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  • 1hr for my pft1 test hope I do good

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    • Question to any BP agents (or anyone with credible knowledge) that have been stationed in CA: I put down CA as my location preference back in 2010 when I started the hiring process and was given that location. Since that time I have moved out of CA to AZ and (of course) found the cost of living to be much better. I have read of other applicants managing to change their location when they got the call if a spot in another state was available and I'm currently considering asking to be stationed in AZ instead when that call comes (sometime this year hopefully). So getting to the question... how well can a new GS-7 hire (with a family to support) get by financially in CA? I'm familiar with the cost of living there having spent plenty of years in CA but it would be very helpful to know if I do end up getting stationed there how it has worked out for other BP agents out of the academy. Thanks-
      You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

      -Jack London

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      • Originally posted by RAllen View Post
        Question to any BP agents (or anyone with credible knowledge) that have been stationed in CA: I put down CA as my location preference back in 2010 when I started the hiring process and was given that location. Since that time I have moved out of CA to AZ and (of course) found the cost of living to be much better. I have read of other applicants managing to change their location when they got the call if a spot in another state was available and I'm currently considering asking to be stationed in AZ instead when that call comes (sometime this year hopefully). So getting to the question... how well can a new GS-7 hire (with a family to support) get by financially in CA? I'm familiar with the cost of living there having spent plenty of years in CA but it would be very helpful to know if I do end up getting stationed there how it has worked out for other BP agents out of the academy. Thanks-
        That is a very difficult question to answer. An appropriate answer depends on some of the following issues:

        1. How big your family is
        2. What your expenses are
        3. Where in CA you live/work

        My best advice is to do your own research. Go to the OPM website and search the GS pay scale, then apply locality pay, AUO, and FLSA.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by RAllen View Post
          Question to any BP agents (or anyone with credible knowledge) that have been stationed in CA: I put down CA as my location preference back in 2010 when I started the hiring process and was given that location. Since that time I have moved out of CA to AZ and (of course) found the cost of living to be much better. I have read of other applicants managing to change their location when they got the call if a spot in another state was available and I'm currently considering asking to be stationed in AZ instead when that call comes (sometime this year hopefully). So getting to the question... how well can a new GS-7 hire (with a family to support) get by financially in CA? I'm familiar with the cost of living there having spent plenty of years in CA but it would be very helpful to know if I do end up getting stationed there how it has worked out for other BP agents out of the academy. Thanks-
          Keep in mind that if you are hired at the GS-7 level you will be a GS-9 around the time you graduate from the academy if you do the 20 week program (8 weeks Spanish). It sucks being a GS-7, but then again you don't really have many expenses while at the academy so it is doable, even with a family for most people. Also, you will start getting AUO as soon as you get out of the academy and that makes a huge difference.

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          • Originally posted by RAllen View Post
            Question to any BP agents (or anyone with credible knowledge) that have been stationed in CA: I put down CA as my location preference back in 2010 when I started the hiring process and was given that location. Since that time I have moved out of CA to AZ and (of course) found the cost of living to be much better. I have read of other applicants managing to change their location when they got the call if a spot in another state was available and I'm currently considering asking to be stationed in AZ instead when that call comes (sometime this year hopefully). So getting to the question... how well can a new GS-7 hire (with a family to support) get by financially in CA? I'm familiar with the cost of living there having spent plenty of years in CA but it would be very helpful to know if I do end up getting stationed there how it has worked out for other BP agents out of the academy. Thanks-
            Depends on which sector. In San Diego you will suffer but it has been done by many and you can do it as well. Housing bubble 2.0 is already well under way and real estate prices are getting out of hand in many areas. In El Centro it is a lot cheaper because most of their stations are in undesirable locations. Nobody wants to live there and good jobs in the private sector are almost nonexistent so everything is cheaper. It all depends on the location of the station. Some guys who are stationed in SDC but live in ELC and vice versa. I know of guys who live in Temecula but work in El Centro. That is one hell of a commute but guys do it because they feel its best for there families.

