Customs Officer Career Information, Customs Officer Salary Information

Customs Officers Career Description

A customs officer is a federal agent who works under the Department of Homeland Security umbrella and specifically for the Border Patrol. Customs officers regulate the inflow of traffic in and out of the United States. Customs officers are trained to perform routine searches of vehicles and people gaining entry into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico.

On occasion the work becomes anything but routine and large caches of illegal drugs and undocumented immigrants are found. The job quickly turns to law enforcement mode and legal cases are developed that can land violators in federal prison or lead to deportation. Officers patrol in a variety of ways including cruisers, four-wheelers, horseback, helicopter, and on foot. Some officers drive transport buses to pick up illegal or undocumented aliens anywhere in the country and then drop them off at the border.

How to Become a Customs Officer

A customs officer can be stationed anywhere within the continental U.S., especially in border areas. Fluent Spanish writing, reading and speaking is required. Applicants who have a command of the Spanish language as either a native tongue or proven competency are highly encouraged by the Border Patrol to apply for these positions. If an applicant does not speak Spanish he will be trained to do so and his continued employment depends on his ability to learn it. It should be noted that an accredited Bachelor's Degree from a state university or an Associates Degree from a community college or technical school is desirable. Online educational opportunities can meet the need and give the applicant a jump-start on the hiring process. Some online accredited colleges allow students to earn their degree at home while others require a brief stay on campus.

How Much Does a Customs Officer Make - Customs Officer Salaries & Wages

Customs officers generally begin from $32,000 to $56,000 annually, depending on their classification upon being hired.

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