Pay and Benefits | U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue Unit agent rappelling.

CBP benefit plans are designed to ensure the health, satisfaction, and peace of mind for every member of our team as they contribute their knowledge and skills to helping us serve our mission.

 

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 FY 2017 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.


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.

 


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 about the Thrift Savings Plan.

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 about FERS basic annuity. 

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.



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