Immigration and Customs Inspectors
SOC: 33-3021.05


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
116,700 employed

Projected (2024):
115,300 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Agriculture Specialist
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • Border Patrol Officer
  • Canine Enforcement Officer (K-9 Enforcement Officer)
  • Chief, Port Director
  • Customs and Border Protection Inspector (CBPI)
  • Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBPO)
  • Customs and Border Protection Supervisor
  • Customs and Immigration Officer
  • Customs Import Specialist
  • Customs Inspector
  • Customs Officer
  • Customs Opener-Verifier-Packer
  • Customs Port Director
  • Deportation Officer
  • Drug Enforcement Agent
  • Drug Inspector
  • Duty Officer
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent (ICE Special Agent)
  • Immigration Inspector
  • Import Specialist
  • Inspector
  • Law Enforcement-Customs and Border Protection Officer
  • Patrol Inspector
  • Senior Customs and Border Protection Officer
  • Senior Inspector
  • Senior Officer
  • Senior Patrol Agent
  • Special Agent
  • Supervisor/Port Director
  • Supervisory CBP Officer
  • Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer
  • Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer, Port Director
  • US Customs and Border Officer
  • US Customs and Border Protection Officer (US CBPO)
  • US Customs and Border Protection Officer CBPO

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Examine immigration applications, visas, and passports and interview persons to determine eligibility for admission, residence, and travel in the U.S.
  • Detain persons found to be in violation of customs or immigration laws and arrange for legal action, such as deportation.
  • Locate and seize contraband, undeclared merchandise, and vehicles, aircraft, or boats that contain such merchandise.
  • Interpret and explain laws and regulations to travelers, prospective immigrants, shippers, and manufacturers.
  • Inspect cargo, baggage, and personal articles entering or leaving U.S. for compliance with revenue laws and U.S. customs regulations.
  • Record and report job-related activities, findings, transactions, violations, discrepancies, and decisions.
  • 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.
  • Testify regarding decisions at immigration appeals or in federal court.
  • Determine duty and taxes to be paid on goods.
  • Collect samples of merchandise for examination, appraisal, or testing.
  • Investigate applications for duty refunds and petition for remission or mitigation of penalties when warranted.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Barcode scanners
  • Compound light microscopes
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital video cameras
  • Fingerprint scanners
  • Gamma ray spectrometers
  • Hazardous material detectors
  • Hydrometers
  • Identification card scanners
  • Ion mobility spectrometers
  • Laptop computers
  • Measurement calipers
  • Metal handcuffs
  • Mobile data computers
  • Mobile truck X ray units
  • Pepper spray
  • Personal computers
  • Personal radiation detectors PRD
  • Plastic handcuffs
  • Police shotguns
  • Radiation isotope identifier devices RIID
  • Radiation portal monitor terminals
  • Radiation portal monitors RPM
  • Radioisotope detection devices
  • Security inspection mirrors
  • Service revolvers
  • Side-handle batons
  • Tire deflation devices
  • Two way radios
  • Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System VACIS
  • Videophones
  • X ray inspection equipment
  • Automated Manifest System AMS
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • Law enforcement information databases
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • National Crime Information Center NCIC database
  • SAP software
  • Treasury Enforcement Communications System TECS

  • protective service

    industry stats

    SOC: 33-0000

    Total Employed: 3,351,620

    Average Annual Salary: $44,610