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CBP Officers work in a fast-paced environment at 328 ports of entry throughout the United States. They are responsible for border security, including counterterrorism, customs, immigration, trade, and agriculture.

Captions: CBPeople: Ecaterina Capatina

 

JOIN OUR TEAM

I AM A VETERAN OR TRANSITIONING SERVICE MEMBER

As a veteran, you have served your country with honor and integrity. Now, you are back home and may be looking forward to starting a second chapter in your career — one with stability, excellent pay and benefits, a culture of camaraderie among others who have served like yourself, and the opportunity to continue your service in a different capacity. As a veteran or Transitioning Service Member, CBP offers a hiring preference along with an expedited hiring process — only a few reasons why you should apply to become a CBP Officer.

EXCELLENT PAY AND BENEFITS

CBP offers excellent pay and benefits—from the inception of your career into retirement. Click here to learn more about pay and benefits.

HIRING PREFERENCE

If you are an eligible veteran, CBP offers qualified, eligible veterans an advantage over others when recruiting under competitive external procedures (i.e., announcements open to anyone in the general public). Depending on the position being filled, veteran applicants may be placed ahead of other candidates in a ranking category.

To learn what preference you may qualify for, follow the step-by-step question service offered by the Department of Labor’s Veteran Preference Advisor.

CBP will provide preference at the point of selection to eligible veterans who were discharged or released from military service under honorable conditions AND must be eligible under one of the preference categories listed on the OPM site or on the Standard Form 50. Visit OPM’s page on Types of Preference for more information.

EXCITING CAREER, CONTINUED SERVICE

At CBP, no day is ever the same, but some things remain constant: vigilance, service to country, and integrity. CBP Officers are located across the country and work at airports and ports of entry to keep the American people safe. When you join CBP, you can continue your service to country in a new and different capacity. Click here for more information on why you should apply to become a CBP Officer today!

COMMUNITY CULTURE

Roughly a third of CBP’s staff has served in the military. If you are a veteran joining CBP, you will find many others that share your military background and principles. When it comes to principles, veterans personify CBP’s core values: vigilance, service to country, and integrity. Furthermore, veterans fit well with CBP’s culture of teamwork and innovation.

EXPEDITED HIRING PROCESS

CBP uses a Veteran Recruitment Appointment (VRA) to streamline the hiring process for eligible veterans. If you are a transitioning service member, your recent military fitness test and military medical examination may provide credit for successful completion of the required CBP medical qualification and fitness test requirements. Additionally, you may meet the criteria to receive a waiver for the polygraph examination—which could potentially allow you to complete the hiring process in approximately 90 days.

INITIAL REQUIREMENTS

Click here for a list of requirements.

I AM A STUDENT OR RECENT GRADUATE

Whether you are a student or recent graduate, right now is an exciting time in your life. Keep the excitement going in your post-grad life by starting your career in law enforcement as a CBP Officer. At CBP, no day is ever the same—and certainly not spent in a desk or cubicle. As you begin to make important decisions about your career path, keep reading to make a great choice and apply to become a CBP Officer today!

Are you still a junior or senior in college? Don’t worry—we have an opportunity for you. Click here to learn about the CBP Pathways Programs and apply to become a CBP Officer Student Trainee.

EXCITING CAREER

Making a decision to start your career path can be daunting, but CBP has an opportunity for you. When you start your career in federal law enforcement, you begin the road to a solid career path—one where you secure the border and prevent smuggling activity while enforcing immigration laws, protecting agriculture, and ensuring trade compliance. Click here for more information on why you should apply to become a CBP Officer today!

EXCELLENT PAY AND BENEFITS

CBP offers excellent pay and benefits—from the inception of your career into retirement. Click here to learn more about pay and benefits.

LOCATION OPTIONS

CBP Officers are located all across the country at 328 ports of entry and around the world. Click here for a map of Duty Locations.

