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U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations

Washington, DC

Company Website

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the world’s largest civilian law enforcement organization.
  • Air and Marine Operations (AMO) is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people. We apply advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities and employ our unique skill sets to preserve America’s security interests.
  • 74 Air and Marine Operations locations, including branches and units, National Air Security Operations Centers, and the Air and Marine Operations Center
  • Conduct air to air, air to water, and air to ground border interdiction of people and conveyances illegally crossing U.S. borders.
  • Patrol oceans, lakes, and rivers to prevent the illegal entry of weapons of terror
  • Prohibit illegal narcotics and prevent the entry of undocumented aliens
  • On a typical day, AMO flies 212 Enforcement hours at and beyond the border, and within our nation’s interior.
  • INTERDICTION: Efforts to intercept, apprehend, and disrupt threats in the land, sea, and air domains as they move toward or across the borders of the United States.
  • INVESTIGATION: AMO's specialized investigative skill sets are unique among law enforcement in the air and maritime environments.
  • DOMAIN AWARENESS: The observation of the operating domain (air, land, and maritime) and baseline information associated with the domain.
  • Terror threats and incidents
  • Continuity of operations
  • Federal disaster relief
  • National special security event
  • AMO was established January 17, 2006
  • This page was last updated: September 18, 2020 (Career Services)
Total: 579
Active: 579
Furloughed: 0
None listed
AS-350: 86
BE200: 5
BE350ER: 12
C-12: 2
C206: 30
DHC-8Q200/Q300: 7
EC-120: 18
Lockheed P-3: 14
MQ-9B: 9
PC-12: 3
S-76: 3
UH-1: 8
UH-60 : 20
Is Hiring?: Yes

All new hire pilots will go to one of the following locations:

  • Sierra Vista, AZ
  • Laredo, TX
  • Aguadilla, PR
  • San Diego, CA
  • Yuma, AZ
  • San Angelo, TX

This is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GS-11, GS-12 & GS-13. You will be eligible for a promotion to the next higher grade level automatically (without re-applying) once you complete 52-weeks at each grade level.  Compensation acronyms used below:

  • LEAP: Law Enforcement Availability Pay (25%)
  • RI: Retention Incentive (10%) or Recruitment Incentive (25% for CAMB Only)
  • SSR: Special Salary Rate – as posted by OPM

Example annual compensation for the first three years at our new-hire locations (San Angelo TX, Laredo TX, Sierra Vista AZ, and Yuma AZ) which are currently authorized to receive a 10% retention incentive (amounts below include the SSR + LEAP + 10% RI).

  • GS-11, 1st year annual pay - $100,609
  • GS-12, 2nd year annual pay - $120,589
  • GS-13, 3rd year annual pay - $143,396
Newly appointed Air Interdiction Agents (AIAs) that Enter on Duty (EOD) in a Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) duty location(limited positions available), have been authorized to receive a 25% Recruitment Incentive (RI) for up to 4 years, in-addition to Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP). The below example of CAMB annual compensation includes SSR + LEAP + 25% RI:
  • GS-11, 1st year annual pay - $111,787
  • GS-12, 2nd year annual pay - $133,987
  • GS-13, 3rd year annual pay - $159,329

Pilot Hiring Minimums: Apply at 750 hours. Pilot Enter on Duty minimums are 1500 flight hours; (up to 500 hours can be waived, reducing the pilot enter on duty minimums to 1000 hours).  All applicants must present evidence of a current FAR 61.56 flight review (bi-annual), or successful completion of a formal military pilot evaluation (USN NATOPS Check, USAF Form 8, US Army APART, or equivalent) within the previous 24 months at the time of the flight assessment. This requirement is to be met at the applicant's own expense prior to travelling for the flight assessment.

  • 250 Pilot-in-Command hours and
  • 75 Instrument hours
  • 75 Night hours

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses will be paid in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulation limits and agency policy for Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) locations ONLY. Newly appointed AIAs that Enter on Duty (EOD) in a Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) duty location have been authorized to receive a 25% RI (NOTE: Current federal employees serving in a permanent position are not eligible to receive a RI). 25% of your scheduled salary (base pay plus locality) for these locations will be paid at the beginning of each year, for up to a total of three years. The RI requires a three year/156-week service agreement. You must remain employed as an AIA in the eligible duty location for the period of the service agreement in order to receive and remain eligible for the RI.

