If you ask boys what they like to be when they grow up, a police officer would surely be one of the top answers. There’s something about law enforcement that seems to attract the attention of many. Although such a career is dangerous, a lot of people fantasize to go into law enforcement. Even women apply for available posts in the profession.
The United States Border Patrol is one branch of law enforcement that is under the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This agency aims to help safeguard U.S. territories from terrorists and undocumented travelers. Border patrol agents also help in the eradication of smuggling of products and even drugs. As part of the defense branch of government, agents are committed to serve the people by preventing harm and securing the perimeters of the country.
America’s borders may be as long as 8000 miles of land and water territories. If you are compassionate of serving your country and its people, you might as well take necessary measures and training to help secure a part of those 8000 miles. Here are the steps and relevant factors that can help you become a border patrol agent.
How to become a border patrol agent
1 Get educated.
Educational attainment and work experience can be useful in getting hired and in getting promotions in the agency.
- Any 4 year degree is accepted. It doesn’t have to be related with law enforcement. Some applicants prefer to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice to be prepared.
- A master’s degree in Criminal Justice can also help you to be employed in higher positions in the agency.
- Work experience in any field would also be taken into consideration when applying for a job. Those who work in areas which require leadership skills, good decision making, socialization skills, and the willingness to learn are preferred.
2 Meet all requirements.
Comply with the requirements and other needed qualifications. Requirements are stated below.
- Applicants must be below 40 years of age upon application.
- An applicant should be a U.S. citizen and resident.
- Background knowledge on Spanish language or willingness to learn Spanish must be displayed by the applicant.
- A valid driver’s ID is a must for applicants.
- Applicants must undergo background investigation, a series of physical examinations, and a drug test.
- A clean record is also essential. Applicants must not be convicted of any felony or misdemeanor.
3 Apply for available positions.
Access the official website of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and search for available jobs.
Job opportunities are expected to increase as the government is putting all efforts to restrain smuggling and illegal immigration. Over 100,000 jobs are estimated to be opened in the succeeding years.
4 Pass the required entrance exam.
You are required to pass the U.S. CBP Border Patrol Examination. This has 3 parts namely: logical reasoning, Spanish language or an artificial language test to determine your willingness to learn, and previous work experience assessments.
- A study manual is also available to help you prepare for the examination.
- Successful examinees can access the Central Applicant Self-Service System (CASS) to verify the status of their application. They will be oriented on pre-employment forms, medical exams, fitness test, and other prerequisites for employment.
- Two pre-employment fitness tests are given: the first one is comprised of push-ups, sit-ups and endurance challenging tests; the second test is more likely the same as the first. Both tests must be passed to be officially hired.
- An oral interview is also conducted to examine your communication skills. Good judgment, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills are also assessed by a panel of evaluators.
5 Go through training.
Training is conducted for a minimum of 11 weeks at the border patrol academy. These may include Spanish lessons, classes on immigration laws, criminal laws, physical conditioning, firearms training and other necessary lessons. This training may extend to 19 weeks depending on the level of proficiency of the trainees.
6 Start your assigned position.
Based on your educational attainment and past work experiences, you will be sorted between a GL-5 and a GL-7. Proper documentations must be presented to be considered into appropriate position levels.
The usual entry level is categorized as the GL-5 position and most of the trainees fall into these category.
Here are the following qualifications for a GL-7 agent:
- 1 year of law enforcement experience.
- 1 full year of Graduate education in law enforcement related fields of study.
- Superior Academic Achievement (SAA). This is based on:
- Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 out of 4.0 for all courses in undergraduate studies
- Applicants must be on the upper third of their graduating class
- He or she must be a member of a national scholastic honor society.
Applicants must also show abilities such as:
- Exercising sound judgment
- Dealing effectively with people in a good manner with regards to law enforcement matters
- Taking prompt and appropriate actions.
- Maintaining contacts with informants.
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