TRAVEL THE WORLD

CBP offers overseas opportunities in South and Central America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia, through three different programs, developed in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:

  • Container Security Initiative (CSI): Intended to protect the U.S. from acts of terror in containerized maritime cargo while facilitating legitimate trade. Under the CSI program, CBP stations its Officers in foreign seaports to work with host government personnel to target and inspect potentially high-risk containerized maritime shipments before they are laden on vessels destined to the United States.
  • Pre-Clearance: CBP Preclearance operations strengthen our ability to identify terrorists, criminals, and other national security threats prior to encountering them on U.S. soil. Preclearance operations place the Nation’s most effective counterterrorism asset, a trained U.S. law enforcement professional, at points of departure to protect the traveling public and provide for advanced aviation security screening. The Preclearance Field Office deploys over 600 CBP officers and Agriculture Specialists to 15 international airport locations and one (1) passenger-ferry location.
  • Immigration Advisory Program (IAP): CBP also operates at nine Immigration Advisory Program and two Joint Security Program locations, through which CBP may recommend that air carriers not permit identified high-risk travelers to board U.S.-bound flights.

INITIAL REQUIREMENTS

Click here for a list of requirements.

I AM IN LAW ENFORCEMENT OR A FIRST RESPONDER

If you are already in law enforcement or a first responder, you understand the reward in giving back to your community and helping those in need. At CBP, you can use your will to help and give back to your community by protecting the Nation’s borders and the American people by becoming a CBP Officer.

Moreover, whether you are in law enforcement or a first responder, you may already possess many of the application and hiring requirements to successfully become a CBP Officer.

EXCELLENT PAY AND BENEFITS

CBP offers excellent pay and benefits—from the inception of your career into retirement. Click here to learn more about pay and benefits.

LOCATION OPTIONS

CBP Officers are located all across the country at 328 ports of entry and around the world. Click here for a map of Duty Locations.

TRAVEL THE WORLD

CBP offers overseas opportunities in South and Central America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia, through three different programs, developed in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:

  • Container Security Initiative (CSI): Intended to protect the U.S. from acts of terror in containerized maritime cargo while facilitating legitimate trade. Under the CSI program, CBP stations its Officers in foreign seaports to work with host government personnel to target and inspect potentially high-risk containerized maritime shipments before they are laden on vessels destined to the United States.
  • Pre-Clearance: CBP Preclearance operations strengthen our ability to identify terrorists, criminals, and other national security threats prior to encountering them on U.S. soil. Preclearance operations place the Nation’s most effective counterterrorism asset, a trained U.S. law enforcement professional, at points of departure to protect the traveling public and provide for advanced aviation security screening. The Preclearance Field Office deploys over 600 CBP officers and Agriculture Specialists to 15 international airport locations and one (1) passenger-ferry location.
  • Immigration Advisory Program (IAP): CBP also operates at nine Immigration Advisory Program and two Joint Security Program locations, through which CBP may recommend that air carriers not permit identified high-risk travelers to board U.S.-bound flights.

INITIAL REQUIREMENTS

Click here for a list of requirements.

I AM INTERESTED

Are you looking for an exciting, challenging, and rewarding career? CBP employees protect our Nation’s borders from terrorism, human and drug smuggling, illegal migration, and agricultural pests while simultaneously facilitating the flow of legitimate travel and trade.

If you are interested in protecting the public from dangerous threats and materials attempting to cross the border, while enhancing the Nation’s global economic competitiveness by enabling legitimate trade and travel at ports of entry, then apply today to become a CBP Officer. Typical assignments include:

  • Enforcing customs, immigration, and agriculture law and regulations;
  • Facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel;
  • Conducting inspections of individuals and conveyances;
  • Determining the admissibility of individuals for entry into the United States; and
  • Preventing the illegal entry of individuals and prohibited goods and the smuggling of illegal drugs and other contraband.

EXCELLENT PAY AND BENEFITS

CBP offers excellent pay and benefits from the inception of your career into retirement. Click here to learn more about pay and benefits.

LOCATION OPTIONS

CBP Officers are located all across the country at 328 ports of entry and around the world. Click here for a map of Duty Locations.

