Border Patrol Hiring Process | Job Application, Interviews, and Employment

Being a Border Patrol agent may be the ideal career path for you if you have an interest in supporting U.S. border security. 

As part of the border patrol hiring process, border patrol candidates take an entrance exam, have their education and experience reviewed, and are screened for a variety of indicators. 

As a Border Patrol agent, you’ll find the job both rewarding and dangerous. Besides the compensation packages and the opportunity to progress regularly, you’ll also be rewarded with a lucrative benefit package. We shall also look at the border patrol requirements.

Border Patrol Job Description

Approximately 20,000 Border Patrol agents serve in the United States. They work on foot, on horses, in vehicles, and even on boats. They also patrol the coast to protect the U.S. borders. 

A Border Patrol agent never knows what each day will bring. Facing danger is a regular part of the job. When Border Patrol agent encounters a dangerous situation, they act quickly and decisively. This position requires patience, excellent interpersonal skills, and knowledge of security or law enforcement. Multilingual abilities are an asset.

Physical fitness is vital for CBP officers who have physically demanding jobs. You’ll have to show your fitness level in a variety of ways during training, so begin preparing as soon as you decide to apply. There are other educational and experience requirements as well.

Border Patrol Educational Requirements 

In order to be considered for the Border Patrol hiring process, you must meet certain qualifications, including having a valid driver’s license, passing a criminal background check, and passing a drug test. 

A Border Patrol entrance exam is required for every applicant. The exam assesses your reasoning skills, Spanish language proficiency, and understanding of security or law enforcement issues. If you do not speak Spanish, the test assesses your ability to pick up the language.

The minimum requirement to become a basic agent is one year’s experience in law enforcement or in a related field. If you have an undergraduate or graduate degree in law enforcement or criminal justice, it may be possible to move up to a higher position.

How Much Do US Border Patrols Make?

We have seen the requirements but, how much do US border patrols make? While picking out the Border patrol hiring process, it is equally important you find out your potential salary as a border patrol agent and how rewarding the industry is.

The basic annual salary of a Border Patrol agent was $40,511. Your assigned work location and overtime potential can increase your compensation by up to $12,000. 

Besides your salary, you are entitled to a generous welfare package that includes paid sick leave, vacation time, retirement plans, and insurance. Regular promotions will increase your salary incrementally.

The federal government promotes border patrol agents through an elaborate structure. They start out as entry-level agents, advance to journeymen, and then advance to supervisory and executive positions. 

RELATED:  Carmax Hiring Process |Job Application, Interviews and Employment

Promotion to the first five levels requires only a supervisor’s approval. The pay increase between each of these levels is between $8000 and $13,000. 

The salary increase from year one to year two might be approximately $10,000, and the top level of this position can make over $80.000.

Border Patrol Requirements

Border Patrol Agents have both mental and physical challenges, so they must go through a rigorous application process to ensure they are qualified to perform the tasks they are expected to perform.

We are going to take the CBP Border patrol hiring process one step at a time. This is to ensure clarity and a concise understanding of border patrol requirements. Below is the border patrol hiring process for new recruits.

1. Basic Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a US border patrol job, you must possess a good number of the following.

  • Should be a citizen of the United States, hold a valid driver’s license, and have lived in the U.S. for at least three of the last five years (military exception).
  • Should be eligible to carry a firearm.
  • Must be referred for selection before you turn 40 years of age (waiver for veterans’ preference eligible or those who have previously done military service).
  • You will be required to travel often.
  • This job may require extended domestic and foreign Temporary Duty (TDY) assignments.

You are not eligible for a CPB border patrol job if you fall into any of the categories below.

  • Using drugs or selling drugs.
  • Being convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.
  • Intentional harboring or concealing of illegal immigrants.

2. Apply Online

If you are interested in applying, you will find the position’s title or a link on the Apply Now page of USAJOBS. To apply online, you will need to create an account and self-certify that you are qualified. 

Please submit a resume, transcripts, and other documents to verify your age and veteran status. You can start your application today by visiting the Apply Now page.

3. Sit for the Border Patrol Exam

Border patrol hiring process will not be complete if you have not sat for the exam. A Border Patrol Agent must be able to pass an entrance exam administered at the location of their choice.

The entrance exam comprises two parts. The first is an online Candidate Experience Record that measures your ability to work as a Border Patrol Agent.

A computer or phone test will take you less than one hour, and the second test you will take at a local testing center involves logical reasoning. We recommend you allow four hours (including travel, check-in, and testing time) to complete this test.

The entrance exam is unnecessary for applicants who qualify at the GL-9 level. 

