Learn How to Become a US Border Patrol Officer
Becoming a Border Patrol Officer in the USA will not be for everyone because it requires a tough exterior shell along with a compassionate side. People management skills and an appreciation for cultural diversity, within and beyond the country’s borders, are vital.
Then, of course, there is the all-important patriotic sense of duty and readiness to defend the country and its citizens when called to do so. More importantly, the ability and willingness to serve country and people comes with great responsibility and undoubtedly will require bravery.
These qualities are indicative of a love for the work because according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Customs and Border Protection the average median salary for border patrol officers is not high. And the work that these passionate men and women will be doing is not easy and the hours on duty are long.
US Border Patrol Officers require intensive training, but are not required to have a formal education to become eligible for duty. For any aspiring law enforcement officer, it is essential to learn as much about the required training, on the job duties and roles inherent with the title of Border Patrol Officer before taking the final decision to apply for training and a post.
The most important function of the border patrol officer’s work is to secure the borders of his or her country. In the case of US Border Patrol Officers, the force extends to include professionally trained men and women whose main tasks include being on the look-out for contraband, illegal drugs, illegal immigration attempts and human trafficking activities.
For these specialized roles, trainees are required to pass muster in extensive background checking and pass physical and mental competency tests. Because of the country’s close proximity to the Mexican border and border activities between the two countries involving mostly Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, it is now also a requirement that border patrol officer candidates have language proficiency in the Spanish language.
Because of the physical nature of the job, candidates will ideally be well under the age of forty when they enroll for training. Where training is concerned, candidates who do not yet have the language proficiency and gun handling skills must show an ability to learn how to handle firearms and learn the Spanish language. Most of the tasks required of the border patrol officer will entail communicating with Mexicans and the effective use and proper maintenance of firearms.
When training is completed, and exams have been passed, the latest intake of Border Patrol Officers work for the Department of US Customs and Border Protection, which falls under the federal Department of Homeland Security. On the job responsibilities then include guarding over eight thousand miles of international borders.
Monitoring duties in a little more detail include; collaborating and co-operating with other US law enforcement agencies to prevent illegal immigrants, contraband goods, and illegal drugs from crossing the country’s borders. Border patrol tasks also include conducting screens of people entering or leaving the country, guarding against terrorist activities and traffic control.