Border Force officers protect the United Kingdom against terrorism, smuggling, fraud, organised crime, human trafficking, and illegal drug and endangered animal trade.
As an apprentice Border Force officer, you will be a member of a front-line law enforcement organisation tasked with ensuring the safety and security of the UK’s border 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patrolling the UK’s entry and exit points – the seashore, rail lines, and airports – and finding threats using your knowledge and instincts and observing people and things.
You’ll utilise your authority to interview questionable travellers and inspect luggage, cars, and items as required. When issues arise, you will contact security services and use the information you have gathered about possible threats to help them.
As an apprentice Border Force officer, you’ll need to:
- 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.
- Salaries for Border Force apprentices are typically around £21,431 per year.
- As a Border Force officer, you could earn between £24,883 and £27,372 per year.
- Senior Border Force officers can earn between £37,450 and £41,193 per year.
Salaries vary and depend on a range of factors including your location, your experience and the exact nature of the role.
You’ll gain extra allowances for working shifts and unsocial hours.
You will work various shifts, including those that begin early and end late, as well as those that cover nights. You will also be expected to work weekends and holidays on a rotating basis.
Typically, you will work 37 hours a week. However, shifts might last for up to 12 hours.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice Border Officer include:
- Level 3 Public Service Operational Delivery Officer – Entry requirements for this level include 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths.
- Level 3 Personal Safety Training (PST) certificate
On an Border Officer apprenticeship you’ll learn:
- 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.
Border Force employees are employed by the Home Office and are members of the Border Force. They have 140 ports and airports in the UK and across the world. Officers may also be found working at general aviation airports, post offices, and international train networks. The Eurostar from Brussels and Paris to St Pancras International is included, as is the Eurotunnel from Coquelles to Cheriton. Find out more about the Border Force.
Look for job vacancies at:
- Civil Service Job search – you may find vacancies on other websites, but all applications are via the Civil Service website.
You will go through a structured training programme as a newly recruited Border Force officer that you must finish as a Border Force officer.
You’ll start by learning about laws, procedures, personal safety, and how to use authority. Then, once you’ve mastered the theory, you’ll begin putting it into practice in a controlled environment, first with trainers and then in operational zones.
You’ll focus on immigration and customs legislation relating to your job and workplace. The training is modular, and you will be evaluated several times during the programme. Your employer, mentors, friends, and colleagues will support you every step.
In addition, you will most likely be required to complete a Level 3 Personal Safety Training (PST) certificate, which will increase your skills in personal safety, arrest, and restraint methods.
After completing the training programme and your probationary period, you will be assigned full Border Force officer responsibilities.
You will need to keep your training up to date throughout your career. You may be able to seek specialised training as your career grows, depending on your job.
With experience and expertise, you can progress to the post of Border Force senior officer. You will most likely supervise other Border Force employees and specialised projects at this level. You may also be in charge of budgeting and recruitment.
There are also opportunities to go into training and teach new Border Force officers how to do their tasks.
If you’re willing to move across the nation, you’ll have more prospects for advancement. It is also feasible to specialise in a specific field of employment.
You may also be able to transfer to other departments within the Home Office, and the wider Civil Service; however, specific positions may need further degrees and training. There is also a connection to other relevant jobs in the Police, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Armed Forces, MI5, the United Nations (UN), and other national security responsibilities.