Skip to Main Content

Border Patrol Agents

Work Environment

The work of a border patrol agent can be tiring and stressful. Because agents must cover the borders continuously, hours are irregular and shifts tend to vary. Most agents spend more time outdoors in jeeps, cars, helicopters, or on horseback than they do in offices. Still, there is a great deal of paperwork to process on each person detained; that usually requires several hours. The work may be dangerous, and many decisions must be made quickly. Border patrol agents must confront many people throughout their shift, and they must remain alert for potential illegal entry into the United States. Many people who attempt to enter the United States illegally have undergone extreme risk and hardship. Border patrol agents encounter emotionally intense situations just as frequently as hostile, violent ones. For example, illegal aliens suffer extremes of heat and discomfort of crowding into the back of a hot, stuffy truck in order to enter the United States; returning to their country is oftentimes as uncomfortable. Border patrol agents must be able to cope with the stress and trauma of such situations. Finally, most of those who attempt to enter the country illegally will do so again and again. Even as agents prevent one group from entering the country, elsewhere several other groups of illegal aliens may be successfully crossing the border. Border patrol agents must be able to work at what may, at times, seem a futile and frustrating task.

Join Vault Gold to unlock this premium content

Earnings - Outlook - Resources & Associations and more

Are you a student? You may have FREE access.

Vault partners with thousands of colleges, universities and academic institutions to provide students with FREE access to our premium content. To determine if your school is a partner, please enter your school email address below.

Related Professions