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  • CBP vs FAMS

    Are there any prior FAMS who left for CBP or CBP Officers who became a FAM lurking out there? If so I am looking to hear your opinions on the different career path of each, job satisfaction, etc. Additionally I know there are specialized non-journeyman CBP positions such as CBPO (Enforcement) and CBPO (Intelligence), are there similar permanent competitive positions within the FAMS, or other ground based details other than the JTTF?

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    I was wondering the same thing. For a future in an 1811 position, can someone with first hand experience chime in?

    On one hand, I constantly hear FAMS is a dead end job with no investigative experience to be had. Likewise, on the other hand, I hear being CBPO at a large airport is very mundane and also offers very little for a future in an 1811 position. (Except for some detail opportunities which seem reserved for those who have 5+ years of experience)

    So if anybody can give an input on which is a better move for your career, I would appreciate it. So far it seems FAMS has the advantage of paying more and giving you a Top Secret Clearance while also allowing you the opportunity to at least travel...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ironlion09 View Post
      I was wondering the same thing. For a future in an 1811 position, can someone with first hand experience chime in?

      On one hand, I constantly hear FAMS is a dead end job with no investigative experience to be had. Likewise, on the other hand, I hear being CBPO at a large airport is very mundane and also offers very little for a future in an 1811 position. (Except for some detail opportunities which seem reserved for those who have 5+ years of experience)

      So if anybody can give an input on which is a better move for your career, I would appreciate it. So far it seems FAMS has the advantage of paying more and giving you a Top Secret Clearance while also allowing you the opportunity to at least travel...
      I left FAMS 1 year ago for a 1811 position. In my opinion it doesn't matter if you pick CBP or FAMS. Neither will make you MORE competitive than the other as a 1811 applicant.

      BOTH jobs will most likely get you looked at by 1811 agencies though, assuming you have a bachelors and/or military experience, but its all how you articulate on your resume. I only had FAMS and a BA, with a high GPA, and I made 1811.

      In my opinion, once you get a job like border patrol, cbp, or FAMS its all how you articulate your experience on the job in your resume that will get you interviewed by a 1811 job.

      I say this because I know plenty of FAMS with the same or MORE experience than me who can't get a 1811 gig. Also depends on the agency you want to go 1811 to. If you arent picky you also will have a better chance.

      As far as CBP or FAMS job wise, if you want upward mobility, stay away from FAMS. Ground based assignments aren't promotions they are collateral. Forget about JTTF, again super competitve, think 300 guys with similar resumes fighting for 1 spot.

      I can't speak for CBP but I will say right bfore I was hired with FAMS I had a BP interview scheduled, so I would have done either.

      Good luck.
      Last edited by DaShwstoppahbk; 05-28-2016, 05:51 PM.

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      • #4
        CBPO has a way better career path than FAMS.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DaShwstoppahbk View Post
          I left FAMS 1 year ago for a 1811 position. In my opinion it doesn't matter if you pick CBP or FAMS. Neither will make you MORE competitive as a 1811 applicant.

          BOTH jobs will most likely get you looked at by 1811 agencies though, assiming you have a bachelors and/or military experience, but its all how you articulate on your resume. I only had FAMS and a BA with a high GPA and I made 1811.

          In my opinion, once you get a job like border patrol, cbp, or FAMS its all how you articulate your experience on the job in your resume that will get you interviewed by a 1811 job.

          I say this because I know plenty of FAMS with the same or MORE experience than me who can't get a 1811 gig. Also depends on the agency you want to go 1811 to. If you arent picky you also will have a better chance.

          As far as CBP or FAMS job wise, if you want upward mobility, stay away from FAMS. Ground based assignments aren't promotions they are collateral. Forget about JTTF, again super competitve, think 300 guys with similar resumes fighting for 1 spot.

          I can't speak for CBP but I will say right bfore I was hired with FAMS I had a BP interview scheduled, so I would have done either.