TRAVEL THE WORLD

CBP offers overseas opportunities in South and Central America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia, through three different programs, developed in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:

  • Container Security Initiative (CSI): Intended to protect the U.S. from acts of terror in containerized maritime cargo while facilitating legitimate trade. Under the CSI program, CBP stations its Officers in foreign seaports to work with host government personnel to target and inspect potentially high-risk containerized maritime shipments before they are laden on vessels destined to the United States.
  • Pre-Clearance: CBP Preclearance operations strengthen our ability to identify terrorists, criminals, and other national security threats prior to encountering them on U.S. soil. Preclearance operations place the Nation’s most effective counterterrorism asset, a trained U.S. law enforcement professional, at points of departure to protect the traveling public and provide for advanced aviation security screening. The Preclearance Field Office deploys over 600 CBP officers and Agriculture Specialists to 15 international airport locations and one (1) passenger-ferry location.
  • Immigration Advisory Program (IAP): CBP also operates at nine Immigration Advisory Program and two Joint Security Program locations, through which CBP may recommend that air carriers not permit identified high-risk travelers to board U.S.-bound flights.

INITIAL REQUIREMENTS

Click here for a list of requirements.

APPLICATION PROCESS

APPLICATION PROCESS

Being a CBP Officer can be both mentally and physically challenging. As a result, the application process to become a CBP Officer is intentionally rigorous to ensure those selected can carryout the duties that are expected of them. Click the section buttons or titles below to learn about basic eligibility.

Expand Basic Eligibility

In order to be eligible for employment with the CBP, applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Have a valid driver's license.
  • Have resided in the U.S. for at least 3 of the last 5 years (military exception).
  • Be eligible to carry a firearm.
  • Referred for selection prior to your 40th birthday (waiver for veterans' preference eligible or those that have previously served in a federal civilian law enforcement position).
  • Be willing to travel; you will be required to travel frequently. This job may require extended domestic and foreign Temporary Duty (TDY) assignments.
  • Pass the application process (see details below).

Common Disqualifiers

You may be rated unsuitable for the CBP Officer position if your background includes:

  • Use of illegal drugs, and/or the sale and distribution of illegal drugs. View our FAQ on prior illegal drug use
  • Convictions (including misdemeanor domestic violence charges)
  • Intentional harboring or concealment of an illegal alien

9 steps int eh process to employment. Note that several steps occur at the same time or may occur in a different order

Expand 1. Apply

Apply to be a CBP Officer on USAJOBS
To apply, navigate to the position you are interested in on USAJOBS by searching the position title or by finding the link on the Apply Now page. To begin your online application, you need to create a USA Jobs account and self certify that you are qualified. You will submit your resume, transcripts, and other documents to verify your age and if you are a veteran. Visit our Apply Now page to start your application today!

Expand 2. Take the Entrance Exam (GS-9 waiver)

You must be willing to take an entrance exam at location of your choice The entrance exam measures your mental ability to perform the job functions of a CBP Officer. It is a 4 - 6 hour exam that consists of logic based reasoning, arithmetic reasoning, writing skills, and work style. More information and a study guide are available under current applicant resources.

Entrance Exam waiver for GS-9 Applicants: Applicants who qualify at the GS-9 level are not required to take the entrance exam.

Expand 3. Qualifications Review

Submit a properly formatted resume on USAJOBS to ensure your qualifications are accurate
Human Resources Specialists will review your resume and other required documents to make sure you meet the minimum qualifications and determine which grade you qualify for. For your application to be reviewed quickly and accurately, it is recommended that you submit a resume that appropriately documents your qualifications, detailed description of your duties (including tasks performed), the dates you performed those duties (MM/DD/YYYY - MM/DD/YYYY) and hours worked per week. If your resume and/or transcripts do not clearly document how you are qualified, you may be rated ineligible. We highly recommend you review our resume guide in preparing your Federal resume: (CBP Officer Resume Aid)

Expand 4. Background Investigation

CBP Officer applicants undergo a thorough background investigation
All selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation as a condition of placement into a CBP position. The SF-86 or SF-85 (e-QIP) must be completed to initiate the background investigation. The background investigation process consists of four key elements: the preliminary vetting checks, the polygraph examination, the investigation (the field portion and OPM’s National Agency Checks) and the final adjudication. The results produced from the vetting checks, the polygraph exam, and the investigation are analyzed for the purpose of making a final adjudicative determination. Learn more about the background investigation.

