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Border Force officer

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

Annual Salary

£26,000 to £32,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 42 a week

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

Future employment

There will be 0.2% fewer Border Force officer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a Border Force officer, you would:

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

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working your way up
  • applying directly

You could do a college course in public services which could help you to develop some of the skills and knowledge needed in this role.

For more information

You could do a Public Service Operational Delivery Officer Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship with the Civil Service.

This can take up to 1 year and 6 months to complete.

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

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

Direct application

You could apply directly to become a Border Force officer. To enter at officer level, you'll need at least 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, or equivalent qualifications.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • be a UK citizen
  • have lived in the UK for the last 5 years
  • pass enhanced background checks
  • pass security checks
  • pass a medical check
  • have a good level of fitness
  • have a full driving licence

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working as a Border Force officer from:Home Office Careers; Border Force; Civil Service Careers

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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.

You'll get regular training throughout your career. With experience, you could become a senior Border Force officer, 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 use a computer and the main software packages competently
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