Customs officer

Customs officers stop banned items coming in or out of the country, and collect taxes and duties.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter

to

£26,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a Customs officer

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly

Direct application

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • 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

Working environment

You could work at a port or at an airport building.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move up within the civil service grade structure, but you may need to relocate to progress to higher grades.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Customs officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Extended Diploma in Public Services (QCF) (Ambulance, Police, Fire, Prison, Customs, Armed Forces, Public Services)

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

Public Services - Diploma In Public Services (Qcf)

  • Provider: HERTFORD REGIONAL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Turnford

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