Custom’s Inspector Education Requirements


A customs inspector works for the Department of Homeland Security. Briefly, it can be said that their job is to ensure security of the country against terrorism, unlawful cross- border trading (e.g. narcotics) that is not sanctioned by trade regulations and guidelines, and illegal immigration (e.g. prohibited persons).

They supervise cross border activities and coordinate with the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies (FBI, DEA) to fulfill their duties. A customs inspector should have sound judgment, good decision making skills, on the spot thinking when inspecting and identifying any suspected unlawful activity. Like any law enforcement official, even a custom’s inspector’s work is hectic and dangerous at times. One must know how to use firearms and self defense.

 Customs inspector education requirements:

  • The minimum education requirement to be eligible for the job of customs inspector is a high school diploma or a Group Education Development (GED) certificate. Either work experience of 3 years or a bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Along with the education qualification, one must also have enrolled in a 15 week course with the Central Border Protection Academy to be eligible for a job in the Homeland Security Department.
  • Decision making and communication skills are highly valued. Also, it is better if you have knowledge of more than one language. Specialization in one subject will be required if you want to work in a particular field. Holding a valid firearms’ license would also be beneficial in employment.
  • Apart from the education requirements, one must also clear a security test, which involves providing residence and age proofs, checking of criminal records, fitness and medical examination, etc. These tests are mandatory to qualify for employment.

Customs inspector degrees, courses and certifications:

  • High School Diploma/ GED certificate. Bachelor’s degree in any subject.
  • Certificate from the Central Border Protection Academy following the 15 week course.
  • Security Clearance following a range of mandatory tests.
  • Clearance from a comprehensive personality test.

Customs inspector qualification and training:

  • In the Central Border Protection Academy, one will be trained in interview techniques, threat assessments, search and seizure procedures and legal regulations (visas, passports).
  • Practical and classroom knowledge is imparted for monitoring cross border activities. Critical thinking and decision making abilities are developed. One will learn what goods to seize, what criteria need to be fulfilled for deportation, etc.

Custom’s inspector colleges and universities:

Custom’s inspector wages and salary:

A custom’s inspector’s salary increases with increase in experience. The starting salary of a customs inspector is $38,000 per annum and the average salary is $60,000 per annum. Benefits include health insurance, paid leave, retirement benefits, uniform allowance.

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