If you want to use your detection skills and want to protect the UK, this job could be ideal for you. Customs officers prevent banned items from entering or leaving the country, and collect a range of taxes and duties (payments).
You will normally start as an administrative assistant or assistant officer and earn promotion to customs officer or detection officer.
- search luggage, vehicles and travellers
- check customs documents
- question people who have been found with illegal items or goods over the allowance
- arrest and charge people
- prepare reports and witness statements
- take on specialist roles such as dog handling or undercover and surveillance work.
- good judgement
- confident decision-making ability
- accuracy and attention to detail
- the ability to work alone and also as part of a team
- good listening and questioning skills
- a tactful but firm manner
- honesty and fairness in applying rules.
Average salary (2014):
The United Kingdom: £20,175 and £25,710 a year.
Qualifications and training required:
You would normally join as an administrative assistant or assistant officer and earn promotion to customs officer or detection officer. Recruitment directly to officer grade sometimes takes place.
To join at officer grade you will probably need five GCSEs (A-C) including English and maths, plus two A levels or equivalent qualifications. You will normally need two GCSEs (A-C) to join HMRC as an administrative assistant, and five GCSEs (A-C) including maths and English for assistant officer jobs.
However, if you do not have these qualifications, you could take a test to prove your skills and abilities in areas like teamwork and communication. Please check entry requirements for each vacancy.