How to become a Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) in USA?

How to become US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer?

Who is a customs officer / Border force officer?

CBP, or Customs and Border Protection, is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the world, tasked with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the United States while facilitating lawful international travel and trade.

Customs and Border Protection keep illegal immigrants out of the country and prevent them from bringing anything dangerous or illegal in.

What are the duties of CBP?

At 328 ports of entry across the United States, CBP officers work in a fast-paced atmosphere. Border security, including counterterrorism, customs, immigration, trade, and agriculture, are their responsibilities.

Following are the duties of CBP:

  1. Terrorists and terrorist weaponry are being detected and prevented from entering the United States.
  2. At U.S. ports of entry and preclearance facilities around the world, enforcing customs, immigration, and agricultural rules and regulations.
  3. Preventing persons, narcotics, and contraband from entering the United States illegally
  4. Inspection, intelligence analysis, examination, and law enforcement activities related to the arrival and departure of persons, conveyances, and merchandise at ports of entry, including apprehension, custody, and arrest.
  5. Protecting the United States’ homeland, enforcing federal laws, and effectively facilitating legitimate trade and travel are all developing level officer responsibilities.
  6. Tactical operations development, planning, and participation
  7. Interacting with airlines, other government agencies, and foreign organizations to exchange information and provide advice on admissibility and compliance.

Eligibility/Qualification to become a Custom officer in US

  1. Should be a citizen of the United States of America.
  2. You must be under the age of 37.
  3. Before applying, you must have lived in the United States for three years.
  4. You must have a valid driver’s license.
  5. Complete a medical examination
  6. Make it through a drug test
  7. Pass a background check for security.

What is the procedure / how to apply for a customs officer in US?

The application procedure to become a CBP Officer is designed to guarantee that those who are chosen are capable of performing the duties that are expected of them.

You can apply here.

Step 1

To begin your online application, you must first create an account with USA Jobs and self-certify your qualifications. Your CV, transcripts, and other papers will be used to verify your age and whether or not you are a veteran.

Step 2

The admission exam assesses your ability to fulfill the duties of a Customs and Border Protection Officer. The exam is divided into two sections. The online Candidate Experience Record is the first part. This exam will take less than an hour to complete and may be done on your computer or phone. The second portion is a test that includes logic-based thinking, arithmetic reasoning, writing abilities, and work style and is administered at a local testing center. This test should take about 4 hours to complete (including travel, check-in, and testing time).

Step 3

To ensure your qualifications are accurate, submit a properly prepared resume to USA JOBS.
Human Resources Specialists will examine your CV and other required documents to ensure that you satisfy the minimal requirements and to determine the grade you are eligible for.

Step 4

Background Investigation Applicants for CBP Officers are subjected to a rigorous background screening.
As a requirement of being placed in a CBP post, all selected applicants must undertake and pass a background investigation.

Step 5

Individuals in this position must be medically and physically capable of performing the essential job tasks and duties in a safe and efficient manner without aggravating existing health conditions or threatening the individual’s, others’, or national security’s health and safety.

Step 6

Two physical fitness exams are required to ensure that you are physically fit (PFT). The PFT-1 tests your ability to perform job duties and will take place at the same time as the medical exam.

Step 7

A panel of current CBP Officers will interview you to ensure that you possess the skills necessary for successful job performance. These include judgment/decision-making abilities, emotional maturity, interpersonal skills, and cooperativeness/sensitivity to others’ needs.

Step 8

The Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010 mandated the use of a standardized polygraph exam. This is a 4-6 hour interview in which you must answer a number of questions, most of which are related to national security issues, as well as the answers you provided on your background investigation forms.

Step 9

CBP officers are regularly exposed to illegal substances and have direct accountability and involvement in the interdiction of illegal narcotics. You will be required to submit to a random drug test as part of the application process. Applicants who test positive are automatically excluded.

How to study to become a customs officer?

At the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) near Brunswick, GA, the CBP offers one of the most rigorous training programs in the country. Trainees are instructed in federal law enforcement and border patrol activities for 18 weeks. Immigration and Nationality Law, Contraband Detection, Defensive Tactics, Criminal Law and Statutory Authority, Spanish, Border Patrol Operations, Care and Use of Firearms, and Anti-Terrorism are among the courses available.

There are also courses in communications, ethics and behavior, report writing, fingerprinting, Constitutional law, and computer technology offered by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).

Salary of the customs officer in the United States

A CBP Officer’s wage range is large. While some sections of the US CBP allow officers to advance to Grade Level 11 at the end of their careers, which pays between $50,287 and $65,371 per year as of 2012, many CBP officer careers begin at a GS-5 salary, preventing complete advancement. Salary ranges from $27,431 to $54,028 per year for many of these entry-level professions with a GS-5 or GS-7 classification.

What is the job responsibility or work of the Customs Officer?

CBP officers perform the following responsibilities:

  1. Inquire about the intended activities, needed papers, and purpose of entrance of all personnel entering the United States.
  2. Perform physical checks on cargo, vehicles, and visitors.
  3. Visual validation of manifest lists, canine detectives, and radioactivity detectors are used to inspect cargo containers.
  4. Conduct rigorous inspections of goods-carrying trucks and vehicles.
  5. Any unusual activity, luggage, or shipments should be investigated.
  6. Conduct immigration and document inspections to guarantee the presence of valid visas, passports, and entrance permits.
  7. Conduct a “secondary inspection,” in which a suspicious tourist is thoroughly interrogated.
  8. Arrest, detain, and transport criminals and suspects to municipal, state, and federal prisons.


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