How Do I Join the US Border Patrol?


Agents of the United States Border Patrol prevent those with no legal right to be in the U.S. from entering. They also prevent the smuggling of illegal materials such as weapons and drugs. Starting pay for a Border Patrol agent is typically between $25,000 and $32,000 annually.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet
  • Prepare for a career as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent while in college. Sign up for foreign language courses, especially in Spanish, in order to fluently speak with immigrants entering the country. Signing up for ROTC or other military service is also highly recommended. To satisfy the minimum entry requirements of the job, you must possess a bachelor's degree and have at least one year of work or military-related experience.

  • Log on to to search and apply for open positions as a Border Patrol Agent. Fill out the application honestly because any falsification of information may automatically disqualify you for the job. Attach any required paperwork to the application. Write down the name of the HR contact for the position in case you need to contact him or her in the future.

  • Register to take the written test to qualify for the position. Prepare ahead of time by reviewing the sample test provided on The test is approximately 4 1/2 hours long. It will test your logical reasoning skills, your knowledge or aptitude for foreign languages, as well as assess your skills overall.

  • Wait to receive an update about your application and test scores. Background checks will begin once your entire application is received. If you pass the first round of the selection process, you will be contacted for an interview.

  • Sit for the oral interview. Practice your interview skills to be best prepared. Questions typically address a candidate's maturity, communication skills, and judgment. Receiving a "pass" at the interview is required to continue in the hiring process.

  • Schedule miscellaneous tests. Contact your HR aide to sign up for the fitness test, medical examination, and drug test. Successfully completing these final tests will solidify your future with U.S. Customs. Once a position or vacancy becomes available, you will receive a firm offer of employment.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your record clean. Avoid traffic tickets and misdemeanors, which may hurt your chances of being selected as a Border Patrol Agent.


  • Photo Credit John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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