What are the Different Customs Officer Jobs?

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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2019
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There are various customs officer jobs available ranging from border control to commercial customs inspectors. While each position requires customs officers to perform specific tasks, all customs officer jobs are relatively similar. In addition to specialized training, customs officers must also posses certain personality traits.

In almost all instances, customs officers are employed by governments. The basic premise of customs officer jobs is to enforce laws and protect a country from anything that could be deemed dangerous. Customs officers can be situated at border entries, railway stations, airports, seaports, and many other entryways. Essentially, there are three main types of customs officer jobs including commercial inspectors, traveler inspectors, and postal inspectors.

Commercial inspectors are responsible for inspecting all cargo that enters or leaves a country. These customs professionals must board boats, airplanes, and trucks in order to inspect cargo arriving from other countries. In addition, a commercial inspector must also inspect any cargo that is leaving a country. These inspectors are also expected to inspect cargo documents in order to ensure that all laws have been met.

Postal inspectors are similar to commercial inspectors, only postal inspectors solely investigate parcels. All packages must be thoroughly inspected before leaving or arriving in a country. As with commercial inspectors, postal inspectors must also make sure that any shipper or receiver has filled out the appropriate documents.


Traveler inspectors are different from postal and commercial inspectors. A traveler inspector's duty is to speak with any traveler who attempts to enter or exit a country. These inspectors are often seen in airports, train stations, and seaports. Traveler inspectors are responsible for ensuring the safety of a country by refusing entry to anyone who seems suspicious.

Even though all customs officer jobs are unique, many countries seek customs officers who can speak a foreign language. Since customs officers must communicate with people from all over the world, those officers who can speak a second or third language often secure top positions. Additionally, any customs officer should be able to handle high-pressure situations calmly and rationally. Thus, anyone seeking this type of position should have an extremely passive demeanor.

Customs officer jobs can be found by searching government websites. Most applicants will have to pass a specialized government examination prior to securing a job as a customs officer. Those who work within the customs field often find this type of work both challenging and rewarding.


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