How to Become a CBP Field Canine Coordinator

In order to receive consideration for a Field Canine Coordinator position, candidate must meet the following basic qualifications:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Pass a drug test prior to hiring and at random points throughout their employment
  • Pass a background security check
  • Pass a medical examination
  • Possess a valid state driver’s license
  • Be able to complete a training program of at least five weeks in duration

Academic and Degree Requirements for CBP Field Canine Coordinators

Entry into this profession requires at least a bachelor’s degree, substantial work experience in a related professional field, or a combination of course work and work experience.  The most competitive college degrees were those in the following concentrations:

  • Criminal justice
  • Police administration
  • Police science
  • Law and evidence
  • Police investigation
  • Criminology
  • Law enforcement

A master’s degree is often helpful in receiving consideration for a job, and is also advantageous in receiving a higher initial pay rating, which translates into a higher annual salary and promotion potential.

Exceptions and Additional Experience Requirements

For those applicants without a bachelor’s degree, at least three years in a progressive job, or at least one year in a career equivalent to a GS-5 federal employee may suffice. The professional responsibilities associated with this job should include analytical reasoning, problem solving, data collection, solutions development, organization and oral & written communication.  Candidates may also use a combination of college courses and professional experience to meet this qualification.

Some careers as a Field Canine Coordinator may also require that the applicant possess some training with canine units.  Although this is not a requirement for entry level positions, supervisory and instructor jobs may list prior experience as a pre-requisite.

CBP Field Canine Coordinator Application, Interview and Training Process

In order to apply for a CBP Field Canine Coordinator job, the applicant must follow the link provided on a relevant job posting at Upon visiting the Office of Personnel Management, the basic qualifications of the applicant will be determined.

If candidates meet all of the qualifications outlined at the top of this guide, they will be asked to submit a resume along with all college transcripts, employment documentation and veterans or law enforcement documents.  The highest qualified applicants will then be asked to complete a writing assessment which will be evaluated for organization, reasoning, and written communication skills.

Upon approval of the initial written exam, the candidate is required to complete two interviews.  The first interview is with a panel of three Field Canine Coordinators who will assess the candidate’s reasoning skills, emotional maturity and character.  A U.S. CBP manager will evaluate the candidate along similar lines and in related areas as part of the second interview.  The candidate may also be asked to produce a second writing sample for evaluation.

If candidates successfully complete these interviews and exams, they will be investigated to ensure they have no arrests or convictions, past history of drug use, domestic violence or extreme financial obligations.  Once approved, the candidate must successfully pass a medical exam and drug test.

The training program for Field Canine Coordinators is particularly long and rigorous.  In addition to the basic training topics for all CBP officers, canine officers must also enroll in a six-week training program at the National Canine Facility in El Paso.  There they are paired with their canine partner, who will remain with the handler virtually 24 hours a day. Each month, these units must complete 16 hours of maintenance training as well.

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