            But if you get offered a good location in AZ you should forget about CA. The cost of living in nice parts is really high. The cola does not make up for it. Even at journeyman pay levels with steps you are going to be cutting some serious coupons with a family. San Diego is a nice place to visit but after a while the cost of living just kills it. Most of the guys I work with who are not born and raised here spend a lot of time on usajobs looking to get away from this place and the Patrol in general.
            Last edited by SHU; 02-13-2013, 06:07 PM.

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            • Originally posted by o2force View Post
              That is a very difficult question to answer. An appropriate answer depends on some of the following issues:

              1. How big your family is
              2. What your expenses are
              3. Where in CA you live/work

              My best advice is to do your own research. Go to the OPM website and search the GS pay scale, then apply locality pay, AUO, and FLSA.
              One other thing to keep in mind. If you take a spot in AZ, don't expect to get back to CA for a long time. Moves inside the Border Patrol are almost non-existent right now and the future doesn't look so bright. If you are someone who wants to live in San Diego or near it, expect to put in 8+ years to even hope to get back there. Things can always change, but thats the reality right now.

              Comment


              • I appreciate the input guys. I did some research to get a better idea of expenses and it does look like it is doable for a GS-7 (soon to be G-9 after the academy I guess) with some give and take depending on the zip code. As mentioned, plenty of guys have done it and come out just fine.

                Cyber Saint: My wife and I both have most of our family living in CA (Temecula, Murrieta) so that would be a huge plus (for her, I'd be happy with it but not crazy ecstatic like her). Even with AZ being complete hell during the summer I still really like it here and the fact that everything I like to do isn't illegal in AZ has a lot to do with that. Another financial factor that would make things work in CA would be my using the GI Bills on-the-job training benefits (basically a housing allowance stipend like I got in the military) as a trainee. For high priced zip codes the GI Bill payment can be pretty nice as a supplement to the normal BP income, especially with all the back and forth chatter of AOU going away at certain stations.

                If the call comes and they respond that there is also a spot available in AZ I'll likely take that. That being said, if they offer a station in CA within a reasonable distance of Temecula/Murrieta and I don't take it my wife will probably assault me with every sharp object in our house.
                You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

                -Jack London

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                • And now it looks like my CA or AZ decision might not be an issue anyway. The latest word from MHC is that most (or all, depending on the person you speak w/) of those hired this year will be headed to TX. I've already learned to take everything that flies across discussion boards w/ a grain of salt but I'd like to be prepared for all scenarios.
                  You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

                  -Jack London

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                  • I'd count on going to South TX or AZ

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                    • Thanks for the heads up about the 20th.

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                      • Originally posted by RAllen View Post
                        I appreciate the input guys. I did some research to get a better idea of expenses and it does look like it is doable for a GS-7 (soon to be G-9 after the academy I guess) with some give and take depending on the zip code. As mentioned, plenty of guys have done it and come out just fine.

                        Cyber Saint: My wife and I both have most of our family living in CA (Temecula, Murrieta) so that would be a huge plus (for her, I'd be happy with it but not crazy ecstatic like her). Even with AZ being complete hell during the summer I still really like it here and the fact that everything I like to do isn't illegal in AZ has a lot to do with that. Another financial factor that would make things work in CA would be my using the GI Bills on-the-job training benefits (basically a housing allowance stipend like I got in the military) as a trainee. For high priced zip codes the GI Bill payment can be pretty nice as a supplement to the normal BP income, especially with all the back and forth chatter of AOU going away at certain stations.

                        If the call comes and they respond that there is also a spot available in AZ I'll likely take that. That being said, if they offer a station in CA within a reasonable distance of Temecula/Murrieta and I don't take it my wife will probably assault me with every sharp object in our house.
                        There are two stations which you speak of: San Clemente and the Murrieta Checkpoint Stations

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                        • How's it going guys just wanted to get any feedback from anyone that had their oral interview in what to expect thanks.

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                          • Originally posted by willsal View Post
                            How's it going guys just wanted to get any feedback from anyone that had their oral interview in what to expect thanks.
                            this topic has already been answered several times.

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                            • Maybe it has but I haven't read any post on here saying but if you could find it tell me in what page number to find it and thanks

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                              • Originally posted by willsal View Post
                                Maybe it has but I haven't read any post on here saying but if you could find it tell me in what page number to find it and thanks
                                nice try but don't expect people to spoon feed you

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