Customs and Border Protection Officer

Also called: Agriculture Specialist, Air Import Specialist, Border Patrol Agent, Canine Enforcement Officer (K-9 Enforcement Officer), Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBPO)

Varies

estimated salary

Customs and border protection officers 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.

  • 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.
Work Context
  • Electronic Mail — 100% responded "Every day".
  • Contact With Others — 87% responded "Constant contact with others".
  • Deal With External Customers — 82% responded "Extremely important".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 84% responded "Every day".
  • Telephone — 84% responded "Every day".
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 84% responded "Every day".
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 84% responded "Every day".
  • Read More
Work Activities
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Read More
Detailed Work Activities
  • Interview people to obtain information about actions or status of individuals.
  • Examine personal documentation to ensure that it is valid.
  • Detain suspects or witnesses.
  • Locate suspicious objects or vehicles.
  • Confiscate prohibited or dangerous items.
  • Inform others about laws or regulations.
  • Read More

Knowledge

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.
Read More

Skills

Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Read More

Abilities

Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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.
Read More

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
Read More

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Electronic mail software
  • Microsoft Outlook Hot Technology
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • SAP Hot Technology
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
Read More