Summary Report for:
33-3021.05 - Immigration and Customs Inspectors
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Canine Enforcement Officer (K-9 Enforcement Officer), Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBPO), Customs Inspector, Customs Officer, Customs Port Director, Import Specialist, Inspector, Special Agent, Supervisory CBP Officer, US Customs and Border Protection Officer (US CBPO)
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- 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.
- Interpret and explain laws and regulations to travelers, prospective immigrants, shippers, and manufacturers.
- 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.
- Testify regarding decisions at immigration appeals or in federal court.
- Record and report job-related activities, findings, transactions, violations, discrepancies, and decisions.
- Determine duty and taxes to be paid on goods.
- Collect samples of merchandise for examination, appraisal, or testing.
- Investigate applications for duty refunds and petition for remission or mitigation of penalties when warranted.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Compound light microscopes
- Biometric identification equipment — Fingerprint scanners
- Calipers — Measurement calipers
- Convex security mirrors — Security inspection mirrors
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Hand sprayers — Pepper spray
- Handcuffs — Metal handcuffs; Plastic handcuffs
- Handguns — Service revolvers
- Magnetic stripe readers and encoders — Identification card scanners
- Mainframe console or dumb terminals — Radiation portal monitor terminals
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers; Mobile data computers
- Personal computers
- Police or security shotguns — Police shotguns
- Radiation detectors — Personal radiation detectors PRD; Radiation isotope identifier devices RIID; Radiation portal monitors RPM; Radioisotope detection devices
- Riot batons — Side-handle batons
- Spectrometers — Gamma ray spectrometers
- Speed stoppers — Tire deflation devices
- Two way radios
- Videoconferencing systems — Videophones
- Weapon or explosives detectors and supplies — Hazardous material detectors; Ion mobility spectrometers
- X ray radiography examination equipment — Mobile truck X ray units; Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System VACIS; X ray inspection equipment
Technology used in this occupation:
- Data base user interface and query software — Automated Manifest System AMS; Law enforcement information databases; National Crime Information Center NCIC database; Treasury Enforcement Communications System TECS
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software
- Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect Office Suite; Microsoft Office software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Foreign Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Detailed Work Activities
- Inspect cargo to identify potential hazards.
- Confiscate prohibited or dangerous items.
- Examine personal documentation to ensure that it is valid.
- Interview people to obtain information about actions or status of individuals.
- Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
- Detain suspects or witnesses.
- Locate suspicious objects or vehicles.
- Investigate illegal or suspicious activities.
- Maintain operational records.
- Inform others about laws or regulations.
- Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to share information.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 86% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Deal With External Customers — 82% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 70% responded “Very important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 63% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Consequence of Error — 67% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “Some freedom.”
- Physical Proximity — 44% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 35% responded “Very important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 54% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 31% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Exposed to Radiation — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 39% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover — 39% responded “Every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Degree of Automation — 50% responded “Highly automated.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 43% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 36% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 45% responded “About half the time.”
- Spend Time Standing — 45% responded “About half the time.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|39||High school diploma or equivalent|
|14||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: CER
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Detectives and Criminal Investigators.
Employment data collected from Detectives and Criminal Investigators.
Industry data collected from Detectives and Criminal Investigators.
|Median wages (2015)||$37.12 hourly, $77,210 annual|
|Employment (2014)||117,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Little or no change (-1% to 1%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||28,300|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Police and detectives . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.