once you enter on duty, these rules include obtaining approval for outside employment or business activity, to ensure such employment or business activity is not prohibited and does not interfere or conflict with performance of your official duties. Please review further details here.
    Education

    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.

    Additional information

    Polygraph Examination: This is a polygraph-required position. If you are not a current CBP employee in a law enforcement position, you will be required to 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.

    Pre-Screening Interview: As a part of the suitability process, you will be required to undergo a pre-screening interview.

    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: You must complete the medical screening process and be found to meet the medical standards for the position. 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. Click here for the specific requirements.

    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.

    If you receive a conditional offer of employment, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment. Click this link for more information.

    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 resume, supporting documents, and the entrance examination. Test scores prior to August 5, 2018, are no longer valid.

    The entrance exam consists of two parts: 1) the online assessment taken on a personal computer and, 2) the proctored exam taken at a local testing center. The Proctored Examination contains the following assessment: Logical Reasoning. To be eligible, applicants must pass the entrance examination 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 and take the BPA Entrance Exam Pre-Test. The pre-test is a preview of the types of questions you can expect to see on the actual exam.

    Proctored testing will be conducted August 2 - September 26, 2020. The proctored assessment may take up to four (4) hours to complete.

    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.

    • 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
    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:
    Background checks and security clearance
    Security clearance

    Other

    Drug test required

    Yes

  • Required Documents

    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. If you are a current and former Federal employee please include your salary, pay scale and pay grade information. 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 allcolleges/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) showing your Character of Service. 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.

    SF-50: If you are a current/former Federal employees it is recommended that you submit your most recent SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" form. Please do not submit a Performance Award SF-50.

    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)
    • Agency
    • Beginning and ending dates of appointment
  • Benefits

    Benefits

    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.

    Review our 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 This job is open to
  • Veterans
Clarification from the agency

Location determined by the needs of the agency along the SW Border of the United States. Only VRA eligible applicants may apply.