Department: Department of Homeland Security
Agency: U. S. Customs and Border Protection
Job Announcement Number: CBPO 11-02L
CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION OFFICER FIELD OPERATIONS
Salary Range: $31,315.00 – $50,431.00 per year
Open Period: Jun 23, 2011 thru Jul 8, 2011
Series & Grade: GS-1895-05/07
Promotion Potential: GS-12
Position Information: Full Time Career/Career Conditional
Duty Locations: Many vacancies – Southwest United States which includes Laredo, El Paso, Fabens, Brownsville, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Pharr, Progresso, Presidio, Rio Grande City, and Roma , Texas; Andrade, Calexico, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, Tecate and San Bernadino California; and the states of Arizona and New Mexico. Few vacancies- Southeast United States- which includes the states of Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky.
CBP Securing America’s Borders
Whether on the frontlines or serving behind the scenes supporting our mission, the men and women of CBP are dedicated to keeping America safe. CBP counts on them. Our Nation counts on them. Can we count on you?
CBP Mission Statement: Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling.
DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS. Discover a challenging and rewarding career in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sole organization responsible for securing the nation’s borders. At CBP, we:
Screen passengers, vehicles, and shipments entering our country
Seize illegal narcotics, vehicles, and agricultural products
Prevent unauthorized entry into the country
Rescue individuals who fall into dangerous conditions traversing our border
CBP Field Operations employees face unique challenges within CBP and play a vital role in protecting our Nation. A new video – Protecting America 24/7 – emphasizes the importance of CBP Field Operations’ frontline role in helping CBP accomplish its mission. Visit our website at:http://www.cbp.gov/ to watch this exciting new video.
For more information about CBP’s mission, activities, and careers, please visit our website at: http://www.cbp.gov/.
CBP encourages Women, Minorities and Veterans to apply with for an exciting career with Customs and Border Protection.
NOTE: This announcement will close at 11:59 EDT on the closing date, or on the day we have 40,000 applicants who have registered. We recommend that you register as soon as possible in order to receive consideration.
Applicants registering under this announcement will only be considered for the geographic regions listed in this announcement.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW
1) All applicants applying under this announcement must take and pass a written test. Only CBP Officer written test scores received after December 2010 are valid.
2) Applicants registering under this announcement will only be considered for the locations listed in this announcement.
3) Applicants may only take the CBP Officer written test once in a twelve month period.
4) During the registration process, you will be asked a series of questions regarding your education and/or experience for self certification of your eligibility for the grade 5 and/or grade 7 levels. Based on your responses to the questions, the automated test registration system will determine your grade eligibility. Your test results (grades for which you were found eligible) will be sent to you. You cannot be considered for the GS-7 grade unless you have been referred and subsequently selected for the position at that grade level.
5) If you have been tentatively selected for a CBP Officer position and you reapply under this announcement and subsequently are referred and selected for a position under a different geographic location, your new referral and selection will replace any existing CBP Officer selection for which you are currently in process.
E-Verify: CBP uses E-Verify to validate all newly hired applicants’ ability to work legally in the United States. To learn more about E-Verify, please follow this link: http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/e-ver-employee-rights.pdf
U.S. Citizen Residency in the US for the last three years Medical Exam, Physical Fitness and Drug Test Required Background Security Investigation
Relocation expenses not paid
U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The CBP Officer’s primary responsibility is:
To detect and prevent terrorists and weapons of mass destruction from entering the United States,
Facilitate the orderly flow of legitimate trade and travelers.
Enforcing laws related to revenue and trade, seizure of contraband, interdiction of agricultural pests and diseases,
Admissibility of persons.
Applicants may qualify for the CBP Officer position based on education, experience, or a combination of both. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for each grade level by the closing date of the vacancy announcement. An exception is made for those who are currently enrolled in college. They may complete the education-based qualification requirements within nine (9) months of the closing date of the announcement.
Experience Requirements for a GS-5 level: Applicants must have at least three (3) years of general experience that requires the ability to meet and deal with people and the ability to learn and apply a body of facts. Examples of such duties include explaining administrative requirements and procedures to others and screening forms to ensure that they are completed properly in accordance with requirements. Positions involving lead and supervisory duties or operating a business should also have provided the required knowledge, skills, and abilities. The performance of predominately typing, filing, copying, messenger duties, or other purely mechanistic tasks, is not creditable as general experience, nor is experience in trades, crafts, or equipment operator work.
