The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is responsible for preventing terrorists, their weapons and undocumented aliens from entering the U.S. The CBP, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, must also detect and block illegal drugs and other smuggled goods from crossing the border. North Carolina is part of the CBP’s Miami sector which, in 2912, was responsible for 4,401 apprehensions. That same year, the 94 brave CBP agents of the Miami sector also confiscated 564.05 pounds of Marijuana and 10.60 pounds of cocaine that resulted in 108 accepted prosecutions.
North Carolina Ports of Entry
North Carolina borders Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and the Atlantic Ocean. Its 301-mile coastline is the second longest (after Florida) of all states bordering the Atlantic. The CBP operates five North Carolina ports of entry:
- Wilmington – the historic port city boasts an international airport, a cruise ship terminal and a shipping port that handles an average of 1,461 cargo ships and one barge annually. CBP agents processed 4,384,102 tons of cargo in 2012.
- Morehead City-Beaufort – Situated along North Carolina’s “Crystal Coast,” it is one of the deepest ports on the East Coast. In 2012, the CBP processed 139 ships, 515 barges and 2,179,348 tons of cargo in the Morehead port.
- Charlotte – North Carolina’s largest city holds one of the busiest airports in the South. In 2010, CBP agents/officers handled 34,536,666 passengers and 133,158 tons of air freight.
- Raleigh-Durham – 9.22 million passengers passed through the capital city’s international airport in 2011.
- Winston-Salem – After decades of contention, the two towns were incorporated in 1913 as Winston-Salem, now North Carolina’s fourth largest city.
Border Patrol Job Requirements in North Carolina
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the job outlook for border patrol agents is very good and expected to grow. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, possess a valid driver’s license, be under the age of 40 (some veteran exceptions), drug-free, in good health, and able to pass a background investigation and an entrance exam that consists of three parts:
- Logical reasoning
- Spanish proficiency
- Ability to learn new languages
The job of agent trainee (GL5) requires one year of paid or volunteer experience that demonstrates an ability to make decisions and remain calm in potentially dangerous situations. A bachelor’s degree can be substituted for the experience. The GL7 position requires either one year of law enforcement experience or a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. There are roughly a dozen colleges/universities in North Carolina that offer degrees in criminal justice.
Border Patrol Salaries in North Carolina
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average nationwide border patrol agent salary at $55,010, plus an additional $1,500 uniform allowance, and another 25 percent in possible overtime pay. Salarybox.com lists the annual average border patrol agent salary in North Carolina as $40,460 with the following differences between cities:
- Charlotte: $45,730
- Raleigh: $44,880
- Winston-Salem: $40,360
- Wilmington: $40,270