Pilot Hiring Minimums: Apply at 750 hours. Pilot Enter on Duty minimums are 1500 flight hours; (up to 500 hours can be waived, reducing the pilot enter on duty minimums to 1000 hours)

  • 250 Pilot-in-Command hours and
  • 75 Instrument hours
  • 75 Night hours

Age Requirement: You must be referred for consideration before reaching your 40th birthday in accordance with Public Law 100-238. There are two options for a waiver.  1- Veterans’ preference eligible - a DD-214 member 4 or service 2 if prior military, or VA disability letter will be required. 2- Current or previous federal law enforcement service under the federal law enforcement retirement system (FERS) may waive the minimum entry date.  SF-50s reflecting the beginning and end of the creditable federal civilian (not military) service under Title 5 U.S.C. 8331(20), and Title 5 U.S.C. 8401(17).  If you have any questions on this, please contact an AMO recruiter.

* 750 Flight Hours: Applicants applying at 750 flight hours are required to obtain at least 1,000 flight hours (depending on the number of hours approved for a waiver) at own expense before being able to attend the 3-part flight assessment. Must meet the required 250 PIC, 75 instrument and 75 night hours.

Open to all U.S. Citizens.


AMO is accepting applications for dual-rated applicants.  All classes are filled for 2021, therefore applications submitted at this time will be considered for 2022.  Submissions can be made via our Exclusive Direct Hire Announcement here or copy/paste in your browser: https://www.usajobs.gov/Search/Results?j=1881&hp=public&p=1

None listed

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations PAYSCALES

  GS-11 GS-12 GS-13   
21   - - 170800   
18   - - 166500   
15   - - 163758   
12   - - 159332   
10   - - 154906   
8   - - 158395   
6   - - 146053   
5   - - 141626   
4   - - 137200   
3   - - 132773   
1   93156 111656 0   

(Click and drag the sliders)

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*Please Diregard Pay Calculator Above*

Scheduled pay raises:

Year 1: GS-11 Step 1

Year 2: GS-12 Step 1

Year 3: GS-13 Step 1

GS 13 is the full performance level grade. You will receive a step increase from 1-3 every year, 4-6 every other year, 7-9 every 3 years. GS 13 step 10 is the max grade scale.

Supervisors are on the GS-14 pay scale and Directors on the GS-15 Pay scale. An additional 1.4% GS pay scale raise annually limited to presidential approval. 

For detailed information on pay and benefits click here


Domestic Per Diem (Hourly):
The U.S. General Services Administration per diem rates are listed by state in the link below. Per Diem is paid when an employee is on official travel for the government.


International Per Diem (Hourly):
International Per Diem is paid in accordance with the US General Services Administration.



5% of your TSP contributions are matched at 4%, by the agency every pay period. 

1 for 1 matching to 3%

Then .5 for 1 matching to 5% 

Employees that retire from CBP can count on the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) to enjoy life after working. FERS includes the following three streams of income:

  1. FERS Basic Annuity under special provisions: Air Interdiction Agents that serve in federal government with at least 20 years of law enforcement service are eligible for the generous FERS basic annuity. This guaranteed lifetime pension, paid to retirees is a percentage of your highest average basic pay you earned during any 3 consecutive years of service. Learn more.
  2. Thrift Savings Plan: Similar to a 401(k) plan, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a defined contribution plan designed to give federal employees the same retirement savings related benefits that workers in the private sector enjoy with 401(k) plans. Contributions to the plan are automatically deducted from each paycheck, the amount which is chosen by employees, and is transferable if you change employers. An additional benefit to the TSP is employer matching contributions; up to 5% of your base salary. For all the benefits, please visit us here.

  3. Social Security: You receive social security retirement payments, the benefits of which are transferable when you change employers. Learn more about Social Security retirement benefits.

Law Enforcement 6(c) Retirement Coverage: Being in a frontline position at CBP qualifies you for 6(c) retirement coverage. What does that mean? 6(c) retirement coverage means you can retire at any age after 25 years of service or at age 50 with at least 20 years of service. 6(c) eligibility is a factor for determining your FERS basic annuity.

401K Matching: Yes

A/B Fund:

Thrift Savings Plan

For all the benefits, please visit us here