Experience Requirements for a GS-7 level: Applicants must have one (1) year of specialized experience that entailed performance of substantive duties in inspections work at borders, seaports, airports or other ports of entry and/or work involving preliminary screening of persons for entry and immigration status, or compliance/regulatory work. Inspections experience must have demonstrated the ability to apply specialized knowledge of the laws, regulations, and procedures
for importing and exporting merchandise to and from the United States and/or law enforcement work at the local, State or Federal levels, which included dealing with persons suspected of entering the United States illegally. Compliance/regulatory work experience must have demonstrated the ability to collect, develop, and evaluate facts, evidence, and pertinent data in assessing compliance with or violations of laws, rules or regulations. Specialized experience is generally gained in the performance of the duties of the following kinds of positions in the private/public sectors: Inspector, Auditor, Analyst, Examiner, Administrator, and Investigator as well as some Technicians and Assistants.
Education: If applicants do not have the work experience described above, four (4) years of study in any field leading to a bachelor’s degree in an accredited college or university can be substituted and is fully qualifying for the GS-5 level. For the GS-7 level, one (1) full academic year of graduate education, or a master’s or higher degree is qualifying, or meeting the provisions of Superior Academic Achievement (SAA). See http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-II/s2-e5.asp#e4f for information on SAA.
Education obtained from a foreign university or college is not creditable for qualification requirements unless it has been evaluated by a private foreign educational credential evaluation service (see http://www.naces.org/members.htm for a list of organizations that provide this evaluation service).
Combining qualifying experience and education: If you do not qualify based on experience or education alone, you may be able to qualify based on a combination of your experience and education. Follow the directions below in order to convert each to a percentage, and then add the percentages together to see if they total 100 percent. To determine your percentage of qualifying experience, you must divide your total number of months of qualifying experience by the required number of months of experience. The GS-5 level requires 36 months, and the GS-7 level requires 12 months of qualifying experience. To calculate your percentage of undergraduate education, divide your number of undergraduate semester hours by 120 or the number of quarter hours by 180. For GS-7, divide the number of graduate semester hours by 18, graduate quarter hours by 27, or by the school’s definition of one year of graduate study. Finally, add your percentages of education and experience. The two percentages must total at least 100 percent for you to qualify under the combination of experience and education.
Age Requirement: In accordance with Public Law 110-161, this position is covered under special retirement provisions for Customs and Border Protection Officers; therefore, candidates must be referred for selection for this position before reaching their 37th birthday. This age restriction may not apply if you are serving or have served in a federal civilian (not military) law enforcement position covered by Title 5 U.S.C. 8336(c) or Title 5 U.S.C. 8412(d). The age restriction does not apply if you are a veterans’ preference eligible. Applicants claiming veterans’ preference will be required to provide proof of preference after they have been tentatively selected for the position of CBPO. Applicants who are still on active duty and therefore cannot obtain a DD214 can provide a statement of active service dates and a list of medals and awards they have received in lieu of their DD 214. Under the Isabella MSPB case, preference eligible veterans may apply without any age restriction. All applicants must be able to meet/pass all other pre-employment requirements.
Residency: If you are not currently a CBP employee, you must meet one or more of the following primary residency criteria for the last three years prior to applying to this announcement:
1. Resided in the United States or its protectorate or territories (excluding short trips abroad, such as vacations);
2. Worked for the United States government as an employee overseas in a federal or military capacity; or
3. Been a dependent of a United States federal or military employee serving overseas.
Exceptions may be granted to applicants if they can provide complete state-side coverage information required to make a suitability/security determination. Examples of state-side coverage information include: the state-side address of the company headquarters where the applicant’s personnel file is located, the state-side address of the Professor in charge of the applicant’s “Study Abroad” program, the church records for the applicant’s overseas church missions, and/or the state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with the applicant while overseas. If selected for a position, applicants must provide this information when filing their application for employment.
Firearms: CBP Officers must qualify in the use of firearms after appointment, and will be required to carry firearms in the performance of their duties.
