Border Force officer

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

Salary range: £23,000 gto £31,000

How to become a Border Force officer

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

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.

More information

Further information

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

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 could work at a border post.

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

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

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.

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