US Border Patrol Requirements
1) Review the US Border Patrol requirements below to see if you qualify. (The US Border Patrol is very strict with its requirements.)
2) View open positions and apply online the CBP.gov website.
US Border Patrol Careers
United States Border Patrol is a federal agency within the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is itself part of the Department of Homeland Security. The top priority of Border Patrol Agents is to keep terrorists and undocumented aliens from entering the United States, and to apprehend those who have illegally entered the US.
The US Border Patrol has become the first-line agency for detecting and preventing the illegal smuggling of drugs across US borders. Border Patrol Agents play a largee role in detecting and preventing terrorists from entering the US and harming US citizens.
US Border Patrol Requirements
There are several Border Patrol Agent requirements:
- You must be a US citizen with a valid driver's license
- You must pass a drug test
- You cannot be a convicted criminal
- You must pass the CBP Border Patrol entrance exam (see below)
- Other medical and physical requirements
- To qualify for the GL-5 level (border patrol agent trainee), you must have experience (either paid or voluntary) that demonstrates an ability to make decisions and maintain composure in potentially dangerous situations. You must also be able to learn both on the job and through formal instruction.
- If you don't have the required background experience, a 4-year college degree is a valid substitute and will qualify you for the GL-5 level. There is no requirement that the degree be in any particular field, but you might consider a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice if fighting crime is your passion.
- To qualify at the GL-7 level, you must have one year of law enforcement experience comparable in difficulty and responsibility level to GL-5.
- If you don't have one year of experience, one full year of graduate education in law or a law-enforcement related field (e.g., Criminal Justice), will qualify you for the GL-7. You may want to consider a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice.
- Contact the CBP for a complete list of its border patrol requirements.
Border Patrol Entrance Exam
One of the main Border Patrol requirements is to pass the Customs and Border Protection entrance exam. The test is made up of three sections, and you can find a test-prep manual on the CBP website.
- Section 1: Logical Reasoning
- Section 2: Spanish Language Proficiency
- Section 3: Artificial Language Test: this section tests your ability to learn new languages
Border Patrol Requirements: Education
As you can see above, if you don't have the required experience, you can still become a border patrol agent with the right education. If you're thinking of a career as a border patrol agent but don't have law enforcement experience, you may want to consider one of the following degrees, depending on how ambitious your are:
The schools affiliated with our site will provide you with the knowledge that the US Border Patrol demands. Our accredited schools offer programs in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security. Many of the schools offer online and accelerated degree options so that working individuals can maintain their employment while completing the educational requirements for a US Border Patrol job.
Border Patrol Agent Job and Salary Expectations
A starting salary as a border patrol agent is based on your initial grade (GL-5 or GL-7). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook classifies border patrol officers under police and detectives and lists the median annual average salary at $55,010.
Border patrol agents have a challenging and potentially dangerous career. Are you up to the challenge? Request information from the schools below and decide for yourself.
Online Criminal Justice Schools
- Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement (Online)
- Bachelor's in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement (Online)
- Bachelor of Arts - Law Enforcement Administration (Online)
- Master's in Criminal Justice with Federal Law Enforcement Specialization (Online)