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GS-1895-5/7 Customs and Border Protection Officer Your career … The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed to help respond to the threat of terrorist attacks. Within DHS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was established to support this important mission. With employees stationed along our country’s borders and at the ports of entry, CBP is America’s Frontline in the war against terrorism. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers serve America at over 300 frontline ports of entry. The Officer’s primary responsibility is to detect and prevent terrorists and weapons of mass destruction from entering the United States, while facilitating the orderly flow of legitimate trade and travelers. This requires enforcing laws related to revenue and trade, seizure of contraband, interdiction of agricultural pests and diseases, and admissibility of persons. CBP Officers perform the full range of inspection, passenger and cargo analysis, examination and law enforcement activities relating to the arrival and departure of persons, merchandise and conveyances such as cars, trucks, aircraft, and ships at the ports of entry. CBP Officers must wear a uniform, work overtime and/or shift work (sometimes under arduous conditions), qualify regularly with and carry firearms, and are subject to random drug testing. Benefits and Salary Benefits. CBP offers a generous benefits package including personal leave days for vacation, illness and family care, a wide choice of health insurance programs, life insurance, long-term care insurance, flexible spending accounts for out-of-pocket medical or dependent care expenses, a fully portable retirement program that includes a Thrift Savings Plan (similar to 401k), and a uniform allowance. In addition, some locations have access to fitness facilities, related health and wellness programs, and on-site childcare facilities. These are full-time permanent positions in the excepted service. Initial appointments are made at the GS-5 (at least $30,772 per annum) and GS-7 (at least $38,117) grade levels with promotion potential to the GS-11 ($56,411) grade level without having to reapply. There is also the opportunity to earn overtime pay. Locations. These positions are located at CBP ports of entry throughout the United States including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Applicants must be willing to work in any duty location covered by a geographic location code they selected. Pre-employment Requirements consist of a video-based structured interview, a thorough background investigation, medical examination (including stringent vision and hearing standards), fitness test and drug test (see MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS on the following page). If your background includes past or present arrests, convictions, dismissals from previous jobs, outstanding debt and financial issues, excessive use of alcohol, violations of immigration laws, use of illegal drugs, and/or the sale and distribution of illegal drugs, you most probably will be rated unsuitable for these positions. Age Requirement. In accordance with Public Law 110-161, this position is covered under special retirement provisions for Customs and Border Protection Officers; therefore, candidates must be referred for selection for this position before reaching their 37th birthday. This age restriction may not apply if you are serving or have served in a federal civilian (not military) law enforcement position covered by Title 5 U.S.C. 8336(c) or Title 5 U.S.C 8412(d). Training. CBP Officers must attend approximately 15 weeks of paid training at the CBP Academy at Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Your time at the Academy will be spent attending formalized classroom training and a rigorous participatory training program. If you are not already involved in a physical fitness program, you may wish to begin exercising now to prepare yourself for the physical demands and requirements of training. Candidates selected for duty locations in Puerto Rico, Miami, Florida; or along the Southwest Border may receive an additional 6 weeks of Spanish language training. Failure to successfully complete the training may be grounds for mandatory removal from the position. For more information on training at FLETC, please visit the web site at www.FLETC.gov/. Qualifications. Refer to the vacancy announcement for more specific information on qualifying experience and education. However, here are the basic qualifications: Revised 4/09 Must be a U.S. citizen. CBP also has a residency requirement that applies to all applicants other than current CBP employees. If you are not a current CBP employee, CBP requires that for the three (3) years prior to filing an application for employment, individuals must meet one or more of the following primary residence criteria: 1. Applicant physically resided in the United States or its protectorates or territories (excluding short trips abroad, such as vacations); or 2. Applicant worked for the U.S. Government as an employee overseas in a Federal or military capacity; or 3. Applicant was a dependent of a U.S. Federal or military employee serving overseas. Exceptions may be granted to applicants if they can provide complete stateside coverage information required to make a suitability/security determination. Examples of state-side coverage information include: the state-side address of the company headquarters where the applicant’s personnel file is located, the state-side address of the Professor in charge of the applicant’s “Study Abroad” program, the church records for the applicant’s overseas church missions, and/or the state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with the applicant while overseas. If selected for a position, applicants must provide this information when filing their application for employment. Must possess a valid state driver’s license at the time of appointment. To qualify for a GS-5 grade level position, you must have at least 3 years of general experience that demonstrates the ability to meet and deal with people and the ability to apply a body of facts. You may have obtained this experience in work where you explained administrative requirements and procedures to others or screened forms to ensure proper completion based on requirements. For example, you may have served as a customer service representative, claims adjuster, or information receptionist. Typing, filing, copying, or messenger work is not creditable as general experience. You may substitute education for experience requirements. For instance, a Bachelor's Degree in any field from an accredited institution meets the requirements. To qualify for a GS-7 level position, you must have one full year of specialized experience that entailed performance of substantive duties in inspections work at borders, seaports, airports, or other entry points and/or work involving preliminary screening of persons for entry and immigration status or compliance/regulatory work. Inspections experience must have demonstrated the ability to apply