USA JOBS: Working for America


Department:Department Of Homeland Security

Agency:Customs and Border Protection

Job Announcement Number:BPA 15-5


$39,400.00 to $50,016.00 / Per Year


Monday, May 11, 2015 to Sunday, May 31, 2015




Full Time – Permanent




Many vacancies in the following location(s):
CBP – BPA Arizona, United States
CBP – BPA South Texas, United States
CBP – BPA West Texas / New Mexico, United States


United States Citizens






About the Agency

Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. 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. The border patrol agent position starts at a salary of $39,400 (GL-5 grade level), with promotion potential to $70,192 (GS-12 grade level). Apply to this exciting opportunity to strengthen the Department’s and our partners’ ability to perform their homeland security functions by doing the following:


  • Patrol international land borders and coastal waters
  • Detect and prevent the illegal entry and smuggling of aliens into the United States
  • Detect and prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering into the United States
  • Prevent the illegal trafficking of people, narcotics and contraband into the United States


Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Twitter @CustomsBorder


The video: Border Patrol – Protecting our Homeland emphasizes the importance of Border Patrol’s frontline role in helping CBP accomplish its mission. Watch it at:  For more information on CBP’s mission, activities, and careers please visit our website at


This announcement is open to VRA-eligible applicants. Please see the following link for more information:


Applicants must select one geographic corridor where they are willing to work (South Texas, West Texas/New Mexico, or Arizona). Final job offers will be made after the pre-employment processes are successfully completed and will only be offered in the corridor selected at the time of application.


CBP encourages women, minorities, and veterans to apply for an exciting career with Customs and Border Protection. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has granted CBP an exception to Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 332, Section 332.407 which authorizes the targeted recruitment of female agents to meet mission critical needs along the southwest border of the United States.


View common definitionsof terms found in this announcement



  • Not Required


  • No


  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position
  • Referred for selection prior to your 37th birthday (waiver for Veterans)
  • You must have resided in U.S. for the last 3 years
  • You must successfully pass aBACKGROUND INVESTIGATION
  • You must successfully pass a polygraph exam
  • Convictions of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence are disqualifying
  • You will be required to carry a firearm and have a valid driver’s license
  • You will be required to work regular and recurring shift work
  • Entrance examination scores prior to December 1, 2014 are NOT valid
  • You must meet job-related medical, fitness and drug-testing standards


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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 sights and other anti-smuggling activities
    • Performing farm and ranch checks, traffic checks, city patrols, and transportation checks


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You qualify for the GL-5 grade level (starting salary $39,400) if you possess one of the following:

  1. One year of general work experience that demonstrates the ability to take charge, make sound decisions, and maintain composure in stressful situations; learn law enforcement regulations, methods and techniques through classroom training and/or on-the-job instruction; and gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents and records;OR
  2. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university; OR
  3. A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and experience. This will be calculated using your resume and unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.


You qualify for the GL-7 grade level (starting salary $44,844) if you possess one of the following:

  1. One year of specialized work experience that demonstrates the ability to make arrests and exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms; deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters; 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 develop and maintain contact with a network of informants; OR
  2. A bachelor’s degree with superior academic achievement, which is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership. Go to “Superior Academic Achievement” to see if you qualify under this provision; OR
  3. 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, corrections and rehabilitation) at an accredited or pre-accredited college or university; OR
  4. A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and experience. This will be calculated using your resume and unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.


You qualify for the GL-9 grade level (starting salary $50,016) if you possess the following:

One year of specialized experience in law enforcement that demonstrates the ability to develop cases and conduct interviews or interrogations, apprehensions and arrests in order to further the process or case development; prepare cases and appear as a professional witness in court; exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms and conduct training, qualification exercises, or courses in the proper care and use of firearms; deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous and tactful manner in their detention, control or interrogation, and work to promote effective community outreach programs and public relations; analyze and disseminate intelligence information and data rapidly; and apply a practical knowledge of the laws, concepts, operational practices and law enforcement methods and techniques in order to independently perform duties typically encountered in law enforcement; develop and maintain contact with a network of informants, social and political organizations, state and local enforcement agencies, and private citizens, to ensure continuity of enforcement work and to carry out enforcement responsibilities; use a variety of law enforcement databases and information retrieval systems, such as TECS, NCIC, and NEXUS; and prepare reports and write other documents that deal with the collection, protection, and recording of evidence; and the presentation of testimony; and retain informational materials concerning illegal activities and practices encountered during daily activities.


National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience) 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.


The qualification requirements listed above must be met by the close date of this announcement.

Firearm Proficiency: Firearm proficiency is required for Border Patrol Agents and is part of the training provided.


