Law

Border Force officer

Border Force officers protect UK border entry points like ports and airports, by enforcing immigration and customs regulations.

Annual Salary

£23,000 to £31,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 42 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

1%
Future employment

There will be 1% fewer Border Force officer jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • check travel documents and passports
  • question passengers about their reasons for visiting the UK
  • search people, luggage and vehicles
  • write case notes
  • work with the police and immigration officials on operations
  • attend court as a witness

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work at a border post.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working your way up
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme
Apprenticeship

You could do a public service operational delivery advanced apprenticeship with the Civil Service.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
For more information
Work

You could join the Civil Service as a Border Force assistant officer, then apply for an officer post when vacancies become available.

To do this, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, or equivalent qualifications.

Direct application

You could apply directly to become a Border Force officer. To enter at officer level, you may need at least 2 A levels at grade E or above, or equivalent qualifications.

Other routes

You can apply through the Civil Service Fast Stream if you have a degree.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working as a Border Force officer from Border Force and Civil Service Careers.

You'll get continuous training during your first 6 to 12 months. Once you've passed your probationary period, you'll have the full responsibilities of a Border Force officer.

With experience you could become a team leader, or move into a management position. You could also use your skills to train and work with new staff.

You may also be able to apply for roles in other departments of the Home Office or Civil Service.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of English language
  • customer service skills
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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