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Import Specialist Pay and Benefits

Import specialists assigned to the Area Port of Jacksonville, inspect shipments of possible intellectual property rights violations

Working as an Import Specialist, your job is not only impactful, but it also features rewarding benefits. You have the stability of a federal job, as well as several other benefits, such as a flexible work schedule and telework. Working as an Import Specialist also sets you up well for the long-term.

 

Competitive Pay

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

  • Salary: You receive a salary that corresponds to your grade level. This salary is the number quoted on USAJOBS.
  • Locality: You may receive pay on top of your salary, depending on what county you work in. See the 2020 General Schedule (GS) Locality Pay Tables.

Other Sources of Compensation:

  • Cash Awards: Outstanding performers may receive cash awards as recognition for their superior efforts (funding permitting).

More on Salary:

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

  • Start as an Import Specialist in December 2020 as a GS-7, and make $36,356 per year
  • Be promoted in December 2021 to GS-9, and make $44,471 per year
  • Be promoted in December 2022 to GS-11, and make $53,805 per year
  • Be promoted in December 2023 to GS-12, and make $64,490 per year
Components of Total Compensation
GradeTotal CompensationBase SalaryAverage FY 2019 Locality Pay*
GS-7$47,016$36,356$10,660
GS-9$57,510$44,471$13,039
GS-11$69,581$53,805$15,776
GS-12$83,398$64,490$18,908

* For the locality pay area of Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA. Applicable locations are shown on the 2020 Locality Pay Area Definitions webpage. 

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 of federal service)
  • 11 federal holidays per year
  • Military reserve leave
  • 13 days of sick leave accrued per year
  • Opportunities for paid training

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 Benefits webpage.

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

Under the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-75, November 5, 2015), an employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs is entitled to up to 104 hours of disabled veteran leave for the purposes of undergoing medical treatment for such disability.

An eligible employee will receive the appropriate amount of disabled veteran leave as of the employee’s “first day of employment,” as defined below. Disabled veteran leave is a one-time benefit provided to an eligible employee. The employee will have a single, continuous 12-month eligibility period beginning on the “first day of employment” in which to use the leave, or it will be forfeited with no opportunity to carry over the leave into subsequent years. An employee may not receive a lump-sum payment for any unused or forfeited leave under any circumstance.

For complete details about the new Disabled Veteran Leave entitlement, see the Disabled Veteran Leave Fact Sheet on OPM’s website.

Career Progression

Being an Import Specialist at CBP sets you up for long-term career success and rapid promotion potential. Import Specialist is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GS-9, GS-11, and GS-12. Import Specialists are eligible for a non-competitive promotion to the next higher grade level (without reapplying) 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.
 
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.
 

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.

Health Insurance

Employee health is of the utmost importance to CBP. Import Specialists 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 cornerstone 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 Import Specialists include:

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. FERS basic annuity under special provisions: Import Specialists 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 about FERS basic annuity.
  2. 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, depending on the amount chosen by the employee, and are transferable if you change employers. An additional benefit to the TSP is employer matching contributions; up to 5% of your base salary. Learn more about the Thrift Savings Plan.
  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, which vary by position and office: