Border Patrol Agent

The United States Border Patrol, a federal government agency, frequently works with the Departments of Border Protection and Customs. It conducts operations under the supervision of the Department of Homeland Security. The Border Patrol is primarily responsible for protecting the nation's borders from drug smuggling and illegal crossings. When illegal border crossings are detected, Border Patrol agents are responsible for apprehending illegal immigrants. Because large quantities of drugs are smuggled into the U.S. through the border, Border Patrol agents also conduct operations to seize illegal drugs. Likewise, since terrorists have attempted to enter the U.S. via the border, Border Patrol agents are now involved with counter-terrorism. Demand is currently very high for qualified Border Patrol agents.

The Border Patrol today and its mission
The Border Patrol is the law enforcement division within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency, and it acts under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It was established by the U.S. Congress in 1924 to address illegal immigration. Prior to the establishment of the Border Patrol, the Bureau of Immigration was responsible for enforcing immigration law. The Border Patrol was primarily established to stop human smuggling.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Border Patrol has been assigned counter-terrorism duties, including the apprehension of terrorists and weapon smugglers attempting to enter the country illegally. Even though this agency has undergone numerous changes through the years, its main duty remains to detect and apprehend illegal immigrants. In joint effort with other police agencies, the Border Patrol conducts surveillance and raids to stop drug, weapons, and human trafficking.

The Border Patrol is responsible for monitoring the U.S. Mexican and Canadian borders, covering more than 6,000 miles of land. Additionally, they're responsible for monitoring the 2,000 miles of coastline around Puerto Rico and Florida. Border Patrol agents can be assigned to shifts during all hours of the day, and they're required to frequently work in inclement weather and rugged terrain. Border Patrol agents also work in cities throughout the United States far from the border.

Border Patrol agents have dangerous jobs. Several agents have been killed or seriously injured at work. Border Patrol agents need to be desirous to protect and assist others and exercise self-discipline.

Major activities of a Border Patrol agent
Border Patrol agents have many responsibilities, but detecting, stopping, and apprehending drug and gun smugglers, terrorists, and illegal aliens is their main responsibility. This is also known as the line watch. To do this, Border Patrol agents organize surveillance activities, monitor electronic surveillance technology, search land near the border for physical evidence of illegal crossings, conduct raids to apprehend illegals, and respond to leads provided by aircraft surveillance. Border Patrol agents are also responsible for monitoring traffic border traffic, inspecting ranches and farms for human and drug smuggling, manning checkpoint stations, conducting raids, collecting intelligence, patrolling cities, and arresting drug and human smugglers.

How to apply
It is not difficult applying for a Border Patrol agent position. When Border Patrol agent positions become open, details about job qualifications and training are posted on and If you want to apply immediately for a Border Patrol job, fill out the online application available at

Foreign language requirements
It's not necessary to be a fluent Spanish speaker prior to joining the Border Patrol, but individuals admitted to the Border Patrol Academy are required to learn Spanish. Once you begin working, you will be required to pass multiple Spanish tests to remain employed with the Border Patrol.

The CBP Border Patrol Entrance Examination
The Border Patrol entrance exam consists of 3 sections covering prior work experience, Spanish language skills (candidates who do not speak Spanish will be tested with an artificial language to determine aptitude), and logical reasoning. Study guides and additional details about the exam are available at

Education and Training Requirements
The Border Patrol has minimum education requirements. Applicants without applicable work experience can obtain a bachelor's or master's degree to qualify for entry-level jobs at the GS-5 pay level. Ideal applicants hold bachelor's degrees and have some applicable work experience. Good majors to prepare for a career with the Border Patrol offer specialized study in homeland security or criminal justice. Potential agents must hold a valid driver's license, be U.S. citizens, have a background free of Class A misdemeanors and felonies, and be less than 40 years of age. Likewise, applicants who've committed any Class b misdemeanors must have a minimum of 10 years between the date of conviction and application, meet physical fitness standards, and undergo a background check.

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