Mandatory Completion of Basic Training: CBP Officers must attend approximately 17-19 weeks of paid training (class varies in length) at the CBP Academy at FLETC. Your time at the Academy will be spent attending formalized classroom training and a rigorous participatory training program. If you are not already involved in a physical fitness program, you may wish to begin exercising now to prepare yourself for the physical demands and requirements of training. Candidates selected for duty locations in Puerto Rico; Miami, Florida; or along the Southwest Border may receive an additional 6 weeks of Spanish language training. Failure to successfully complete the training may be grounds for mandatory removal from the position. For more information on training at FLETC, please visit the web site at www.FLETC.gov/.
CBP Officers will be required to attend approximately one (1) month of pre-academy training at their respective duty station prior to attending the basic training at FLETC. Any relocation expenses to the duty station are at the expense of the applicant. Travel expenses for FLETC training will be at agency expense.
Language Ability: At some duty locations, the CBP Officers may be required to be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking a language other than English at the start of employment. For example, Spanish is required for duty locations along the Southwest Border, primarily in Southern California, New Mexico, Arizona, Western and Southwestern Texas, as well as Miami, Florida; and Puerto Rico. Should you be selected for a position in a duty location that requires proficiency in Spanish, you will be required to either pass a Spanish language proficiency examination or attend a 6-week long Spanish immersion class, which you must pass. The 6-week program may extend your initial basic training at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia. Other locations may also require fluency in Spanish or another language. During the registration process, you will be asked to identify any language(s) in which you are fluent.
Motor Vehicle Operation: CBP Officers must possess a valid automobile driver’s license at the time of appointment.
Proof of Veterans’ Preference: If you are tentatively selected and you claimed veterans’ preference, you will be required to submit proof of eligibility (DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge) with the required application forms. Applicants claiming 10-point preference must also submit Standard Form 15, as well as the proof requested on the back of the Form. For more information please visit http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetguide.asp . For further information on whether you are eligible for veterans’ preference, please visit http://www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/vetpref/mservice.htm.
Selective Service Registration: Prior to appointment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law.
Background Investigation: These positions are categorized as “Critical-Sensitive.” Prior to appointment, tentative selectees must undergo and satisfactorily complete a background investigation, which includes but is not limited to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) name and fingerprint check and a background investigation. As part of the background investigation, you will be asked to submit a security questionnaire (SF-86). The questionnaire will ask questions regarding education, residences, past and current employers, police records, financial situation, drug and alcohol usage, etc. The background investigation will consist of, among other things, a personal interview, a check for past arrest records, a credit check, and interviews of employers and personal references. This inquiry will cover your activities during the past ten years. If your background includes past or present arrests, convictions, dismissals from previous jobs, outstanding debts and financial issues, excessive use of alcohol, violations of immigration laws, use of illegal drugs, and/or the sale and distribution of illegal drugs, you probably will be rated unsuitable for this position. A history of problems in any of these areas may result in your disqualification for this position.
Polygraph: The CBPO position is a polygraph designated position. There is a high probability that you will be subject to a polygraph examination. The results will be used to determine your suitability for the position.
Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: The CBP Officer is a weapon-carrying position. Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you are not qualified for this position. You will be required to certify whether you have ever been convicted of such an offense. Providing false or fraudulent information is criminally punishable by fine or imprisonment (Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1001).
Drug Testing: Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of employment into the position. We will schedule, provide, and pay for the drug test. Once employed, CBP Officers are subject to random and unannounced drug testing.
Physical and Medical Requirements: Because the duties of the position are of a strenuous nature and require a high degree of interaction and responsibility to the public, you must undergo and successfully pass our medical screening process. We will schedule, provide and pay for the required basic medical examination. If medical information is required
beyond the pre-placement examination, it is provided at the applicant’s expense. Any medical or psychiatric condition resulting from an injury or disease may result in disqualification for appointment if the condition(s) would affect your ability to perform the essential functions of the position, please visit : http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/careers/customs_careers/officer/cass_faq.ctt/cass_q_a.pdf.
Physical Fitness Screening: Due to the strenuous nature of the CBP Officer duties and the associated training programs, fitness tests have been developed and will be used to screen candidates for entry-level CBP Officer positions. Candidates will be required to pass the pre-employment fitness test (PFT-1) early in the pre-employment process. The PFT-1 consists of a (1) push up test, (2) sit-up test, (3) side step test, (4) a lift/lower test (50 pounds), and (5) a 5-minute cardiovascular endurance step test. Approximately 30 days prior to your entrance on duty, you will be required to pass a 2nd pre-employment fitness exam (PFT-2). The PFT-2 consists of a: (1) 220 yard run, (2) sit-up test, (3) push-up test, and (4) 1.5 mile run. For more information, go to: www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/customs_careers/officer/cbp_officer/ . Once on board, employees will also be required to complete a physically rigorous training program conducted at the FLETC.
