A customs patrol officer protects a country's borders by inspecting travelers, baggage, and cargo for potential threats or crimes. They work at ports of entry, such as sea ports, airports, and border crossings, or patrol borders in between crossings to catch smugglers. The day-to-day duties of a customs patrol officer may include inspecting baggage, interviewing suspicious people attempting to cross the border, or participating in a larger sting operation to catch drug trafficking. Customs patrol officers need to be highly observant in order to spot potential law breakers. They also need to have excellent knowledge of government laws and law enforcement technology such as CCTV systems.
Most customs patrol officers have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field. However, it is possible to do this job with only an associate's degree or a high school diploma. Most customs patrol officers have some experience working in security, whether as private security guards, in law enforcement, or in the military.
Customs patrol officers earn an average salary of $42,109 a year and enjoy generous benefits.