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Immigration and Customs Inspectors

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What Does it Take to Be an Immigration & Customs Inspector?

Job Description & Duties 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

  • Record and report job-related activities, findings, transactions, violations, discrepancies, and decisions.
  • Collect samples of merchandise for examination, appraisal, or testing.
  • Inspect cargo, baggage, and personal articles entering or leaving U.S. For compliance with revenue laws and U.S. Customs regulations.
  • Locate and seize contraband, undeclared merchandise, and vehicles, aircraft, or boats that contain such merchandise.
  • 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.

Immigration & Customs Inspector Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Immigration and Customs Inspectors say are important on the job.

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.

  • Customs Port Director
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent (ICE Special Agent)
  • Customs and Border Protection Inspector (CBPI)
  • Senior Inspector
  • Supervisory CBP Officer

What Kind of Immigration & Customs Inspector Job Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there were 110,900 jobs for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.5% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,000 new jobs for Immigration and Customs Inspectors by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 7,500 job openings in this field each year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Detectives and Criminal Investigators are Texas, New York, and California.

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.

Average Immigration & Customs Inspector Salary

The typical yearly salary for Detectives and Criminal Investigators is somewhere between $43,800 and $138,860. An Immigration and Customs Inspector median salary is $81,920.

Salary Ranges for Immigration and Customs Inspectors

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$122,460

Alaska

$118,360

California

$107,120

Hawaii

$107,010

New Jersey

$102,600

Maryland

$102,370

Massachusetts

$101,800

Virginia

$98,850

Oregon

$93,840

New York

$91,250

Connecticut

$90,470

Delaware

$89,930

Nevada

$87,680

Illinois

$87,470

Colorado

$87,280

Rhode Island

$86,580

Michigan

$86,580

West Virginia

$86,340

Pennsylvania

$85,730

Washington

$85,440

North Dakota

$84,340

Vermont

$83,060

Arizona

$81,810

Wyoming

$81,750

Montana

$81,210

Utah

$80,840

New Hampshire

$80,370

Texas

$79,950

New Mexico

$77,890

Minnesota

$76,640

Wisconsin

$76,590

Florida

$76,560

Ohio

$75,310

Indiana

$75,150

Idaho

$73,510

Nebraska

$73,480

Iowa

$73,320

South Dakota

$72,050

Tennessee

$71,940

Kentucky

$71,300

Missouri

$70,860

Maine

$70,620

Georgia

$66,430

Oklahoma

$66,130

Louisiana

$65,090

Alabama

$64,750

Mississippi

$64,150

Kansas

$62,260

North Carolina

$60,810

South Carolina

$60,420

Arkansas

$60,340

Tools & Technologies Used by Immigration and Customs Inspectors

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Immigration and Customs Inspectors:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Office

Becoming an Immigration & Customs Inspector

Learn what Immigration and Customs Inspector education requirements there are.

Immigration & Customs Inspector Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Immigration & Customs Inspector Work Experience

Where Immigration and Customs Inspectors Are Employed

Immigration & Customs Inspector Sectors

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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