Being aware of the US Border Patrol requirements is the first step in becoming a border patrol agent. The US Border Patrol plays a vital role in helping to protect US borders and uphold the safety of US citizens. Although it may be overlooked in terms of prestige, Border Patrol Agents take pride in their work with an understanding that their work fulfills a vital need. If you are interested in becoming a border patrol agent, you should be aware of these requirements.
- Citizenship. First and foremost, you must be a US citizen. This is a requirement to work for the federal government.
- Driver's License. While you may have valid identification issued from your state of residence, it is required that you have a driver's license. This is because, in part, of the possibility that you will need to drive to job sites or drive government vehicles, which requires a valid driver's license.
- Border Patrol Examination. In order to be considered as a candidate for the Border Patrol, you must complete and pass the Border Patrol Examination. This examination is organized into three parts in order to test your logic and reasoning skills, aptitude for or understanding of the Spanish language and knowledge gleaned for prior work experience.
- Basic Work Proficiency. You must also show proof that through education, paid or voluntary work experience, you have gained an understanding of certain life situations that have shaped your decision-making skills and personal judgment. This area is assessed as a combination of education (i.e. an associate's, bachelor's or advanced degree) as well as work experience. Neither the academic accomplishments nor the work experience had to be law enforcement related.
- Drug Test. The Border Patrol has a no tolerance policy for drug use. For this reason, potential Border Patrol agents and onboard agents must complete periodic drug tests.
- Age Requirements. In combination with meeting other requirements, in order to be placed into a Border Patrol position you must be less than 40 years old at the time of appointment. In certain cases, the age requirement can be waived if you have previous law enforcement service. However, this is handled on a case-by-case basis and there are no guarantees.
- Oral Interview. In addition to meeting these requirements, you must also complete an oral interview with a panel of Border Patrol personnel. This interview is designed for the panel to observe your personal characteristics, learn more about you and test areas such as your communication and problem-solving skills.