View the detailed overview of CBP’s suitability process

Expand 5. Medical Exam

General Medical Requirements:
Individuals in this position must be medically and physically capable of performing the essential job functions and duties of the position safely and efficiently without aggravating existing health problems or endangering the health and safety of the individual, others, or national security.

After tentative selection, candidates must undergo a pre-employment medical examination and be found medically qualified to perform the position's full range of duties safely and efficiently. Any disease or condition that may potentially interfere with the safe and efficient performance of the job's duties or training may result in medical disqualification. No condition is automatically disqualifying; each determination is made on a case-by-case basis. The medical determination may involve recommendations for additional information and/or testing. If medical information is recommended beyond that provided by the initial medical examination, it is provided at the expense of the candidate.

Minimum Vision Requirements

  • Near Vision: Must test at least 20/40 Snellen binocular, (with both eyes viewing) with or without correction.
  • Distant Vision Acuity: Binocular visual acuity must be at least 20/30, with or without correction.
  • Uncorrected Vision: Uncorrected binocular vision must be 20/100 or better.
  • Color Vision: Must be able to distinguish primary colors as defined by color perception Ishihara Pseudo isochromatic plate tests; use of an X-chrome lens is not acceptable.
  • Refractive Surgery: LASIK-free from residual effects three months post-procedure; Other Procedures - Free from residual effects one year after surgery.
Minimum Hearing Requirements
  • Average hearing in decibels (dB) for the 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 frequencies must not exceed 25 dB.
  • Hearing may not exceed 45 dB at the 4000 and 6000 Hz in either ear.
  • The difference in hearing levels between the better ear and the worse ear may not exceed 30 dB at the 4000 and 6000 frequency.
  • The difference in hearing levels between the better ear threshold and the worse ear threshold may not exceed 15 dB for the average of 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hz.
  • The use of hearing aid is not allowed.

 

Learn more about medical qualifications and view the full standards at our CBPO Medical Exam Informational page.

Expand 6. Fitness tests

You will undergo physical fitness testing to ensure you are physically fit for the job. View Current Applicant Resources to access more information on the CBPO PFT 1.

To ensure you are physically fit, you are required to undergo two physical fitness tests (PFT). PFT-1 assesses your ability to execute job duties and will be conducted concurrently with the medical exam.

Physical Fitness Test 1 Minimum Requirements
TestRepetitionsTime Frame
Sit-Ups201 minute
Push-Ups121 minute
12" Step Test120 steps/min5 minutes

Expand 7. Interview

You will be interviewed by a board of current CBP Officers to ensure you have the competencies that are critical for successful job performance. Among these are the competencies of judgment/decision-making, emotional maturity, interpersonal skills, and cooperativeness/sensitivity to the needs of others. View Current Applicant Resources for frequently asked questions regarding the structured interview.

Expand 8. Polygraph Exam

The polygraph exam is a standardized polygraph exam, required by the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010. This is a 4-6 hour interview that requires you to respond to a series of questions typically relating to national security issues and answers you provide on your background investigations forms. The polygraph measures your physiological response when answering questions and results are subject to a quality control review for accuracy. Learn more about the polygraph exam.

Expand 9. Drug Test

CBP Officers have direct responsibility and involvement with the interdiction of illegal narcotics, and are routinely exposed to illegal substances. During the application process you will be required to submit to a random drug test. Applicants that test positively are disqualified. View Current Applicant Resources for frequently asked questions regarding the drug test.

 

[Video] Polygraph Examination

 
Watch the video for general information on the CBP polygraph examination and see three agents and officers share their experience about the process.