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Agriculture Specialist Pay and Benefits

As an Agriculture Specialist, your job is not only exciting, but also features rewarding benefits. Working as an Agriculture Specialist sets you up well for the long-term. Navigate the links below, or scroll further down the page to learn more:

Competitive Pay >>

Paid Time Off >>

Career Progression >>

Health Insurance >>

Life Insurance >>

Generous Retirement >>

Competitive Pay


Agriculture Specialists are competitively rewarded for their time on the job. In addition to a salary, Agriculture Specialists may be eligible for overtime pay, locality pay, and more.


Sample pay check break down pie chart. 68% salary, 25% overtime, 5% locality, 2% other
  • Salary: You receive a salary that corresponds to your grade level. This salary is the number quoted on USAJOBS.
  • Overtime Pay: A fully trained Agriculture Specialist is eligible for up to $35,000 in overtime pay.
  • Locality Pay: You may receive pay on top of your salary, depending on what county you work within. Navigate the different locality pay tables.
Other sources of compensation
  • Premium Pay: You may be eligible to premium pay for working on Sundays, holidays and night shifts.
  • Cash Awards: Outstanding performers may receive cash awards as recognition for their superior efforts (funding permitting).


More on Salary: Agriculture Specialist is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GS-5, GS-7, GS-9, GS-11, and GS-12. You will be eligible for a promotion to the next higher grade level (without re-applying) once you successfully complete one year in each grade level, with supervisor approval. For example you could:

  • Start as a CBPAS in December 2017 as a GS-5 and make $32,844 per year*
  • Be promoted in December 2018 to GS-7 and make $40,684 per year*
  • Be promoted in December 2019 to GS-9 and make $49,765 per year*
  • Be promoted in December 2020 to GS-11 and make $60,210 per year*
  • Be promoted in December 2021 to GS-12 and make $72,168 per year*


GradeBase Salary (Based on the RUS GS Scale)*

*Salary is based on the 2017 "Rest of the United States“ (RUS) law enforcement salary table.

Paid Time Off


CBP offers substantial leave benefits and unique training opportunities to reward and reinvest in its employees. Below is a summary of paid time off from the job:

13 to 26 days of annual leave accrued per year (variation based on years federal service)


11 federal holidays per year


15 days of military reserve leave


13 days of sick leave accrued per year


Opportunities for paid training


CBP’s Dedication to Training: CBP is committed to providing first-rate training for new and current employees to ensure staff are proficient in the latest technologies and techniques necessary to fulfill the CBP mission.

Additional Leave Information: The maximum amount of annual leave that you may carry over into the following year is 30 days. There is no limit to the amount of sick leave that you may accrue. For detailed leave accrual information, visit the New Employee Pay and Benefits Page

Career Progression


Being an Agriculture Specialist sets you up for long-term career success and rapid promotion potential. Agriculture Specialist is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GS-5, GS-7, GS-9, GS-11, and GS-12. Agriculture Specialists are eligible for a non-competitive promotion to the next higher grade level (without re-applying) once you successfully complete one year in each grade level, with supervisor approval.

At the GS-13 level and beyond, you compete for positions and are promoted based on merit. Each movement on the career ladder brings a significant pay boost.

Career chart. Entry level to journeyman to supervisory to executive

Entry Level
Entry level positions consist of the GS-5, GS-7, and GS-9 positions that you can apply to on USAJobs.
As you progress to the journeyman positions, you typically gain responsibilities, learn new duties, and are held accountable to higher performance standards. Promotion up to the GS-12 level is non-competitive, meaning you are eligible for promotion every year, with supervisor approval.
At the supervisory level, you become responsible to lead others and accept more responsibility. Leadership can be challenging but also very rewarding.
Beyond the GS-15 level is the Senior Executive Service (SES), which makes up CBP’s executive leadership. SES typically make organizational decisions, provide vision for the organization, and interact with Congress and other executive external stakeholders.

Health Insurance


Staff health is of the utmost importance to CBP. CBP Officers are eligible to choose from a variety of premium federal health insurance programs. Programs available include:

Note that you may be eligible to keep your health insurance in retirement and pay the same subsidized premium as you did as an employee. Learn more about the continued health insurance benefits for you and your family in retirement.

Life Insurance


A keystone of financial planning is making sure that your family and loved ones are taken care of financially, even after your death. CBP offers several federal life insurance programs to help you achieve your financial planning goals. Federal Life Insurance Programs available to officers include:

Generous Retirement


Employees that retire from CBP can count on the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) to enjoy life after working. FERS includes the following three streams of income:

1. Thrift Savings Plan: Similar to a 401(k) plan, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a defined contribution plan designed to give federal employees the same retirement savings related benefits that workers in the private sector enjoy with 401(k) plans. Contributions to the plan are automatically deducted from each paycheck, the amount which is chosen by employees, and is transferable if you change employers. An additional benefit to the TSP is employer matching contributions; up to 5% of your base salary. Learn more.

2. FERS Basic Annuity under special provisions: CBP Officers that serve in federal government with at least 20 years of law enforcement service are eligible for the generous FERS basic annuity. This guaranteed lifetime pension, paid to retirees is a percentage of your highest average basic pay you earned during any 3 consecutive years of service. Learn more.

3. Social Security: You receive social security retirement payments, the benefits of which are transferable when you change employers. Learn more about Social Security retirement benefits.

Additional Benefits

Employees may also be eligible for the following benefits:
  • Tuition Assistance Program (TAP):  The TAP reimburses CBP federal employees for off-duty post-secondary education costs of tuition, fees, and books. Employees may apply for benefits up to $1,500 per course and $4,500 per calendar year for professional certification or for any two- or four-year degree. This includes all degrees – associates, bachelors, masters, doctorates.
Last modified: 
August 26, 2021