Current Federal Employees: Current federal employees who apply to this announcement will be required to serve a probationary period in accordance with 5 CFR 315 and may be required to accept a change to lower grade which may reduce their current salary based on Federal pay regulations. Note: If you are a current GS-12 step 1, your salary will be reduced to a GL-7 step 10, which equates to an approximate $13,481 salary reduction (based on locality). Re-promotion is not guaranteed. Timeframes and grade level re-promotion is at the discretion of the agency and may be subject to a probationary period.


Probationary Period: You must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of your initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment.


Mandatory Completion of Basic Training:  You will be detailed to the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico for approximately 11 weeks 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 tested on your language abilities. If you score below an established benchmark, you will attend an additional 8-week Spanish language class at the Border Patrol Academy, which will extend your stay to 19 weeks.


Uniforms:  This position requires you to wear an officially-approved uniform while in a duty status.


Shift Work:  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 will be evaluated based on your resume, supporting documents, and responses to the job questionnaire. If you meet the qualifications, you must take and pass the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Examination. Test scores prior to December 1, 2014, are no longer valid.

The entrance examination (external assessment) contains the following (3) assessments: Logical/Reasoning Skills, Spanish Language or Artificial Language Assessment, and the CBP Experience Record. To be eligible, applicants must pass the 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 study guide available at:


You should take the Border Patrol Agent Pre-test (sample entrance examination). The pre-test will give you a preview of the types of items/questions you can expect to see on the actual entrance examination. The pre-test can be found at:


You will not be able to retake the examination for one year regardless of whether you pass or fail.


Reasonable Accommodations for taking the entrance examination are only provided on a case-by-case basis to qualified individuals with a disability covered by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, both as amended. If you believe you have a physical or mental disability that would interfere with completing the entrance exam, you must (1) indicate your request for a reasonable accommodation in the online questionnaire associated with this announcement, and (2) complete the necessary request form before the last day of the job opening. You are required to submit proper documentation supporting your reasonable accommodation request. For more information about the reasonable accommodation process and to access the request form, please go to: If  approved, you will be allowed to test with an accommodation. If not approved, you will be allowed to take the standard version of the exam.


If you pass the entrance examination, you will be placed in one of the following categories for referral and consideration:

  • Best Qualified: Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications.
    •  Very Highly Qualified: Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that exceeds, to a very considerable extent, the minimum qualifications.
    •  Highly Qualified: Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that exceeds, to a considerable extent, the minimum qualifications.
    •  Well Qualified: Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that marginally exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and who demonstrate average proficiency in most of the critical competencies.
    •  Qualified: Applicants possessing the type and quality of experience that meets the minimum qualifications.

Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed at the top of the highest quality category depending on grade levels. Veterans with 5-point preference or 10-point non-compensable preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligible within the category in which they qualify.


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You can review our benefits at:

DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible SpendingACCOUNT; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careerswebsite and select “Employee Benefits.”



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. Please see:
BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a Single ScopeBACKGROUND INVESTIGATION (SSBI) as a condition of placement into this position. This may include but is not limited to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) name and fingerprint check, review of financial issues, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs. Please see:
Age Requirement: You must be referred for consideration before reaching your 37th birthday in accordance with Public Law 93-350 and 100-238. The age restriction does not apply if you are a veterans’ preference eligible. If you are serving or have served in a federal civilian law enforcement position covered by Title 5 U.S.C. 8331(20) or Title 5 U.S.C. 8401(17) you may have sufficient service to meet the requirement. There are no other exceptions to Public Law 93-350 and 100-238.
Residency Requirement: If you are not a current CBP employee you must meet one or more of the following primary residency criteria for the last three years prior to applying to this announcement up through entering on duty:
1.  Resided 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 applicants if they can provide complete state-side coverage information required to make a suitability/security determination. Examples of state-side coverage information include: the state-side address of the company headquarters where the applicant’s personnel file is located; the state-side address of the professor in charge of the applicant’s “Study Abroad” program; the church records for the applicant’s overseas church missions; and/or the state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with the applicant while overseas.
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.
Drug Testing: You must complete a drug test as a condition of employment for this position. Once employed, Border Patrol Agents are subject to random and unannounced drug testing.
Medical Examination: You must undergo and successfully pass the medical screening process.
Physical Fitness Screening: You will be required to pass two physical fitness tests. Please see:
Interview Process: You will be required to pass an oral hiring board (OHB) interview.


Driver’s License: You must possess a valid driver’s license.








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In order to begin your application, you will need an active USA JobsACCOUNTTo begin your online application, click the “Apply Online” to create a USA JobsACCOUNT and follow the prompts or sign into USAJOBS, take the online questionnaire, and submit the required documents. 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 below for additional information. All application materials, including transcripts, must be in English.


Applications and supporting documentation will not be accepted by mail or email. The address posted below is for inquiries only. You may apply more than once, but the most recent application is the only one that will be used. You must submit your resume, application questionnaire, and any supporting documents by 11:59 pm Eastern Time Sunday, May 31, 2015


We recommend that you apply as soon as possible in order to receive consideration as this announcement will close on Sunday, May 31, 2015 11:59 pm Eastern Time OR on the day we receive 16,500 applicants (whichever comes first).


