Border Patrol Agent

How to Become a Border Patrol Agent
Border Patrol Agent Job Duties
Personal Skills and Interests for Border Patrol Agents
Border Patrol Agent Salary
Notable Border Patrol Professionals
Organizations for Border Patrol Agents
Top Cities for Border Patrol Agent Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How can I become a Border Patrol Agent?

Because a border patrol agent is a law enforcement official, there is a rigorous set of criteria and an involved process to become an agent. The application process itself is easy, but applications must be under the age of 40, be US resident or citizen and have a valid driver's license, have the ability to learn Spanish (which is something learned in the initial training), pass a background check (which investigates an individual's criminal record, employment record, and drug abuse history, if any), pass a medical examination and physical test, and finally, pass a drug test. Many applicants are also subject to a polygraph test. There is also an entrance examination, which measure's an applicant's suitability for border patrol work as well as his/her ability to learn Spanish.

Once applicants are accepted into the agency, their basic academy starts, which is a 55-day period where they learn Spanish, practice marksmanship, learn the applicable US laws regarding immigration and nationality, and undergo physical training. For those who need additional Spanish language assistance, agents sometimes spend an additional time at the academy. Spanish language is so important that after the academy, agents are also periodically required to take language tests with passing scores.

What does a Border Patrol Agent do?

A border patrol agent is a law enforcement officer, and nowadays most work in association with the US Customs and Border Protection section of the Department of Homeland Security, along with other law enforcement officers. Border patrol agents' duties center around preventing the illegal entry of aliens into US's via its 8,000+ miles of land and water borders. This has been the boarder patrol's mission since the early 1920's and is even more crucial today in the post-9/11 environment. Today, the focus of the border patrol is not only interested in preventing everyday, illegal non-US residents and citizens into the country, but they are highly focused on preventing the infiltration of terrorists and drug smugglers into the US.

The day to day life of an agent focuses not on dealing directly with handcuffing "bad guys". They follow possible leads for illegal immigration and terrorist activity, participate in surveillance and observation and key checkpoints along the US board and in near-border locations, they participate in investigations into possible illegal activity sites (which can be in remote parts of the US, well away from the borders), and investigate the flow of air traffic and vehicular traffic into and out of the US.

The US Customs and Border Protection agency have all their new recruits start off working along the Southwest border of the US.

What personal skills and aptitudes are needed to become a Border Patrol Agent?

First of all, this job is looking for people willing to serve their country in a capacity designed to make the US a safer place, specifically with the prevention of letting terrorist into the country and the prevention of terrorists to execute their plans. They are also interested in persons who wish to uphold illegal immigration laws of the US. The job has a heavy emphasis on Spanish language capability. Agents must also be wiling and able to carry and handle a firearm. The job also requires a willingness to work various shift types as well as overtime. Communication and people skills are important, and so is an aptitude for investigation and deductive reasoning.

How much does a Border Patrol Agent make?

In 2007 agents in similar fields made from $31,000 - $76,000+.

Who are some notable professionals in the Border Patrol Agent field?

Notably, the commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection agency is consider the leading professional in this field vs. the Secretary of Homeland Security, because it is the commissioner that leads up this particular part of Homeland Security. Today, the commissioner is W. Ralph Basham.

What organizations represent professional Border Patrol Agents?

US Customs and Border Protection

US Department of Homeland Security

National Law Enforcement Recruiters Association

Where are the top locations for Border Patrol Agents jobs?

Although it is arguable that one may be recruited from any region of the US, the US Customs and Border Protection agency, as noted above, sends all their new recruits to the Southwestern US to start their careers. From there, agents may be transferred to other border locations to serve.

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