Border Patrol Salary

As a Border Patrol Agent, you will receive all the advantages of being a federal employee. Where you begin on the General Service (GS) salary pay scale depends on your education and experience in law enforcement as well as your geographical location. Salaries can be significantly higher in metropolitan areas but, in general, a starting salary is in the mid 30s to mid 40s. Keep in mind that overtime pay (AUO—Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime) can increase base pay by about 25%.

After 6 1⁄2 months as a GS-5 you will be eligible for promotion to a GS-7; and after one year as a GS-7 you will be eligible for promotion to a GS-9. In addition, you’ll enjoy the excellent benefits package offered by the federal government that includes vacation and sick leave, health and life insurance, and a retirement plan that offers retirement at age 50 after at least 20 years of service. The retirement plan is competitive with the private sector and includes pension and savings plans.

Border Patrol agents may enter at one of three pay levels, depending on their academic and law-enforcement backgrounds.

GL-5: $36,658

Requires one of the following:

• Substantial work experience in fields such as interviewing, claims adjusting, journalism or security.

• A bachelor’s degree.

• A combination of education and experience.

GL-7: $41,729

Meets GL-5 requirements, as well as demonstrated the ability to:

• Make arrests and exercise sound judgment using firearms.

• Deal “courteously, tactfully and effectively” in law-enforcement matters.

•Quickly analyze information and act appropriately according to laws, court decisions and law-enforcement procedures.

• Develop and maintain contact with a network of informants.

GL-9: $46,542

Meets GL-7 requirements, as well as demonstrated the ability to:

• Develop cases, conduct interviews or interrogations, make apprehensions and arrests.

• Prepare cases and appear as a professional witness in court.

• Exercise sound judgment using firearms and conduct training or qualification exercises in the proper care and use of firearms.

• Deal effectively with individuals in their detention, control or interrogation, and promote community outreach and public relations.

• Analyze and disseminate intelligence information and data, and apply law enforcement concepts and techniques.

• Develop and maintain a network of informants, social and political organizations, local law enforcement agencies, and citizens.

• Use law-enforcement databases.

• Prepare legal reports and documents concerning illegal activities.


When it comes down to effectively preparing for the Border Patrol exam, the above mentioned items are only the tip of the iceberg. For a comprehensive look at the Border Patrol exam and its contents, consult the experts at U.S. Border Patrol Exam, and begin your education today!

For more info on the Border Patrol Exam Visit:

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