RELATED:  Microsoft Hiring Process | Job Application, Interviews and Employment

4 Review of Qualifications

A Human Resources Specialist, who determines what grade you qualify for based on your qualifications and other supporting documents, will review your resume. 

In order to review your application quickly and accurately, submit a resume that outlines your qualifications, describes your duties (including tasks performed), and the dates you performed those duties.

We strongly recommend that you review our resume guide to prepare for your Federal resume if your resume does not reveal your qualifications. 

5. Border Patrol Background Check/Investigation

As a condition of hiring, selected applicants must complete and pass a background investigation.

This can be initiated by completing the SF-86 or SF-85 (e-QIP). Four key components make up the background investigation process: preliminary vetting checks, polygraph examination, investigation (including OPM’s National Agency Checks), and adjudication. 

Various results from the vetting check, polygraph exam, and investigation are analyzed to make a final judgment. Learn more about the background investigation

6. CPD Medical Border Patrol Requirements

Medically and physically fit individuals should be capable of performing the essential job functions and duties without aggravating existing health problems and without endangering the health and safety of the individual, others, or the nation.

After candidates are tentatively selected, they must undergo a pre-employment medical examination and be deemed medically fit to fulfill the full range of duties of the job.

CBP may disqualify a job candidate for medical reasons if they have a condition that may interfere with their ability to perform their duties or training.

There is no automatic disqualification; each case is assessed individually. 

7. Fitness Requirement

It is required to pass the PFT-1 so CBP can guarantee that you will carry out critical tasks of the job, such as force usage. The test includes push-ups, sit-ups, and a step test. CBP has created a six-week standardized training program to help you prepare for the PFT-1.

A role as a border patrol agent requires you’re physically healthy and scale through a physical test. Discover: Pre-Employment Physical: How to Prepare for it

8. CBP Structured Interview

In the final stages of border patrol interview process, the Board of Current Border Patrol Agents will interview you to ensure you have the competencies important to successful job performance. Among them are judgment/decision-making, emotional maturity, interpersonal skills, and a sense of cooperation/sensibility.

9. CBP Polygraph Exam

A polygraph exam is a standardized polygraph examination that is required by the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010. You will participate in a 4-6 hour interview in which you will be asked questions about national security issues as well as provide answers about your background in criminal investigations.

During the polygraph exam, your physiological response is assessed and accuracy is monitored. Learn more about the polygraph here.

10. CBP Border Patrol Drug Test

Border Patrol Agents are directly involved in narcotics interdiction and are routinely exposed to illegal substances. As part of the application process, a random drug test will be conducted. You would be disqualified immediately if you test positive. 

RELATED:  10 Best Answers To "Why Are You Looking For a New Job?" Question in an Interview

Visit the applications source page to find out frequently asked questions about drug tests at CBP

Border patrol requirements at CBP are all geared towards ensuring men and women of sound integrity and character are entrusted with the job of safeguarding territorial borders. The border patrol hiring process is usually rigorous but rest assured it will be worth it in the end.


Because Customs and Border Patrol guards a significant number of borders and seaports in the United States, CBP Officers are essential to the safety of the nation.

US Border patrol requirements are very transparent giving everyone the equal opportunity of getting hired irrespective of race, culture, religion, ethnicity, e.t.c.

California border patrol agents captured $623,000 in hard narcotics in April of 2018 and in many other cases similar to this. Working as a BCP officer will be an enjoyable experience if you get hired. ​​​​​​​

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long is the process for border patrol? 

At present, the time to hire CBP Officers and Agents averages 300 days. CBP’s Fast Track Hiring Process is intended to reduce that time to 120 days or less. The agency has had difficulty meeting its CBPO and BPA hiring targets in the past.

What should I expect at my Border Patrol interview?

Two interviewers who will ask you questions designed to measure specific competencies will interview you. The interviewers will inquire into your experience handling difficult situations and probe for additional details

How hard is Border Patrol polygraph?

Applicants who wish to pass the polygraph examination must be up-front and cooperative, as CBP Polygraph Examiners work hard to provide a fair and accurate exam.

How hard is it to get a Border Patrol job?

It can be both mentally and physically challenging to work as a Border Patrol Agent, which is why the application process is a rigorous one in order to ensure that the applicants will be capable of performing their duties.

What is age limit for border patrol?

Currently, you cannot have reached 40 years of age by the time of your nomination for selection. However, you may not need to meet that age requirement if you are currently or have previously served in a federal civilian law enforcement (non-military) position covered by Title 5 U.S.


  • How Long Does it Take to Get a Job With the Border Patrol? –
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection is now hiring! –


Leave a Reply
You May Also Like