Environmental Conditions and Physical Demands: CBP Officers may be required to work out-of-doors, often under difficult weather conditions, including rain, cold, ice, heat, and humidity. They may also be required to work under difficult environmental conditions, including exposure to harmful substances, vehicle exhaust fumes, or working in confined areas. In some work environments, CBP Officers perform duties that may require running, climbing, driving vehicles, heavy lifting, or other physically demanding activities.
How to Apply
Step 1 – Internet registration. Apply at https://staffing.opm.gov/CBPO to register for the CBP Officer written test. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the entire registration process.
For Internet registration, your Social Security Number (SSN) is required under the authority of Executive Order 9397 to uniquely identify your record from other applicants’ records that may have the same name. As allowed by law or Presidential directive, your SSN is used to seek information about you from employers, schools, banks, and others who may know you. Failure to provide your SSN when you apply will result in your registration not being processed.
Based on your responses to questions, a determination will be made as to whether you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. You will be considered for the highest-grade level for which you are qualified at the time you register using the online application. If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be provided the additional information and a location, date, and time for the written test. All qualifications will be verified if you are tentatively selected.
If you do not meet the minimum qualifications, you will be notified during the registration process and your registration will be discontinued.
Geographic Location Codes: During the registration process for the written test, candidates will be asked to enter one (1) geographic code where they would be willing to work. Please note, when selecting a code, the applicant must be willing to work at any duty location that falls within that code’s jurisdiction. If selected for a location, the applicant will be removed from the CBP Officer register. If you are offered a CBP Officer position within the geographic location that was listed on your tentative selection offer letter and you decline the offer, you will have to wait until the next open period to re-apply.
Step 2 – Written Test. Scheduling for the written test is done during the on-line registration process. As soon as you have registered and have been scheduled for the written test, you will be able to print your test admission notice which will contain the date, location, and time for the written test. This admission notice will also include the contact information for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). You must print or save your test admission notice when it appears on the screen.
You will be given a userid and password after you have successfully registered for the written test. If you need to reprint an admission notice, print the study guide, or reschedule yourself into another test session, you will need to go to https://usatestmanager.gov/ , log in using your userid and password, click on “Customs and Border Protection Officer” (listed below “Application”), and select the appropriate choice (Contact Information or Study Guide or Reschedule My Exam), to obtain this information and print it. Additionally, for those who forgot their userid/password, they would need to go to https://usatestmanager.gov/ and click on “Forgot Userid and Password.”
Please note that the following business day after you successfully registered, OPM will send an email to you at the email address you gave in your registration, giving the test admission notice in text format rather than adobe acrobat format. OPM will also email you a reminder notice five (5) days before your test date. If you are unable to attend your scheduled test date and you are unable to reschedule your test date with OPM, you will need to wait for the next CBP Officer open period and re-register.
The test itself takes about five (5) hours and is comprised of three sections (a) Logical and Quantitative Reasoning Skills, (b) Writing Skills, and (c) an Assessment of Experience and Achievement. Applicants must obtain a combined minimum rating of at least 70 on sections (a), (b) and (c). Test scores are valid for one year. Applicants who take and fail the written test will not be able to retake the examination for 1 year; in addition, a CBP Officer announcement must be open to registration.
Test Preparation. We believe that proper test preparation is essential for the successful candidate and suggest that you take time to carefully read the study guide. If you want to get a head start, you may download the guide from our website at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/study_guides/guides_supervisory/entry_guide .
Your CBP Officer Test Admission Notice and government-issued picture ID are needed for taking the written test.
The Selection Process
Step 3 – Selection Process. If you pass the written test with a score of at least 70, your name will be placed in score order (with veterans preference points applied) on the CBP Officer register for use in making conditional selections for one year. Depending upon our hiring needs, geographic locations, and scores of applicants; selection certificates will be issued throughout the year for filling vacancies. Conditional offers of employment will then be issued via email, with a final offer contingent upon successful completion of the Video-Based Test/Interview and all other pre-employment requirements. Please be aware that there is no guarantee that everyone who passes the CBP Officer test will be given a job offer.
