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Immigration and Customs Inspectors Career

Career Description

Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, goods, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.

What Job Titles Immigration and Customs Inspectors Might Have

  • Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBPO)
  • Customs Officer
  • Customs Port Director
  • Inspector

What Immigration and Customs Inspectors Do

  • Examine immigration applications, visas, and passports and interview persons to determine eligibility for admission, residence, and travel in the U.S.
  • Detain persons found to be in violation of customs or immigration laws and arrange for legal action, such as deportation.
  • Inspect cargo, baggage, and personal articles entering or leaving U.S. for compliance with revenue laws and U.S. customs regulations.
  • Locate and seize contraband, undeclared merchandise, and vehicles, aircraft, or boats that contain such merchandise.
  • Interpret and explain laws and regulations to travelers, prospective immigrants, shippers, and manufacturers.
  • Institute civil and criminal prosecutions and cooperate with other law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of those in violation of immigration or customs laws.
  • Testify regarding decisions at immigration appeals or in federal court.
  • Record and report job-related activities, findings, transactions, violations, discrepancies, and decisions.
  • Determine duty and taxes to be paid on goods.
  • Collect samples of merchandise for examination, appraisal, or testing.
  • Investigate applications for duty refunds and petition for remission or mitigation of penalties when warranted.

What Immigration and Customs Inspectors Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Immigration and Customs Inspectors Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Immigration and Customs Inspectors Need to Learn

  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Foreign Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Median Salary: $78,120

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.