          Good luck.
          Thank you for input. If you could go back, would you have stuck with FAMS or tried BP? I'm asking solely on job itself. Meaning did the job wear off on you pretty quickly?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Esco View Post
            CBPO has a way better career path than FAMS.
            Got you. If you don't mind me asking, are you former or current CBP?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ironlion09 View Post
              Thank you for input. If you could go back, would you have stuck with FAMS or tried BP? I'm asking solely on job itself. Meaning did the job wear off on you pretty quickly?
              I think both jobs probably have plus and minus attributes. FAMS I will say is probably better if you are single. That was main reason I left. Starts to wear on family life being gone 2-3 nights per week. I didn't mind the job, though I knew it was just sitting on a plane before I was hired. If you go in thinking you will be shooting terrorists, or even arresting drunk passengers, daily you will be disappointed.

              I can't speak to BP from personal experience but I would imagine living on the SW border can wear on family life as well. Both jobs have big issues with transferring. Meaning don't expect to transfer from your initial assignment ever. You may get lucky, but go in with the no transfer mindset.

              I am happy I was a FAM but I don't look back and say "jeez BP would have been so much better". I feel its a wash but that's just my opinion.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DaShwstoppahbk View Post
                I think both jobs probably have plus and minus attributes. FAMS I will say is probably better if you are single. That was main reason I left. Starts to wear on family life being gone 2-3 nights per week. I didn't mind the job, though I knew it was just sitting on a plane before I was hired. If you go in thinking you will be shooting terrorists, or even arresting drunk passengers, daily you will be disappointed.

                I can't speak to BP from personal experience but I would imagine living on the SW border can wear on family life as well. Both jobs have big issues with transferring. Meaning don't expect to transfer from your initial assignment ever. You may get lucky, but go in with the no transfer mindset.

                I am happy I was a FAM but I don't look back and say "jeez BP would have been so much better". I feel its a wash but that's just my opinion.
                Got you. What you said is pretty much what I expected. Appreciate the input and glad you got that 1811!

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                • #9
                  So necroposting a six year old thread..?

                  image.jpeg
                  Now go home and get your shine box!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                    So necroposting a six year old thread..?

                    [ATTACH=CONFIG]15194[/ATTACH]
                    Funny guy. If you post something that has been asked before, you get told to use the search button. If you use the search function and find a thread that has what you're looking for, you get complaints for bringing a thread back from the dead.

                    So in your eyes, I should just make a new thread asking the same exact thing?

                    How about, you just ignore the thread all together if you have nothing productive to say. Or ignore the date..since it doesn't make any difference at all.
                    Last edited by Ironlion09; 05-29-2016, 07:56 AM. Reason: Grammar

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                    • #11
                      Every single person I knew that left BP for FAMS, including the exodus after 9/11, and throughout the years since, came back. So that sort of speaks for itself.


                      They were saying above that FAMS will get you looked at by 1811s...how? Of those people that went FAMS and left, they all tell me the same thing. What are you going to put in your resume for your time in FAMS? Sure you can honestly say you are probably one of the best pistol shooters in the world after going through their training, but what else? How many arrests have you made since EOD? How many task forces have you been on, how many leads have you followed leading to an arrest? It sounds like your best bet is to get on a VIPR team for FAMs, where as in the Border Patrol, you can be a K9 handler, boat patrol, ATVs, dirt bikes, aerial spotter on a CBP helicopter, bike patrol, prosecutions team, MRT, BORTAC, BORSTAR, so on and so forth. Plus you are on a pedestal for immigration. I have turned down firm offers from non-LE agencies, such as USCIS in my hometown, and am in the process now with ICE Deportation Officer; there is a reason ICE is cherry picking BP Agents now.

