The requirements to become a customs inspector vary by state and country. While some countries only require the bare minimum of a high school diploma, some require a Bachelor's degree. In the US, all potential inspectors must pass a fifteen-week training program course at the Customs Border Training Academy. It is through this course that an inspector will learn all that they need to know to protect the borders of their country. Students in this type of training will learn different key skills including interviewing, legal regulations, searching techniques, and threat assessment techniques. This is valuable training for a new customs inspector.
It is important to note that all customs inspectors must be of a certain age, depending on the country they reside in. They must have proof of citizenship and pass extensive background screenings. An inspector must also pass regular drug, fitness, and medical examinations as a part of their pre-employment screening and ongoing employment testing.
Customs inspectors must have good judgment and critical thinking skills to carry out the responsibilities of the job. Many customs agents are required to be skilled in foreign languages so that they may communicate with travelers who speak other languages.
Inspectors may also be trained to work with K-9 dogs to understand how to give commands and use the dogs to inspect areas that they may miss or are unable to access. An inspector learns how to work with the dogs to gain the best advantage over illegal people and substances that may be entering into the country.