At 600,000 square miles, Alaska is by far the largest state in the nation. “The Last Frontier” is mostly surrounded by water, with the Arctic Ocean on the north, the Pacific Ocean on the south and the Bering Sea on the west. Alaska also shares more than 1,500 miles of its border with Canada. With such extensive border mileage, it’s no surprise that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency of the Department of Homeland Security has many facilities and supports a large number of border patrol jobs and U.S. customs agent careers in Alaska.
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The CBP’s budget and manpower have tripled over the last decade, largely because of a post-9/11 switch from illegal immigration to terrorism prevention as the agency’s top priority. There are currently over 20,000 CBP agents nationwide who use land vehicles, aircraft, water vessels and state-of the-art high-tech equipment to keep America’s borders safe
CBP data are collected for sectors rather than states or individual ports of entry. Alaska is part of the Blaine sector, along with Oregon and the western half of the state of Washington. According to government data for 2011, the Blaire sector employed 331 agents who were responsible for 591 apprehensions as well as the collection of 41 pounds of marijuana and 93 pounds of cocaine that resulted in 47 accepted prosecutions.
Alaskan Ports of Entry
Alaska is home to 13 ports of entry supporting border patrol jobs for CBP agents/officers who accept merchandize, collect duties and enforce customs and immigration laws. Anchorage is the only station that is also a service port where CBP officers conduct a full range of cargo processing functions, including inspections, collections and verifications.
Alaska’s ports of entry are:
- Dalton Cache
Alcan, named for the Alaska-Canada highway, is not a city or town. Sitting at mile post 1221.8 on that highway, it is the most remote border entry point in the entire U.S. Alcan is located 300 miles from Fairbanks, the nearest city, and is known for extreme weather conditions. Winter temperatures can sink as low as 70 degrees below zero! Alcan’s total population of 33 consists of dedicated CBP agents and their families who say they have learned to deal with the hardships and are proud to be protecting America at this isolated outpost.
Future Prospects for Border Patrol Salary Expectations in Alaska
The outlook for border patrol jobs in Alaska is excellent. The border patrol role expanded considerably after the terrorist attacks of 2002 and the agency is continuing to grow an offer more opportunities for Border Patrol training for qualified applicants. In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed an appropriations bill that stipulated the hiring of 1,000 more border patrol agents. According to the CBP, entry-level agents earn an annual wage of $38,619 to $49,029, depending on experience and qualifications. There is an additional $1,500 uniform allowance and agents can increase their salary by working overtime or on holidays.