As the largest law enforcement agency in the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for enforcing border regulations and maintaining border security. Border patrol agents monitor 1,900 miles of border with Mexico and 5,000 miles of border with Canada. Primary responsibilities include preventing the entry of terrorists and their weapons into the United States. CBP agents are also responsible for stopping illegal immigration and the import of illegal drugs. In addition, they protect U.S. agriculture from the import of harmful diseases and pests. An applicant for a CBP position much be a U.S. citizen and pass a background check.
Average Pay Scale
The Indeed.com job site reports that the average pay of a Border Patrol Agent is $51,000 a year as of January 2015. A starting agent can expect to earn $36,000 to $46,000 during his first year, according to the Border Patrol Recruiter site. Within three years, pay could reach as high as $70,000 per year. It is possible to earn even more by working nights, Sundays and holidays.