Immigration and Customs Inspectors: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

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.

  • 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.
Read more about what does an Immigration and Customs Inspector really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$85020 per year

Average hourly wage
$41 per hour


Immigration and Customs Inspectors with little to no experience tend to make between $43800 and $57560 while the more experienced ones can earn over $107000 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
DC$59$122,460
AK$57$118,360
CA$52$107,120
HI$51$107,010
NJ$49$102,600

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Immigration and Customs Inspector is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Immigration and Customs Inspectors are DC, AK, CA, HI and NJ.

However, a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Immigration and Customs Inspector is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
High School Diploma (or GED)

We asked other Immigration and Customs Inspectors what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Bachelor’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Natural Resources Law Enforcement and Protective Services
Criminal Justice/Police Science
Criminalistics and Criminal Science
Law Enforcement Investigation and Interviewing
Law Enforcement Record-Keeping and Evidence Management
Read more about how to become an Immigration and Customs Inspector and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Immigration and Customs Inspector.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to follow routines
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work both indoors and outdoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Demand for this career is growing very slowly
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
70%

Is this job meaningful
72%


70% of Immigration and Customs Inspectors said they were satisfied with their job and 72% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Organizers and The Entrepreneurs

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.




Learn more about Immigration and Customs Inspectors

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