How to Become A Customs Agent
What does a customs agent do?
The US Department of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is a branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and is one of the most complex security and public safety organizations working in the country today. Customs agents working for the CBP are responsible for keeping terrorists and weapons out of the United States and for preventing illegal immigration and smuggling. CBP agents are also responsible for border security. Some customs agents specialize in dealing with immigrants and have an in-depth knowledge of immigration laws, while others receive special training in handling narcotics and drugs. From airports to land border crossings, customs agents are our first line of defence against innumerable risks.
Why should I consider becoming a customs agent?
With the increased concerns over public safety and immigration, more and more people are applying for customs agent positions. Being a customs agent has its fair share of benefits and opportunities for career growth.
According to O*Net, as of 2012, the annual median wage for a customs agent was $74,000. Customs agents make an entry into federal service at the G-5 or G-7 levels and have an opportunity to advance to G-11 non-competitively. CBP agents receive several benefits including, life insurance, federal health insurance and long term care insurance, in addition to a 401(k) (Thrift Savings Plan) and uniform allowance, considerable leave days and flexible checking accounts.
Additionally, officers of the CBP who wish to continue their education or obtain professional training or a higher degree are sponsored by the government and receive scholarships and a number of educational grants.
What sort of training and education do I need?
Most customs agents generally have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field such as criminal justice, security management or psychology. Graduates in fields such as humanities and the liberal arts are also ideal candidates for the US Customs and Border Patrol. Knowledge of a foreign language especially Spanish, can be especially advantageous for applicants.
After graduation, prospective customs agents must an interview with the CBP, and pass a number of written and oral tests. These tests include general reasoning and language and aptitude tests. An extensive background check is also carried out, before students are called in for a final interview and a medical exam to assess their physical fitness.
Once all these phases have been completed, the recruits then complete a one to two year specialized training program at a state run police academy. Those who successfully complete training are then instantly placed as customs agents at airports, docks and seaports and border crossings.
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Q:Which degrees are helpful to become a customs agent?
A:Degrees such as an associate's or bachelor's program degree in a field like criminal justice, security management and psychology are quite helpful to become a customs agent. There are also some specialist certifications and diplomas at post graduate level that can specialize you in specific areas.
Q:Can you tell me how to become a customs agent in the United States?
A:There are some key eligibility requisites to become a customs agent. One of the most essential requirement is that you need to be of 21 years of age or older. You have to clear the physical and written tests with exceptional grades. It is compulsory to have a 4 years college degree and attend fourteen weeks of dedicated training.
Q:Do the customs agents and policing customs officers in the United States get the customs agent cost of living allowance?
A:In the United States, the customs agents work under the federal and state government. These government institutions and councils may have different policies, but all of them offer robust and quite comprehensive incentives. The Customs Agent cost of living allowance is one of them. In states that border other countries and the oceans, the customs agents also get incentives such as separate accommodations.
Q:I read that to be a custom agent in the United States, you need to have a strong hold on the Criminal Behavior course. What are the contents of this course?
A:To be a Custom Agent in the United States, you need to have a qualification in Criminal Justice. These degree programs have courses on Criminal Behavior, which is a foundation course in the area of criminology and stresses primarily on understanding the criminal minds. Some of the common topics included in this course are causation of the crime, coverage of patterns of crime, white collar crime and smuggling.
Q:What are the job responsibilities of a custom agent?
A:Customs agents are responsible for enforcing federal laws on people and merchandise coming in to the United States. These agents are present at airports and border crossings in order to monitor and protect. Custom agents are federal law officials who work for the Depart of Homeland Security. Students interested are advised to search our website for a list of institutions offering qualifications related to this profession.
Q:Reading about how much do US customs agents get paid mentioned distance learning programs. What are the advantages of these programs?
A:Reading about how much do US customs agents get paid would mention distance learning programs. Online educational programs are specifically designed to help students study at their own pace and convenience. The curriculum for these programs includes every aspect of the subject . With the help of online programs students can also save money on travel and accommodation. Prospective students interested are advised to search our website for an extensive list of online institutions.
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