specialized knowledge of the laws, regulations, and procedures for importing and exporting merchandise to and from the United States and/or law enforcement work at the local, State or Federal levels, which included dealing with persons suspected of entering the United States illegally. Compliance/regulatory work experience must have demonstrated the ability to collect, develop and evaluate facts, evidence, and pertinent data in assessing compliance with or violations of laws, rules or regulations. Specialized experience is generally gained in the performance of the duties of the following kinds of positions: Inspector, Auditor, Analyst, Examiner, and Investigator as well as some Technicians in the public and/or private sector. Medical Requirements. Because the duties of the position are of a strenuous nature and require a high degree of interaction and responsibility to the public, you must undergo and successfully pass our medical screening process. We will schedule, provide and pay for the required basic examination. If medical information is required beyond the pre-placement examination, it is provided at the applicant’s expense. Any medical or psychiatric condition resulting from an injury or disease may result in disqualification for appointment if the condition(s) would affect your ability to perform the essential functions of the position. The most common reasons for failing the examination involve vision and hearing impairments. A summary of those particular requirements follows: Vision Near vision must test at least 20/40 Snellen, binocular, with or without corrective lenses. Binocular distant vision acuity must be at least 20/30 corrected; 20/100 uncorrected. Color perception – must demonstrate normal color vision. Use of an X-chrome lens or other artificial device is not acceptable. Normal depth perception and normal peripheral vision are required. Refractive surgery/LASIK surgery – individuals who have undergone refractive (for example LASIK) surgery must demonstrate normal vision through a prescribed evaluation, at a specific interval following surgery, usually three (3) months. Hearing Unaided testing with each ear must test at 25dB or less for the average of the 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hz frequencies. Unaided testing in each ear must test at 45dB or less at the 4000 and 6000 Hz. The difference in hearing levels between the ears may not exceed 30dB at the 4000 and 6000 Hz frequencies. The difference in hearing levels between the ears may not exceed 15dB for the average of 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 Hz. Revised 4/09 Use of a hearing aid is not allowed during testing. Physical Fitness Screening Due to the strenuous nature of the CBP Officer duties and the associated training programs, fitness tests have been developed and will be used to screen candidates for entry level CBP Officer positions. Although fitness tests are a separate pre-employment requirement, they are administered at the same time and location as the medical examination. The fitness tests include a (1) push up test, (2) sit-up test, (3) side step test, (4) a lift/lower test (50 pounds), and (5) a 5-minute cardiovascular endurance step test. Once on board, employees will also be required to complete a physically rigorous training program conducted at the FLETC. For more information, go to http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/customs_careers/officer/cbp_officer/. PERSONAL APPEARANCE STANDARDS (PAS) FOR THE CBP OFFICER POSITION: In general as a uniformed CBP officer or agriculture specialist, you will be required to adhere to the Agency’s uniform and personal appearance standards. The distinctive CBP uniform is so closely related to the mission and traditions of the agency that it is virtually synonymous with both the agency's purpose and personnel. Uniformed employees are held in high esteem by the public as guardians of the Nation's borders. Extremes and fads in personal appearance and attire are prohibited in order to maintain the highest standards of professionalism, propriety, decorum, good taste, and to project an image that encourages and facilitates public interaction with uniformed CBP personnel. Certain aspects of the OFO personal appearance standard draw distinctions between standards for male and female officers. This does not reflect any difference in the degree to which it is imperative that female or male employees are well groomed; rather it reflects norms and expectations by the public of grooming standards by the two sexes. These expectations and norms are critical to the recognition, cooperation and approachability by the public. The appearance standards outlined below is only an excerpt of CBP’s national personal appearance standards. Standard Male Female Hair Hair will be neat trimmed and Hair shall be neat, natural in color properly groomed. Will not touch and conservatively styled. Hair shall the ears or the collar when in a be arranged so that it does not standing position. extend below the bottom edge of the collar when female officers are in If dyed, hair will be dyed in a the standing position. natural color. The use of hair colorants or dyes that are Hair will not be worn in any unnatural in appearance is extreme style or in any manner that prohibited. exceeds standards, violates safety requirements, or impedes the proper wearing of authorized CBP headgear. If dyed, hair will be dyed in a natural color. The use of hair colorants or dyes that are unnatural in appearance is prohibited. Sideburns (male only) Sideburns will not extend below n/a the lowest part of the ear. They will be even in width (not flared) and end in a cleanly shaven, horizontal line. Facial Hair Beards are prohibited except for n/a medical reasons. Mustaches shall not extend beyond the corners of the mouth or below the upper vermillion of the lip and must be conservative in style. Revised 4/09 Fingernails Fingernails shall not extend Fingernails shall not extend more beyond the fingertips and should than one-quarter (¼) inch beyond be clean. False fingernails and the fingertips and, if colored with fingernail polish are prohibited. fingernail polish, should be a single color. Cosmetics (female only) n/a Only cosmetics which are conservative in color and amount shall be permitted. Earrings Prohibited. A plain, stud-type earrings no more than ¼ inch in diameter is authorized. Wearing of more than one (1) pair of earrings is prohibited. Body Piercing May not be visible. May not be visible. Tattoos/Brands Must be concealed if obscene, Same as males. racially motivated, or gang- related. Body Alterations Intentional alterations such as: Same as males. tongue splitting, tongue forking, disfiguring skin implants, tooth filing, etc., are prohibited. If you are interested in applying and want to receive notification when the announcement is open, go to www.USAJOBS.opm.gov, click on the folder entitled My USAJOBS, then click on Create Account. Follow the instructions pertaining to automated job alerts and register for the GS-1895, CBP Officer position. 7 Revised 4/09
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