The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be adding an additional 2,000 officer positions to their land, air and seaports around the country. Using funds granted for the 2014 fiscal year, the CBP is looking to hire employees to help with security and facilitate shorter waits for people crossing the borders.
Jack Ramsey, recruiting manager for CBP’s Seattle field office, has confirmed that both the Seattle and Blaine offices will be receiving an increase in staff, though he couldn’t confirm the exact number.
CBP posted the job notice to the website usajobs.gov on July 23. The announcement is the second part in the CBP’s two-part hiring process, following a listing on May 14. The job posting will remain on usajobs.gov until the department has received 15,000 applications. As of Monday, July 28, the department had received 10,877 applications.
“In May, we got close to 10,000 applications,” Ramsey said. “We actually shut our last announcement down a week early because we had so much interest, which surprised us, so we’ve increased the target number to 15,000 applications.”
Ramsey estimates that the department will hit the 15,000 applicant goal very quickly, possibly even by the end of this week.
The majority of the applications have been for border crossings between Mexico and the southern United States. In May, over 540 people applied to positions in the Northwest region, which includes Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota.
Any applicant for a CBP officer position must meet fairly rigorous qualifications. All applicants must be U.S. citizens under the age of 37 and must have lived in the U.S. for the past three years. The initial application process requires a three-part test that assesses a candidate’s logical reasoning, arithmetic and writing skills. These tests can be conducted at one of 600 testing centers found throughout the U.S. Applicants who make it past the initial test will then complete an entrance exam, medical exam, physical fitness assessment, structured interview or video-based test, a background check, a polygraph lie detector examination and a drug test.
Applicants over the age of 37 will be accepted if the candidate has previous law enforcement experience or is a preference eligible veteran. A military background is welcomed, and more than 30 percent of CBP employees are veterans.
“We’re glad to have such a large pool of people to test,” Ramsey said. “It’s really one of the better careers out there. I’ve certainly been happy with it.”