Human Services Degrees

Steps to Become A Customs Agent

Customs Agents typically work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS has a special branch called the US Department of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) which employs Custom Agents. Their job is to prevent the entry of terrorists and weapons in the US to prevent any illegal smuggling or immigration from happening.

What Does a Customs Agent Do?

The Customs and Border Patrol Agents are responsible for maintaining the security at the borders. Custom Agents can specialize in dealing with the immigrants but in order to do that, they are required to obtain extensive knowledge of immigration laws. Those who specialize in handling narcotics and drugs are provided special training. The CBPs are often referred to as USA’s first line of defense. They guard airports as well as the land borders to prevent the entrance of any threatening entities.

Steps to Become a Customs Agent in the US

If you are zealous and enthusiastic to serve the US as a Customs Agent, then you must fulfill all requirements needed to work in this field. The Department of Homeland Security has a certain criteria that must be met by all prospective candidates to be considered for the job.

For instance, the DHS prefers candidates who have a degree in law, business, criminology or criminal psychology etc. Candidates who possess knowledge of foreign languages are also looked upon favorably. In addition to all this, candidates who have worked with law enforcement agencies are considered ideal. To apply as a Customs Agent, you need to,

  1. Be at least 21 years old legal US citizens
  2. Be a graduate of at least a bachelor’s degree in relevant field
  3. Have some relevant field experience
  4. Apply for the desired position on the website of the US Customs and Border Protection
  5. Clear the entrance exam held by the US Customs and Border Protection
  6. Clear all physical and mental health fitness exams
  7. Clear all background checks and not have any criminal convictions
  8. Pass the interview
  9. Clear the polygraph test and the drug test
  10. Complete 15 weeks of training upon successful hiring

How Much Can I Earn as a Customs Agent in the US?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics categorized Custom Agents as the Cargo and Freight Agents. The BLS reported in 2019 that people of this profession earned an annual mean salary of $46,770 which roughly amounts to $22.48 mean wage per hour. In addition to that, the BLS listed Support Activities for Water Transportation as the top paying industry for this career with an annual mean income of $58,670. Furthermore, BLS named California as the state with the highest employment rate (13,670) and Washington as the top paying state with an annual mean salary of $54,720 in 2019.

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