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Immigration and Customs Inspector

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What Does it Take to Be an Immigration and Customs Inspector?

Occupation Description Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, goods, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.

Life As an Immigration & Customs Inspector

  • Investigate applications for duty refunds and petition for remission or mitigation of penalties when warranted.
  • Collect samples of merchandise for examination, appraisal, or testing.
  • Institute civil and criminal prosecutions and cooperate with other law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of those in violation of immigration or customs laws.
  • Interpret and explain laws and regulations to travelers, prospective immigrants, shippers, and manufacturers.
  • Record and report job-related activities, findings, transactions, violations, discrepancies, and decisions.
  • Testify regarding decisions at immigration appeals or in federal court.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Immigration & Customs Inspector?

When polled, Immigration and Customs Inspectors say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Immigration and Customs Inspector

  • Customs and Immigration Officer
  • Senior Customs and Border Protection Officer
  • Customs Port Director
  • Special Agent
  • Canine Enforcement Officer (K-9 Enforcement Officer)

Immigration & Customs Inspector Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 110,900 jobs for Immigration and Customs Inspector in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.5% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,000 new jobs for Immigration and Customs Inspector by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 7,500 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Immigration & Customs Inspector are Nevada, Utah, and Arkansas. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Maryland, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Immigration & Customs Inspector Salary

The salary for Immigration and Customs Inspectors ranges between about $43,800 and $138,860 a year.

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Immigration and Customs Inspectors who work in District of Columbia, Alaska, or Hawaii, make the highest salaries.

How much do Immigration and Customs Inspectors make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $64,750
Alaska $118,360
Arizona $81,810
Arkansas $60,340
California $107,120
Colorado $87,280
Connecticut $90,470
Delaware $89,930
District of Columbia $122,460
Florida $76,560
Georgia $66,430
Hawaii $107,010
Idaho $73,510
Illinois $87,470
Indiana $75,150
Iowa $73,320
Kansas $62,260
Kentucky $71,300
Louisiana $65,090
Maine $70,620
Maryland $102,370
Massachusetts $101,800
Michigan $86,580
Minnesota $76,640
Mississippi $64,150
Missouri $70,860
Montana $81,210
Nebraska $73,480
Nevada $87,680
New Hampshire $80,370
New Jersey $102,600
New Mexico $77,890
New York $91,250
North Carolina $60,810
North Dakota $84,340
Ohio $75,310
Oklahoma $66,130
Oregon $93,840
Pennsylvania $85,730
Rhode Island $86,580
South Carolina $60,420
South Dakota $72,050
Tennessee $71,940
Texas $79,950
Utah $80,840
Vermont $83,060
Virginia $98,850
Washington $85,440
West Virginia $86,340
Wisconsin $76,590
Wyoming $81,750

Tools & Technologies Used by Immigration and Customs Inspectors

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Immigration and Customs Inspectors may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • SAP
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • National Crime Information Center NCIC database
  • Law enforcement information databases
  • Treasury Enforcement Communications System TECS

How do I Become an Immigration & Customs Inspector?

What kind of Immigration and Customs Inspector requirements are there?

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Immigration & Customs Inspector?

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Where do Immigration and Customs Inspectors Work?

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Below are examples of industries where Immigration and Customs Inspectors work:

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References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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