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Immigration and Customs Inspector

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Life As 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.

A Day in the Life of an Immigration & Customs Inspector

  • Inspect cargo, baggage, and personal articles entering or leaving U.S. for compliance with revenue laws and U.S. customs regulations.
  • Detain persons found to be in violation of customs or immigration laws and arrange for legal action, such as deportation.
  • 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.

  • Canine Enforcement Officer (K-9 Enforcement Officer)
  • Customs and Immigration Officer
  • Agriculture Specialist
  • Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer
  • Patrol Inspector

Is There Going to be Demand for Immigration and Customs Inspectors?

There were about 110,900 jobs for Immigration and Customs Inspector in 2016 (in the United States). 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. There will be an estimated 7,500 positions for Immigration & Customs Inspector per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Immigration and Customs Inspectors in U.S.

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 typical yearly salary for Immigration and Customs Inspectors is somewhere between $43,800 and $138,860.

Salary Ranges for Immigration and Customs Inspectors

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 education is needed to be an Immigration and Customs Inspector?

Immigration & Customs Inspector Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Immigration & Customs Inspector?

Immigration & Customs Inspector Work Experience

Where Immigration and Customs Inspectors Work

Immigration & Customs Inspector Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Immigration and Customs Inspectors employed by various industries.

Immigration & Customs Inspector Industries


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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