The United States Border Patrol is a federal law enforcement agency responsible for preventing illegal immigration, human trafficking, and drug smuggling into the United States. The agency is a part of the Department of Homeland Security and is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country.

If you are interested in a career in border patrol, then this article is for you. This guide will provide all the information you need to know about becoming a border patrol agent.

Border Patrol

About the Border Patrol

The U.S. Border Patrol is responsible for protecting the borders of the United States. This includes preventing illegal immigration, human trafficking, and drug smuggling across the nation’s borders. The agency’s main mission is to detect and prevent the entry of individuals and contraband into the United States.

Duties of a Border Patrol Agent

The primary responsibility of a Border Patrol Agent is to prevent and detect illegal immigration, human trafficking, and drug smuggling. Agents must respond to alarms and pursue and apprehend individuals unlawfully trying to enter the country. They are required to maintain logs, reports, and records of individuals entering and leaving the country. Agents must also be prepared to help locate lost or missing persons and assist in national security efforts.


To become a Border Patrol Agent, individuals must meet various qualifications. These include being a U.S. citizen, holding a valid state driver’s license, and having a clean background check. Candidates must also pass several exams, including a vision test, polygraph, physical fitness test, drug test, criminal background check, and psychological evaluation.

In addition to these requirements, candidates must be enrolled in or have graduated from an accredited college or university and possess a valid firearms permit. Candidates must also complete a 45-day Border Patrol Academy program or equivalent experience in the criminal justice field.


Once an individual has been accepted as a Border Patrol Agent, they will begin a 45-day training program at the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. The rigorous Academy emphasizes physical conditioning, firearms training, and law and procedures training. After successfully completing the Academy, agents must complete the Field Training Officer Program. This program will teach the new agents how to apply the knowledge and skills acquired at the Academy to daily operations.

Border Patrol Agent

Compensation and Benefits

Border Patrol Agents are compensated with a salary based on the GL-07 grade level of the federal General Schedule (G.S.) pay scale. Border Patrol Agents typically start out at a salary of above $40,000 but may receive more based on experience, location, and other factors. In addition to the salary, Border Patrol Agents also enjoy an extensive benefits package that includes health and life insurance, paid holidays and vacation days, retirement plans, and tuition assistance.

Job Outlook

There is significant job growth in this field due partly to increased international travel, anti-terrorism measures, and the need for tighter border security. The BLS also notes that most job openings for Border Patrol Agents will be in border states, such as Arizona, California, and Texas.


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