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Customs officers stop banned items coming in or out of the country, and collect taxes and duties.
1. Entry requirements
You’ll usually work your way up by starting as:
- an administrative assistant, for which you'll need 2 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C)
- an assistant officer, for which you'll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths
To start as an officer, you’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths
- A levels (or equivalent)
If you don’t have the qualifications, you may be able to take a test to prove your skills and abilities in areas like teamwork and communication.
You'll also need to meet the Civil Service nationality requirements
2. Skills requiredYou’ll need:
- sound judgement
- confident decision-making ability
- accuracy and attention to detail
- listening and questioning skills
- a tactful but firm manner
3. What you'll doYou’ll work in airports and seaports, collecting customs duties and preventing smuggling and illegal trade.
You day-to-day duties may include:
- searching luggage, vehicles and travellers
- checking customs documents
- questioning people found with illegal items or goods over the allowance
- arresting and charging people
- preparing reports and witness statements
- taking on specialist roles like dog handling or undercover and surveillance work
Starter: £16,000 to £21,000 (Assistant officer)
Highly Experienced: £26,000 or more
You’ll get extra allowances for working unsocial hours, like evenings, weekends and public holidays. You’ll get a higher rate of pay if you work in London.
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll usually work 36 hours a week over 5 days. If you’re in a border protection role you’ll work shifts to provide 24/7 cover.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you could move up within the civil service grade structure, but you may need to relocate to progress to higher grades.
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Last updated: 11 September 2018