There are currently an estimated 110,900 customs inspectors in the United States. The customs inspector job market is expected to grow by 4.5% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are customs inspectors?

CareerExplorer rates customs inspectors with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 8,500 customs inspectors. That number is based on 5,000 additional customs inspectors, and the retirement of 3,500 existing customs inspectors.

Are customs inspectors in demand?

Following 9/11, border protection and related job opportunities expanded significantly, as counter terrorism efforts in the U.S. and throughout the world became a national priority. The more recent debates concerning illegal immigration and the establishment of appropriate rates of legal immigration have also contributed to the need for customs inspectors. The volume of goods being imported and exported is another factor which influences demand in the field. In view of these prominent issues, employment in this occupation should be sustained, but it is unlikely to increase, as almost all openings are projected to result from the retirement of current inspectors. Competition for these sought-after government jobs will continue to be strong. Applicants who are willing to relocate to any of the twelve Department of Homeland Security regions should improve their job prospects. As global trade and travel continue to grow, candidates with foreign language proficiency will also enhance their employability. Law enforcement or military experience, especially investigative experience, is viewed as another particularly valuable asset in the field. Physically fit applicants also generally have better prospects. Seasoned customs inspectors seeking advancement opportunities may earn special assignments that sometimes include service abroad. Senior-level United States customs inspectors may also be considered for liaison work with a number of agencies within the Department of Homeland Security, including the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Coast Guard.

What’s the supply of customs inspectors?

The customs inspector industry is concentrated in Texas, California, New York

Customs Inspector job market by state

State Name Employed Customs Inspectors
Texas 16,780
California 11,700
New York 9,290
Florida 6,240
Arizona 5,910
Georgia 3,370
Virginia 3,360
New Jersey 3,090
Pennsylvania 2,910
North Carolina 2,880
Illinois 2,800
Washington 2,280
Louisiana 2,030
Ohio 2,020
Michigan 2,020
Massachusetts 1,760
Colorado 1,750
New Mexico 1,620
Missouri 1,550
Tennessee 1,420
Wisconsin 1,370
Minnesota 1,350
Alabama 1,280
South Carolina 1,140
Indiana 1,070
Maryland 950
Oklahoma 940
Connecticut 920
Mississippi 920
Kansas 840
Puerto Rico 630
Maine 580
Kentucky 580
Nevada 560
Oregon 540
Arkansas 470
Hawaii 460
Montana 450
Idaho 410
Iowa 400
Utah 370
Nebraska 340
New Hampshire 330
Rhode Island 290
North Dakota 270
Vermont 220
South Dakota 210
West Virginia 190
Wyoming 160
Alaska 100