Before you begin figuring out how to become a Customs Agent, you should know that there is an age requirement that must be met. You must be 40 years old or under. No one over 40 years old will be accepted unless they have prior experience in Federal Law Enforcement or they are awarded Veteran’s Preference. Veteran’s Preference refers to the law which states that veterans who are disabled and have served in active duty during certain periods of time will be selected for jobs ahead of those who have no experience regardless of their age. You must also be a U.S. citizen and reside in the United States. You need to have a valid driver’s license as well.
Schooling is not necessary; however, pursuing and achieving a degree in Criminal Justice will put you way ahead of other applicants who did not achieve a degree.
While you are attending classes for your criminal justice degree, you should take classes in Spanish Language, unless you already know how to speak Spanish fluently. If you do not know how to speak Spanish fluently, do not dismay, you may still take a test to establish your ability to learn how to speak a foreign language. If you are chosen to be a customs agent and you cannot speak Spanish, you will be required to take Spanish lessons in order to stay on as an agent.
You must pass several tests and examinations. These background tests are extensive and you must meet all the requirements. A background test includes checking your history of employment, your marital status, and even a check on your ex-spouses. In addition, you will be subjected to a credit check, a drug check, several physical fitness tests, and a medical examination. In some cases, a polygraph test may be administered.
To become a customs agent, you cannot have any history of alcohol problems or drug abuse. Criminal checks generally weed out those who have problems with drugs or alcohol.
The best place to look for a customs agent job is the US Border Patrol and Customs website (www.cbp.gov). There are many jobs that fall under the heading of Customs Agent. Look around the website; it can help you decide what kind of customs agent you would like to be. It is easy to fill out an application. You can do it online. Just be careful to answer ALL of the questions asked of you, because if you are missing any part of them, they will automatically reject it and you will have to apply all over again. As tempting as it may be, never lie about anything on the application.
If your application meets the criteria necessary to become a customs agent, you will then having to go through more mandatory testing and training. Once you are chosen for the job you applied for, you will be required to go to a US Government Border Patrol and Customs training center, where you must complete a training course for 15 weeks before moving into a customs job position.