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Border Patrol Salary

Medha Godbole
When you think of working as a border patrol agent, the first thought hovers over your mind is the dangerous nature of this job. Well, it is true that these are more dangerous than your average job, it is also true that the salary they fetch is not exceptional.
It is one thing to sit in securely in your home, and comment on the sloppy law and order system of your country. It's a different ball game when you are actually there, guarding the borders of your country, as a part of the armed forces.
It is not easy to give up your life, it needs a lot of tenacity. They lead a very unpredictable life. For instance, border patrol officers have no clue in case of national catastrophe as to whether they would be able to stay alive or not.
All this cannot be compensated in terms of the salary. The duty most of them do for their country is simply priceless. Nevertheless, for those who want to join or are curious about border patrol salary, this one's for them.

Job Description

Salaries of border patrol agents depend on experience and rank. These officers guard international borders. As per official records, they guard more than 8,000 miles of USA's land and water boundaries.
Like all law-enforcement personnel, these agents have to be responsible and act quickly. Proficiency in usage and carrying of firearms is required. Border patrol jobs involve working forty hours a week, in rotating shifts and overtime.

Salary Scale

Border patrol officers or agents are federal employees, and as a consequence, they get the due benefits of that. The salary in the U.S. is largely dependent upon what level the officer is on, in the General Service (GS) salary scale. The officers start off with GL-5 and then progress to GL-7 and GL-9 respectively.

Level 1

GL-5 is the basic level where the agents enter the border patrol service. That entry will obviously depend on the academic qualification and the law enforcement background they have.
To enter GL-5, a candidate needs reasonable work experience in interviewing, claims adjusting, journalism, or security job, and before that, a bachelor's degree. Overall, a good mix of education and experience is essential. After all this, at GL-5 level, the amount officers get per annum is around $56,692.

Level 2

The next level, which is higher than GL-5 is GL-7. Just as the GL-7 is paid more, the officers coming under GL-7 have to shoulder more responsibilities as well. The salary for GL-7 officers is somewhere in the range of $66,654 per annum. They have to fulfill all G-5 requirements and in addition to that, they need to be capable in making arrests.
They have to display discretionary and sound judgment in using firearms. They have to be courteous, tactful, and effective in matters of law-enforcement. They must quickly analyze information and act according to laws, court decisions, and law-enforcement directives. Developing a good network with informants is a crucial task of GL-7 border patrol officers.

Level 3

At the topmost rung is the GL-9. With an annual salary of $70,780 or thereabouts, these officers have to fulfill requirements for GL-7, and apart from the activities similar to the GL-7, these officers have to:
  • Develop cases, conduct interviews or interrogations, and make apprehensions and arrests.
  • Be ready with cases and reports, and give appearance as a professional witness in court.
  • Have sound judgment in usage of firearms.
  • Conduct training or qualification drills regarding appropriate care and use of firearms.
  • Be able to handle individuals in their detention, control, or interrogation properly.
Along with all this, these officers have to dabble in intelligence reports as well, and many other related things, like illegal immigration. Last but not the least, there is a great chance to earn a good amount with overtime. According to some official sources, these officers can get anything in the range of US$ 15.67 to US$ 51.82 as a pay for the overtime.