Is becoming a customs inspector right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

Overview
What do customs inspectors do?
Career Satisfaction
Are customs inspectors happy with their careers?
Personality
What are customs inspectors like?

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How to become a Customs Inspector

The requirements to become a customs inspector vary by state and country. While some countries only require the bare minimum of a high school diploma, some require a Bachelor's Degree in Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, or International Relations.

In the US, all potential inspectors must pass a fifteen-week training program course at the Customs Border Training Academy. It is through this course that an inspector will learn all that they need to know to protect the borders of their country. Students in this type of training will learn different key skills including interviewing, legal regulations, searching techniques, and threat assessment techniques.

It is important to note that all customs inspectors must be of a certain age, depending on the country they reside in. They must have proof of citizenship and pass extensive background screenings. An inspector must also pass regular drug, fitness, and medical examinations as a part of their pre-employment screening and ongoing employment testing.

Customs inspectors must have good judgment and critical thinking skills to carry out the responsibilities of the job. Many are required to be fluent in one or two foreign languages so that they are able to communicate with travellers who speak other languages. Inspectors may also be trained to work with K-9 dogs to understand how to give commands and use the dogs to inspect areas that they may miss or are unable to access. An inspector learns how to work with the dogs to gain the best advantage over illegal people and substances that may be entering into the country.