If you recently tested under BPA 15-4 and are still pending your test results, you DO NOT need to reapply.


Duty Locations: You will only be able to select one geographic corridor. Positions may be filled at any CBP duty station within the corridor. You must be willing to work at any duty station that falls within that corridor. 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:

  • South Texas Corridor – (to include but not limited to the following locations) Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Cotulla, Dallas, Falfurrias, Fort Brown, Freer, Harlingen, Hebbronville, Kingsville, Laredo North, Laredo South, Laredo West, McAllen, San Antonio, Weslaco, and Zapata, TEXAS
  • West Texas/New Mexico Corridor – (to include but not limited to the following locations) Abilene, Alpine, Amarillo, Big Bend National Park, Brackettville, Carrizo Springs, Comstock, Del Rio, Eagle Pass North, Eagle Pass South, El Paso, Fabens, Fort Hancock, Fort Stockton, Lubbock, Marfa, Midland, Pecos, Presidio, Rocksprings, San Angelo, Sanderson, Sierra Blanca, and Uvalde, TEXAS; Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Deming, Las Cruces, Lordsburg, Santa Teresa, and Truth or Consequences, NEW MEXICO
  • Arizona Corridor – (to include but not limited to the following locations) Ajo, Blythe, Casa Grande, Douglas, Naco, Nogales, Sonoita, Tucson, Wellton, Willcox, and Yuma, ARIZONA

A detailed map of Border Patrol Sectors can be found at:


Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for thefederal government, you are not ICTAP eligible. View information about ICTAP eligibilityon OPM’s CareerTransition Resources website. To be considered eligible under ICTAP, you must be placed in the highly qualifiedcategory for this position, as described above. In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listedunder the required documents section of this announcement.


Relocations expenses will not be paid. To compare the cost of living data, calculate mortgage scenarios or gather information on communities and schools, visit:


  • Resume: A resume in English is required. It must contain your full legal name, address, phone number, a detailed description of your duties and the dates you performed those duties (MM/DD/YY), as well as your work schedule and hours worked per week.


  • 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.


  • Veterans’ Preference: 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-Pointpreference must submit documentation that demonstrates preference eligibility. Please see the documentation as listed on the SF-15 . If applying based on eligibility under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act, you must submit certification from the Armed Forces that you will be discharged or released from active duty within 120 days from the date on the certification. This must indicate your dates of service, your rank, and confirm that you will be separated under honorable conditions. Viewmore veterans’ information.


  • Age Requirement Documents: If you are over the age of 37 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. Ensure that you enter your creditable service dates in the Job Related Experience field on the Questionnaire.


  • Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)? Submit:
  • a copy of your agency notice,
    •  a copy of your most recent performance rating, and
    •  a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, noting your current position, grade level, and duty location


Documents must be uploaded as the correct document type or they will not be considered. Example: Resume must be submitted as a Resume. If you fax your documents you must use the fax cover sheet found at: and fax to (478)757-3144. You must indicate Vacancy Identification Number LN1368901 on the fax cover sheet or your documents will not be properly uploaded.

It is your responsibility to verify that information entered, or supporting documents that are uploaded or faxed are received and are accurate. CBP will not modify, change, or contact you regarding the completeness or accuracy of your application. If a document is not legible, you will not be able to view it in Application Manager and you must again upload or fax it by the closing date.









Border Patrol MHC OBP DEU
Phone: (952)857-2927

Agency Information:
CBP Entry Level OFO OBP
5600 American Blvd
Bloomington, MN


Once you submit your application, we will assess your experience and training. If you meet the qualifications for this position, you will receive an email from email address to schedule the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Examination (Place/date/time). Please be sure to check your email, spam, and junk folders daily. Testing will be available June 24 – July 8, 2015. The examination may take up to five (5) hours to complete. Approximately 30 days after you pass the examination you will be considered for future openings in “category order” in accordance with veterans’ preference regulations. As referrals are made in the geographic corridor you select and your category is reached, you will be referred for consideration to start the pre-employment process. There is no guarantee of selection. Your status will be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBSACCOUNT, click on “Application Status,” and then click “More Information.”


If you are already in the pre-employment process for a Border Patrol Agent position and you reapply under this announcement and are subsequently referred for a position, your new referral will replace any existing Border Patrol Agent referral regardless of preference corridor for which you are currently in process, and may delay your pre-employment processes.


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 andresponsibilities.


All agency employees are required to participate in Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer for salary payments.


Requests for Reasonable Accommodations to apply to this announcement must be received before the Job Opportunity Announcement closes to be considered for this job opening. Decisions on Reasonable Accommodations requests are made on a case-by-case basis.


View more information on applying for federal employment.

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