Customs Officials


Customs Officials


Customs officials are federal workers who are employed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (an arm of the Department of Homeland Security) to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States; enforce laws governing immigration and imports and exports; and to combat smuggling and revenue fraud. Customs and Border Protection generates revenue for the government by assessing and collecting duties and excise taxes on imported merchandise. Amid a whirl of international travel and commercial activity, customs off...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



Three years of general work experience or four years of college



Business Management


Personality Traits



Federal workers receive a salary based on pay grade, and those who join the CBP will start with a GS-5, GS-7, or GS-9 pay grade designation. Entry-level positions at GS-5 began at a base annual pay of $29,350 in 2019, and entry at GS-7 started at $36,356 per year. The GS-9 position had a base annual salary of $44,471 in 2019. Federal employees in certain cities receive locality pay in addition ...

Work Environment

The customs territory of the United States is divided into nine regions that include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In these regions there are some 328 official ports of entry along land and sea borders. Customs inspectors may be assigned to any of these ports or to overseas work at airports, seaports, waterfronts, border stations, customs hou...


Employment at CBP is steady work that isn't directly affected by changes in the economy but varies depending on government spending. With the increased emphasis on law enforcement, especially the deterrence of those who who seek to enter the U.S. without permission and of terrorism, but also the detection of illegally imported drugs and the prevention of exports of sensitive high-technology ite...