                      I am not pooping on FAMS, I was in the process for the last announcement but I ended up pulling out simply because all of the things I was told by current/prior FAMS. If I was 16 years in and needed to finish out my 20, hell yeah. But I'm a young buck, just not a fit for me, and seems like there isn't a path forward other than transferring to another agency.
                      UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
                      "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


                      honor first

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by battlewagon View Post

                        They were saying above that FAMS will get you looked at by 1811s...how? Of those people that went FAMS and left, they all tell me the same thing. What are you going to put in your resume for your time in FAMS? Sure you can honestly say you are probably one of the best pistol shooters in the world after going through their training, but what else? How many arrests have you made since EOD? How many task forces have you been on, how many leads have you followed leading to an arrest? It sounds like your best bet is to get on a VIPR team for FAMs, where as in the Border Patrol, you can be a K9 handler, boat patrol, ATVs, dirt bikes, aerial spotter on a CBP helicopter, bike patrol, prosecutions team, MRT, BORTAC, BORSTAR, so on and so forth. Plus you are on a pedestal for immigration. I have turned down firm offers from non-LE agencies, such as USCIS in my hometown, and am in the process now with ICE Deportation Officer; there is a reason ICE is cherry picking BP Agents now.
                        I am by NO MEANS saying FAMS has MORE variety or will prepare you MORE for 1811 than BP, or give you MORE to write on your resume than BP. I have to admit that probably isn't true.

                        That being said, the fact remains that MANY FAMS make the jump to 1811. I personally know at least 6 close friends over the last year and a half who have gone to ATF, USSS, and DEA. NONE OF THEM HAD ANYTHING BESIDES A DEGREE and/or military along with 3-4 years of FAMS experience. I am not making this up. Just as many BP I'm sure make that jump. The FAMS who can't get 1811 jobs either want to work at small OIGs or don't know how to write on a resume. If you apply to a mass 1811 hiring as a FAM and can write a decent resume, you should at least be referred. The rest is on you (PT/interview/poly).

                        All that stuff regarding BP experience above is great for a resume, the fact remains many 1811s are hired with little to no LE experience. I will tell you HOW you get looked at by 1811 as a FAM. YES as a FAM you may not make a arrest, if any, in your career. You still would have been through a federal LE academy, know what to expect and be able to shoot, and it will give you a leg up both in your 1811 academy and on your resume whether people think so or not. There were two FAMS in my 1811 class and two BP. Both excelled equally, I didn't feel I learned anything MORE in my 1811 academy to prepare me for my first arrest than I had learned in the FAMS academy. Just never had applied it at FAMS. I was still ready.

                        Everyone will be different, BP is a different job than FAMS, but again if you are picking solely on 1811 prospects, I picked the "lesser" job in terms of resume building, as did many I know, and still made 1811. I don't really think it makes a difference but I am clearly biased. Most I know who LEAVE FAMS don't do it cause they "cant make 1811". They do it because the job wears on them.
                        Last edited by DaShwstoppahbk; 05-31-2016, 10:20 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by battlewagon View Post
                          Every single person I knew that left BP for FAMS, including the exodus after 9/11, and throughout the years since, came back. So that sort of speaks for itself.
                          Same here.....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DaShwstoppahbk View Post
                            The FAMS who can't get 1811 jobs either want to work at small OIGs or don't know how to write on a resume
                            Meh.... I know a couple of good dudes that are FAMS and can't find jobs for s*it.....even with multiple degrees and .mil experience.

                            I think it boils down to that BP has more chances to move up and get into different job assignments to give them the experience to find other FLEO gigs..... whereas FAMs have no upward mobility and growth. It is what it is.....you fly, fly, fly.....then fly some more.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                              Meh.... I know a couple of good dudes that are FAMS and can't find jobs for s*it.....even with multiple degrees and .mil experience.

                              I think it boils down to that BP has more chances to move up and get into different job assignments to give them the experience to find other FLEO gigs..... whereas FAMs have no upward mobility and growth. It is what it is.....you fly, fly, fly.....then fly some more.
                              Agree to disagree. I'll say it again, I personally know 6 people from ONE office in FAMS all with no experience besides FAMS, military, and/or degree. All are 1811s hired within last 18 months.

                              When a mass DEA announcement, ATF announcement, or SS announcement came out back when I was a FAM, all guys I knew who put in for it were almost always referred. If they weren't hired, it was on them for sucking at PT or not passing a interview/poly. I will throw a caveat out there that FBI and OIGs are different animals. I am not saying ALL FAMS will be 1811s, just saying its not impossible. For every FAM you know who can't make 1811, I am sure there is a BP officer who cant as well. My two cents, again I am admittedly biased.

                              Comment

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