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Customs Officials

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Entry-level customs officers must have at least three years of general work experience interacting with the public or four years of college. Physically fit individuals who are mentally stable and can exercise sound judgement, particularly in highly stressful and dangerous situations, are preferred for this type of work. The job requires the ability to pay close attention to details, interview potential violators and witnesses, analyze and disseminate intelligence information, and develop cases and prepare reports. Clear communication skills, diplomacy, and tact in dealing with a wide range of people are essential. An intrinsic part of the customs officer's job is developing and maintaining relationships with networks of informants, political and social groups, state and local enforcement agencies, and private citizens. Fluency in English and Spanish is also an advantage in this field.  

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