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  5. Physical Security Specialist Pay and Benefits

Physical Security Specialist Pay and Benefits

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Working as a Physical Security Specialist, your job is impactful on operational readiness and security of facilities and technical systems which affect CBP and other federal agencies, private entities and the general public within CBP facilities.




Dollar Sign Icon Competitive Pay

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

Grade Base Salary Average FY 2022 Locality, Overtime and Premium Pay Total Compensation*
GS-5 $31,083 $7,429 $38,512
GS-7 $38,503 $9,202 $47,705
GS-9 $47,097 $11,257 $58,354
GS-11 $56,983 $13,619 $70,602
GS-12 $68,299 $16,324 $84,623
GS-13 $81,216 $19,411 $100,627

*Based on fiscal year 2022 pay scale for GS Step 1 positions. Salaries include an average of locality, overtime, shift differential, and will vary by location.

  • Salary: Your salary corresponds to your grade level, as quoted on USAJOBS.
  • Locality Pay: You may receive pay on top of your salary, depending on what county you work in. Explore Locality Pay Tables.
  • Premium Pay: You may be eligible for 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.
  • Career Progression: Physical Security Specialist starts at a GS-11, Step 1 with promotion potential to GS-11, Step 10. For more information, see the Career Progression section below.

Palm Tree on an Island Under a Sun IconPaid Time Off


CBP offers Physical Security Specialists substantial leave benefits and unique training opportunities, including:

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

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11 federal holidays per year

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Military reserve leave

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13 days of sick leave accrued per year

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Opportunities for paid training


Overview: 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 more details, visit the Benefits page.

Disabled Veteran Leave (Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015)

In accordance to the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-75, November 5, 2015), employees eligible under the Act are entitled to disabled veteran leave for the purpose of undergoing medical treatment for a service connected disability. View the Disabled Veteran Leave Fact Sheet for more information.


Person Climbing a Stairs IconCareer Progression


CBP supports Physical Security Specialists with long-term career success, rapid promotion potential and first-rate training for new and current Physical Security Specialists. This position starts at a GS-11, Step 1 with promotion potential to GS-11, Step 10. You are eligible for within grade increases of basic pay from one step of the grade of your position to the next higher step of that grade at the completion of the required waiting period if your most recent performance rating is “fully successful” or equivalent and have not received an “equivalent increase” in pay during the waiting period. At the GS-12 level and beyond, you compete for positions and are promoted on merit with a significant pay boost for progressing up the career ladder.


Career chart. Entry level to journeyman to supervisory to executive

Entry Level: Physical Security Specialist entry level positions are GS-11.

Journeyman: Journeyman positions entail more responsibility, duties and higher performance standards.

Supervisory: Supervisory roles include leadership and increased responsibilities.

Executive: Beyond the GS-15 level is the Senior Executive Service (SES), which makes up the core of CBP’s leadership. SES is typically responsible for high-level decisions, CBP's vision and interacting with external stakeholders and Congress.


Graduation Cap IconTuition Assistance Program


The Tuition Assistance Program reimburses Physical Security Specialists for off-duty post-secondary education costs of tuition, fees and books. A Physical Security Specialist may apply for benefits up to $1,500 per course and $4,500 per calendar year for a professional certification of for any two- or four-year degree, including associates, bachelors, masters and doctorates.


Medical Badge IconHealth Insurance


Employee health is of the utmost importance to CBP. Physical Security Specialists are eligible to choose from a variety of premium federal health insurance programs. Programs available include:

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


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CBP offers various federal life insurance programs to help you achieve your financial planning goals for the future, including:


Piggy Bank IconGenerous Retirement


CBP continues to support Physical Security Specialists retiring from the agency with the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), which includes three streams of income:

  1. FERS Basic Annuity: Physical Security Specialists that serve in the federal government with at least 20 years of service are eligible for this guaranteed lifetime pension, which is a percentage of a retiree's highest average pay earned during any 3 consecutive years of service. Learn more about FERS basic annuity.
  2. Thrift Savings Plan: Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a defined contribution plan designed to give federal employees the same retirement savings-related benefits as with 401(K) plans in the private sector. Employees choose the amount to contribute, which is transferable if you change employers, with employer matching up to 5% of your base salary. Learn more about the Thrift Savings Plan.
  3. Social Security: Physical Security Specialist retirees receive social security retirement payments; benefits are transferable if you change employers. Learn more about Social Security retirement benefits.
Last Modified: June 8, 2022