Border Patrol Agent

According to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), since its inception in 1924, the Border Patrol’s primary mission remains unchanged: to detect and prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the United States.

This may include apprehending individuals who are in violation of the laws of immigration.

Border Patrol agents also help prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, from entering the United States.


In order to start a border patrol career a person must be under the age of 40, unless the individual is a Veteran’s preference candidate or if they have experience as a federal law enforcement agent.

In addition, an individual must be a citizen and resident of the United States of America, already be fluent in Spanish or able to learn Spanish, have a state driver’s license that is valid, and pass a thorough medical examination, background investigation, drug test, and fitness test.

Border Patrol Careers

Border Patrol Careers

There are certain individuals who may be found to be unsuitable for a position with the Border Patrol.

If a person has been arrested, convicted on any charge, dismissed from past jobs, has financial issues, abuses alcohol, or uses any type of illegal drug.

Education Requirements

While there are no formal education requirements for applying for a job with the border patrol, it is a good idea to have at least an associate’s degree in a subject such as criminal justice.

In addition, while it is not required to know the Spanish language when applying for a border patrol agent position, a person will have to learn Spanish before they begin their career in the border patrol.

For this reason, it is recommended that individuals study Spanish in both high school and college in order to learn to speak the language fluently before applying for a border patrol position.

Salary Information by State

State Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
District of Columbia5,280$81,160$39.02$102,500$62,440
New Hampshire2,900$62,480$30.04$80,120$47,480
New Jersey20,510$90,520$43.52$128,360$51,110
New Mexico4,610$56,690$27.26$71,910$40,550
New York50,600$81,750$39.30$127,020$49,210
North Carolina20,480$51,310$24.67$70,240$37,230
North Dakota1,710$65,730$31.60$79,960$48,550
Rhode Island1,760$68,290$32.83$83,200$49,080
South Carolina11,640$49,490$23.79$65,250$36,250
South Dakota1,830$54,130$26.02$76,390$39,270
West Virginia3,190$48,310$23.23$59,520$37,070
Puerto Rico12,930$40,230$19.34$49,570$23,430

Annual Average Salary: Top 10 States

The top earning state in the field is California, where the average salary is $104,010.

These are the top 10 earning states in the field:

  • California - $104,010
  • Washington - $92,250
  • New Jersey - $90,520
  • Hawaii - $89,640
  • Alaska - $85,710
  • Illinois - $82,470
  • New York - $81,750
  • District of Columbia - $81,160
  • Colorado - $80,990
  • Oregon - $78,150
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers, OCC Code 33-3051, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.


Anyone who is planning a career in the border patrol will need to understand that the training academy is extremely demanding.

Once a person is accepted into the training academy they will spend 58 days learning both federal law enforcement and border patrol subjects.

The specific courses that are taught during the training academy include:

  • Criminal law
  • Statutory authority
  • Immigration law
  • Border patrol operations
  • Spanish
  • Care of and use of firearms
  • Anti-terrorism
  • Physical training

In addition, the training will include federal law enforcement courses such as communications, report writing, fingerprinting, introduction to computers, and constitutional law.

The physical training at the academy is quite rigorous as is the academic training.

Many recruits state that the academic requirements of the academy are more than anticipated.

The physical aspect of the training academy is very demanding as well.

While knowing Spanish prior to the academy is not necessary, it is recommended that individuals prepare for an intensive Spanish course while at the academy.

This can be extremely difficult for those who are completely unfamiliar with the language.

Overall, a person who is interested in working for the Border Patrol will need to prepare both mentally and physically for the position.

Learning Spanish is required and those who do not show signs of being able to learn a second language will automatically be disqualified from becoming an agent.

Michael Morales

About Michael Morales

Michael Morales is the Webmaster and Editor in Chief for With a strong background in Web Publishing and Internet Marketing, he currently works as an independent consultant. A former paramedic and ems educator, he enjoys punishing himself doing triathlons and endurance sports. Michael currently lives in sunny Northern California, home of the highest tax rates in the world.

2 Responses to Border Patrol Agent

  1. Avatar
    Amalia Robles #

    Border patrol agents have a tough job, and it’s important to acknowledge the complexities and challenges they face daily. Let’s support policies that address immigration issues while respecting human rights and the rule of law.

  2. Avatar
    Remington Richard #

    I’ve had the opportunity to meet some border patrol agents, and they are some of the most dedicated and compassionate individuals I’ve ever come across. They work tirelessly to uphold our nation’s laws while showing empathy toward those they encounter.

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