Border Patrol Jobs in California

California, the largest U.S. state by population, has an 840-mile Pacific Ocean coastline as well as a 140.4-mile border with Mexico, both of which require the vigilant attention of skilled Border Patrol Agents on the ground, as well as Air and Marine Interdiction Agents in the skys and on the seas. The Golden State has 19 ports of entry staffed by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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The 3,433 professionals with border patrol jobs and U.S. Customs Careers at California’s ports of entry are on the frontline to prevent the admission of terrorists and their weapons into the U.S. They also facilitate lawful trade and travel while blocking the entrance of undocumented aliens, illegal drugs and other smuggled contraband.

Jobs at California’s Border Patrol Ports of Entry and Stations

The 19 California ports of entry include four service ports (Los Angeles International Airport, LA/Long Beach Seaport, San Francisco, Otay Mesa) where CBP officers conduct a full range of cargo processing functions in addition to enforcing customs and immigration laws. Otay Mesa, one of three ports at the San Diego/Tijuana border, was opened to divert commercial truck traffic from San Ysidro, the busiest CBP port of entry in the entire nation. Otay Mesa is now the third busiest port of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border. Taken together, California’s 19 ports of entry are the source of thousands of border patrol jobs.

The California border patrol also operates inland checkpoints that are each responsible for covering hundreds of miles. CBP officers inspect vehicles crossing the checkpoints, while border patrol agents scour the surrounding landscape via aircraft, all-terrain vehicles, mountain bikes and horses. The canine unit is also important. The dogs are trained to find concealed aliens or drugs and are also used for search and rescue efforts. They live with their CBP professional partners who usually stay with the same canine until the dog retires. The agent-dog bond is so strong handlers often pass up promotions rather than face separation from their canine partners.

CBP Successes in California

The 3,433 men and women who hold border patrol jobs in California are rightfully proud of their record in keeping the country safe. CBP statistics divide California into two sectors: the El Centro sector which currently employs 1,164 agents and San Diego, which has 2,269 agents. Their 2011 accomplishments include:

El Centro Sector



Marijuana Confiscations (pounds)


Cocaine Confiscations (pounds)




In March, 2012, a CBP officer and his canine partner at the Murrieta CA checkpoint were responsible for the confiscation of 7,328 pounds of marijuana with a street value of over $3.6 million. Just another day in the life of a border patrol agent!

Border Patrol Job Requirements

Individuals aspiring to border patrol jobs in California must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the training academy:

  • Be U.S. citizens
  • Possess a valid U.S. driver’s license
  • Have no criminal record
  • Be able to speak or learn Spanish
  • Pass drug and physical fitness tests

CBP officers and border patrol agents must also have the ability to make decisions, remain calm in stressful situations, and maintain interpersonal relationships with co-workers and the public.

For more information on how to become a border patrol agent in California, click here.

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