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Border Patrol Agent Pay and Benefits

As a Border Patrol Agent, your job is not only exciting, but also features rewarding benefits. You have the stability of a Federal job, as well as several benefits that are only available to law enforcement positions, such as law enforcement 6(c) retirement coverage. Working as a Border Patrol Agent 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

Agents are competitively rewarded for their time on the job. In addition to base pay, agents may be eligible for locality pay, overtime 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: Earn up to 25% of your salary and locality pay for time worked outside the 40 hour work week.
  • 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: Border Patrol Agent is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GL-5, GL-7, GL-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 if you started as a BPA in December 2017 you could:

  • Start as a BPA in December 2017 as a GL-5 and make $52,583 per year
  • Be promoted in December 2018 to GL-7 and make $62,949 per year
  • Be promoted in December 2019 to GL-9 and make $70,784 per year
  • Be promoted in December 2020 to GS-11 and make $83,054 per year
  • Be promoted in December 2021 to GS-12 and make $97,486 per year

Explanation of example:

Grade Total
Compensation
Components of Total Compensation
Base Salary* Average FY17 Locality,
Overtime, and
Premium Pay
GL-5 $52,583 $40,511 $12,072
GL-7 $62,949 $46,110 $16,839
GL-9 $70,784 $51,424 $19,360
GS-11 $83,054 $60,210 $22,844
GS-12 $97,486 $72,168 $25,318

Want to learn what grade level you would enter at? Review the grade level qualifications on our resume guide

*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)

10 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 agent at CBP sets you up for long-term career success and rapid promotion potential. Border Patrol Agent is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GL-5, GL-7, GL-9, GS-11, and GS-12. Border Patrol Agents 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 GL-5, GL-7, and GL-9 positions that you can apply to on USAJobs. New agents are usually assigned to a station along the southwest border after completion of the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico.
Journeyman
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.
Supervisory
At the supervisory level, you become responsible to lead others and accept more responsibility. Leadership can be challenging but also very rewarding.
Executive
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. Agents 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 agents 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: Border Patrol Agents 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.

Law Enforcement 6(c) Retirement Coverage: Being in a frontline position at CBP qualifies you for 6(c) retirement coverage. What does that mean? 6(c) retirement coverage means you can retire at any age after 25 years of service or at age 50 with at least 20 years of service. 6(c) eligibility is a factor for determining your FERS basic annuity.

Last modified: 
April 17, 2017
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