Job type

Border force officer

£23k - £31k

Typical salary

38 – 42

Hours per week

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

More info

  • Requires the ability to manage challenging situations in a calm and professional manner
  • Protect border entry points, checking goods and people entering the country
  • this job will usually be based at a port or airport, and will involve time away when working on investigations or attending court

As a border force officer you will protect UK border entry points by enforcing immigration and customs regulation. The work involves patrolling the entry and exit points of the UK - the coastline, rail services and airports - and by using your skill and intuition and monitoring people and items, detecting risks.


  • Checking travel documents and passports
  • Questioning passengers about their travel plans and deciding if they need further questioning
  • Searching people, luggage and vehicles
  • Writing case notes
  • Working with the police and immigration officials on operations
  • Attending court as a witness
  • You may also take part in anti-smuggling operations at sea


Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers and you may need to wear a uniform. You'll gain extra allowances for working shifts and unsocial hours.

Salaries vary and can depend upon a range of factors including your location (salaries in London are higher, for example), your experience and the exact nature of the role. Check job adverts for current salary information.

You'll need

This role would be suitable for someone with patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations and have the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.

To apply for a border force officer you'll need to be a UK national with no restrictions on your stay, pass enhanced background checks, pass security checks, have lived in the UK for the last 5 years, pass a medical check, have a good level of fitness, have a full UK or EU driving licence, held for at least 12 months.

To enter this role you could do a public service operational delivery advanced apprenticeship with the Civil Service.

You could also 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.

Alternatively, you could apply directly to become a Border Force officer. To enter at officer level, you'll need one of the following, experience of serving in the armed forces or the police or at least 2 A levels at grade E or above, or equivalent qualifications. You can also consider studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Public Services.

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

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, although you may need further qualifications and training. There is also a connection with other similar roles in the Police, Ministry of Defence (MoD), Armed Forces, MI5, United Nations (UN) and other roles that involve national security.

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