Customs and border protection officers work for U.S. Customs and Border
Protection (CBP). This is one branch of the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the Customs and Border Protection website, customs and border
protection officers keep borders secure while helping legitimate travel and
trade. They serve at over 300 frontline points of entry to the U.S. at border
crossings, airports and marinas.
The points of entry are located throughout the United States, including
Alaska and Hawaii. Other points of entry are located in Puerto Rico, the U.S.
Virgin Islands and Guam.
Customs and border protection officers enforce laws related to trade, revenue
and immigration. They seize contraband items and decide whether to admit persons
to the United States.
Customs and border protection officers inspect vehicles, ships, aircraft,
trucks, cargo, persons and merchandise.
These officers wear a uniform. They may be required to work overtime and
to work at all hours of the day. Sometimes the work is demanding.
Along with their other responsibilities, these officers work to detect and prevent terrorists and weapons of mass destruction
from entering the country.
To work as a customs and border protection officer, you must qualify to
carry a firearm. You will receive random drug testing.
Applicants must pass a pre-application fitness test before applying to
become a customs and border protection officer. They must also pass a background
investigation and a medical examination.
Technology is becoming increasingly important in this occupation.
Wes Ferris works for a customs service. "As technology changes, and as
criminals find ingenious methods to smuggle, then our levels of technology
training increase as well," he says. "Technology drives the trends and the
way we're prepared to do the job."