Government & Defence

Border Force Officer

A Border Force officer protects country borders at airports, seaports, land and maritime jurisdictions.

  • Entry-level education

    Senior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Border Force Officer do?

A Border Force officer protects country borders. They also tackle border tax fraud and identify illegal importation of people and goods. Border Force officers are also known as customs officers.


Work activities

Border Force officer roles, including trainee officers, perform a range of functions as part of a team and alongside other law enforcement agencies, including:

  • processing the movement of travellers and goods
  • engaging with clients, travellers and partner agencies
  • coordinating responses to border threats
  • undertaking patrols and surveillance
  • boarding and searching aircraft and vessels
  • enforcing legislation and exercise regulatory powers
  • conducting investigations
  • conducting digital forensics.

Key skills and interests

To become a Border Force officer, you would need:

  • a confident, responsible and methodical approach to work
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • the ability to manage a complex workload
  • good spoken and written communication skills
  • the ability to work alone and in a team
  • good powers of observation.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

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


During initial training and in the early stages of their careers, officers can expect to be moved through a number of different areas. This may include periods of transfer to different locations around Australia depending on operational requirements.

You may need a drivers’ licence, depending on where you are based.


How to become an Border Force Officer?

Entry Level Education

The Australian Border Force was established in 2015 as the new frontline operational entity within the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The Department recruits for Border Force recruits annually. Recruits attend the Australian Border Force College for six months before undertaking six months on-the-job training, where upon completion, they are awarded the rank of Border Force officer.

Border Force officers are Australian Public Servants, and as such, must be Australian Citizens.

For further information, see:


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Continued desire for public safety will result in a need for more Border Force officers.

However, demand for employment is expected to vary depending on federal government budgets.


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