Border Patrol Agent

Basic Qualifications

1. You must be a United States citizen.

2. You must possess a valid automobile driver’s license.

3. You must take and pass the CBP Border Patrol entrance examination. The CBP Border Patrol entrance examination is a three-part test, which covers logical reasoning skill, Spanish Language, or if you don’t speak Spanish, an Artificial Language test that predicts your ability to learn Spanish, and an assessment of job related experiences and achievements.

4. To qualify at the GL-5 level, you must have a substantial background of experience (paid, voluntary, full or part-time), of which at least one year must have been comparable in level of difficulty and responsibility to grade GS-4 in the federal service. The work experience does not have to be law enforcement related. (You must describe all work experience in your application for employment in order to gain proper consideration.)

This type of experience must demonstrate an ability to take charge, make decisions and maintain composure in stressful situations; it must demonstrate an ability to maintain interpersonal relationships with coworkers and the public and it must demonstrate a propensity to learn both on the job and through formal instruction.


If you do not have the work experience described above, a 4-year college degree can be substituted for and is fully qualifying for the GL-5 level. There is no requirement that the degree is in any particular field or that it is a recent degree;


You may qualify through a combination of education and work experience (assuming you have not completed your degree). Each year of full-time semester or quarter units equates to three months of general work experience. For example, if you had two (2) years of full-time college education, that would equate to six months of experience with an additional six (6) months of generalized work experience, you could qualify for the GL-5 position.

Qualifying at the GL-7: It is extremely important for you to provide the documentation described below if you want to be considered for a grade GL-7. Your grade level will be determined based on the information you provide with your application. If you are offered a position as a GL-5 Border Patrol Agent (Trainee), and you accept, you cannot change your grade level once you enter on duty. Your application (Resume, OF-612, or SF-171) must completely and specifically describe your job duties that you want considered in the determination. All transcripts, calculations, and other documentation must be submitted to the CBP Minneapolis Hiring Center within 10 days of notification of selection Failure to provide this documentation will result in you not being found eligible at the GL-7 grade level. If you have one (1) year of Law Enforcement Experience comparable in level of difficulty and responsibility to GL-5 you may qualify for GL-7. The CBP Minneapolis Hiring Center will determine what meets the specialized experience requirement. Experience must have demonstrated 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:
Develop and maintain contact with a network of informants.
All four items listed must be met in order to qualify at the GL-7 grade level based on experience. You must address all four of these items in your application


If you have one (1) full year of Graduate education in law or a field related to law enforcement (e.g. Criminal Justice, Police Science), you can qualify for the GL-7.


Superior Academic Achievement (SAA): to qualify for the GL-7 under the SAA provision, you must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4 year college/university. SAA is based on (1) grade point average (GPA of 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 for all completed undergraduate courses, or courses completed in the last 2 years of undergraduate study, or a GPA of 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 for all courses in the major field of study, or required courses in the major field completed in the last 2 years of undergraduate study; (2) class standing (applicants must be in the upper third of their graduating class in their college, university or major subdivision; or (3) honor society membership (applicants must have been a member of a national scholastic honor society other than freshman honor societies).

5. You must pass a urine drug test: tentative selectees for this position will be required to submit to a urine drug screen for illegal substances prior to appointment. This position is designated for testing for illegal drug use; after hiring, incumbents are subject to random testing. In addition to drug screening, candidates must meet specific medical and physical requirements.

6. You must be younger than 40 at the time of selection. The limitation may be waived for applicants who are presently in Federal civilian law enforcement positions covered under the special retirement provisions of P.L. 100-238, or who have been in such positions in the past.

7. You must appear before an oral interview panel and demonstrate that you possess the abilities and other characteristics important to Border Patrol Agent positions. Among these are interpersonal skills, judgment, and problem-solving abilities.

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