Border Force officer

Border Force officers protect UK border entry points like ports and airports, by enforcing immigration and customs regulations.

Average salary (a year)

£23,000 Starter


£31,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a Border Force officer

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working your way up
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme


You may be able to become an assistant officer through an advanced apprenticeship in public service operational delivery. You would then move up to an officer role through further training and promotion within the service.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information


You could start out as an assistant officer and work your way up.

To do this, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths or equivalent qualifications.

Direct application

To enter at officer level, you'll need to have either:

  • experience of serving in the armed forces or the police
  • 2 A levels at grade E or above, or equivalent qualifications

Other routes

You can apply through the Civil Service Fast Stream if you have a degree.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working as a Border Force officer from Border Force and Civil Service Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • be a UK national with no restrictions on your stay
  • pass enhanced background checks
  • pass security checks
  • have lived in the UK for the last 5 years
  • pass a medical check
  • have a good level of fitness
  • have a full UK or EU driving licence, held for at least 12 months

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • checking travel documents and passports
  • questioning passengers about their reasons for visiting the UK
  • searching people, luggage and vehicles
  • writing case notes
  • working with the police and immigration officials on operations
  • attending court as a witness

Working environment

You could work at a border entry point.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

You'll get continuous training during your first 6 to 12 months. Once you've passed your probationary period, you'll have the full responsibilities of a Border Force officer.

With experience you could become a team leader, or move into a management position. You could also use your skills to train and work with new staff.

You may also be able to apply for roles in other departments of the Home Office or Civil Service.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Customer Services Consultant

  • Wage : £19,160.00 - £20,640.00 Annually
  • Location: Nottingham NG2 1AB

Business Administration Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £144.30 Weekly
  • Location: Hull HU1 3DT

Courses In England

Public Services - Diploma In Public Services (Qcf)

  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Turnford

Subsidiary Diploma in Public Services (QCF) (public services)

  • Provider: Barking & Dagenham College
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location: Romford

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