Border Force officer or assistant officer

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would check that people coming into the UK do not bring in anything that is harmful or is illegal in the country.

You would check and search vehicles arriving at UK borders for illegal immigrants – people who are not allowed to enter the UK. You’d arrange for them to go to a detention centre where they could apply for asylum if they wish and stay until they leave the country.

You’d look for illegal goods like drugs and investigate people who are trying to avoid paying taxes or customs duties by smuggling money or goods into the country.

You would:

  • Question passengers at airports and seaports
  • Ask people about specific details relating to their stay
  • Search vehicles, ships and planes for illegal immigrants, drugs and other goods that could cause harm to people in the UK
  • Search people for drugs and other goods which are illegal in the UK
  • Check whether people trying to come into the country are involved in illegal activities

You could arrest people who were a danger to the UK or were here illegally. You would work closely with the police.

Working conditions

Hours

You would work between 36 and 40 hours a week as a full-time Border Force officer. This would involve shifts including nights, weekends and bank holidays.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Persuading people
  • Being tactful
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Using computers
  • Being logical
  • Coping with pressure
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

While there are no formal educational requirements to enter this job, qualifiations at SCQF levels 4-6 may be helpful, in particular for direct entry into an officer position.

Useful subjects

  • Maths
  • English
  • ICT
  • Physical education
  • Languages
  • Social studies, such as psychology

You will also need

Be a UK national with no restrictions on your stay in the UK and have lived in the UK continuously for at least five years.

Selection for all positions is through an assessment centre, where candidates are tested on:

  • Judgement
  • Conflict management
  • Communication skills, both oral and written
  • Awareness of diversity and equal opportunities

You will also be required to pass a:

  • Security clearance (due to the sensitive nature of the work)
  • Medical examination

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate physical fitness and awareness of security such as Skills for Work Uniformed and Emergency Services (SCQF level 4) may be useful in preparing for this job.

You may have an advantage if you also have some ability in a foreign language.