A customs officer works at a customs agency where people are crossing borders, and is responsible for examining their luggage and looking for any undeclared pieces of it. A customs officer additionally checks for various other types of crime, such as money laundering, fraud, illegal transportation of people, and one of their more important duties as of lately, looking out for drug smugglers. A customs officer is technically an officer of the law, and is allowed to make arrests and detain suspects, as well as use lethal force when met with such.
Becoming a customs officer requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in any subject (some jurisdictions may require candidates to present a degree in a particular subject though this isn’t very common), as well as undergoing a specialized training course aimed at teaching participants how to spot smugglers, concealed weapons, as well as performing more lengthy investigations. A good customs officer must be physically and mentally fit just like any police officer, and must have a clear criminal background.
A customs officer receives between $30,000 – $40,000 annually, which is comparatively low with regards to other jobs in the law enforcement sector – and additionally, the extra high risk associated with working as a customs officer can make the job a very unattractive choice. On the other hand, the requirements for getting employed as a customs officer are normally not as strict as the other branches of law enforcement, so it can be an acceptable middle ground for some.