NOTE: The Minneapolis Hiring Center frequently uses email to communicate with applicants; therefore, it is important to ensure that your e-mail address and all other contact information are kept current. We also encourage applicants to check their email frequently (e.g., once a week) during the pre-employment process. If your email, mailing address of phone number(s) change, please notify the Minneapolis Hiring Center at email@example.com.
Step 4 – Video-Based Test/Face-to-Face Interview: All candidates who pass the written test must take and pass a video-based test (VBT) and a face-to-face structured interview (SI). These two assessments, which form the VBT/Interview portion of the hiring process, are designed to measure competencies that are critical to success as a CBP Officer. Among these are the competencies of interpersonal skills, judgment/decision-making, cooperativeness/sensitivity to the needs of others, emotional maturity, and oral communication. The VBT takes about one-half hour and is evaluated by a team of CBP management officials. When you are administered the VBT, you will be filmed while responding to a set of videotaped scenarios. This film will be viewed and evaluated. The test is rated on a pass/fail basis. Therefore, you will need to receive a “pass” rating to continue on to the SI. The SI takes about forty-five minutes and will be rated on a pass/fail basis. Candidates must receive a “pass” in order to continue in the hiring process. Approximately six (6) weeks after you have been tentatively selected, you will receive a letter informing you of the date, time and location for your VBT/SI. Successful VBT results are valid for three (3) years. If you successfully completed the VBT within the past three (3) years, you will not be scheduled for another VBT; however you will be scheduled for the SI. During the registration for the written test, applicants will be asked to identify the city where they would like to take the VBT/SI. Applicants may choose the VBT/SI site closest to where they live. The applicant pays for any expenses they incur getting to the VBT/SI site. If you fail the VBT or the SI, you may not reapply for this position for one (1) year from the date of the VBT/SI.
Step 5 – Pre-employment Process. In addition to completing Step 4, you must also undergo a drug test, medical examination, fitness test, and background investigation. These will be scheduled and completed as soon as possible. You will also be asked to submit a resume in the English language.
The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. These benefits include, but are not limited to: health care, life insurance, flexible spending and dependent care accounts, annual and sick leave, long-term care insurance, retirement savings plans and transit subsidies. For more information about these benefits, please visit http://www.usajobs.gov/EI/benefits.asp
Annual increases in salary [structured salary (step) increases, annual general pay increases and locality pay increases] are provided.
Uniform allowance – CBP Officers receive a uniform allowance to offset the cost of purchasing the required CBP Officer uniform.
Overtime compensation – CBP Officers are required to work overtime, but receive overtime pay at premium rates.
Probationary Period: All employees new to the Federal government must serve a one-year probationary period during the first year of his/her initial permanent Federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment. Current and former federal employees may also be required to serve or complete a probationary period in accordance with 5 CFR 315.801.
Direct Deposit: All agency employees are required to participate in Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer for salary payments.
Equal Employment Opportunity: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All candidates will be considered regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, status as a parent, lawful political affiliation, marital status, physical/mental disability (if not a job factor), membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or any other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodations: CBP provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. If a reasonable accommodation is needed for any part of the registration and hiring process, applicants should contact the office scheduling them for that portion of the process.
DO NOT SUBMIT AN APPLICATION/RESUME UNDER THIS ANNOUNCEMENT UNTIL YOU ARE INSTRUCTED TO DO SO. Unsolicited applications/resumes will be returned.
Geographic Locations: Applicants applying to this announcement will only be considered for one of the geographic regions listed below. Positions may be filled at any CBP port of entry within the regions as listed. Please note, when selecting a code you must be willing to work at any duty location that falls within that code’s jurisdiction.
You will not be able to change your geographic location outside of those listed below. If you decline a tentative offer for the geographic region you have chosen, you will be removed from the inventory and you will need to reapply to an available vacancy announcement for further consideration.
Southwest – (to include but not limited to the following locations) Laredo, El Paso, Fabens, Brownsville, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Pharr, Progreso, Presidio, Rio Grande City, Roma, Texas; Andrade, Calexico, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, Tecate, and San Bernadino, California and the states of Arizona, and New Mexico
Southeast – States of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky.
We highly encourage applicants to email us with questions. For questions about this announcement, please contact:
Dept of Homeland Security
Phone: 612-467-7027 option 2 thru July 1, 2011. After July 5, 2011 please call 952-857-2927.
Department: Department of Homeland Security