The CBP Border Patrol is continuing its efforts to attract women and minorities as part of a new phase of its recruitment efforts to increase the number of Border Patrol agents to guard the nation's borders. This effort coincides with the goal to hire more than 6,000 new Border Patrol agents by the end of 2008.

The Border Patrol is a part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of the Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

"Over the next two years, we'd like to see the numbers of women and African-American, Asian-American and Native American Border Patrol agents increase significantly," says CBP Special Assistant for Equal Employment Opportunity Franklin C. Jones. Currently, women make up 5.4 percent of the Border Patrol agent workforce and African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Native Americans make up 2.5 percent of the agent ranks, according to the CBP.

The recruitment effort encourages women and minorities to become new agents. The campaign emphasizes the dynamic nature of the job and the strength and character necessary to succeed as a CBP Border Patrol agent. "We are looking for highly patriotic Americans who are adventurous go-getters," Jones says.

To become a Border Patrol agent an individual must be a U.S. citizen with valid driver's license, 40 years old or younger, pass a drug screening, meet the medical requirements and pass a background investigation.

Starting salaries range between $35,000 to $45,000 per year plus benefits. Agents will see a significant increase in their salary after the successful completion of the academy. Agents are also eligible for up to an additional 25 percent of basic salary each year in overtime pay.