Pay for customs officers varies depending on experience, responsibilities and performance.
Customs officers in training or with one year's experience can expect to earn about $39,000 a year.
After two to three years they can earn up to $49,000 a year.
With five years' experience, they can earn up to $56,000 a year.
A chief customs officer can earn between $65,000 and $97,000 a year, depending on experience.
Source : New Zealand Customs Service, 'Collective Employment Agreement', 2013-2015.
This information is a guide only. )
What you will do
Customs officers may do some or all of the following :
inspect mail and imported and exported goods for illegal items
patrol wharves and search ships and aircraft for prohibited and restricted goods
check passengers' passports and travel documents
check passengers for prohibited and restricted goods
assess and collect taxes on goods coming into the country, and on alcohol and tobacco made in New Zealand
gather import and export data
gather intelligence and assess security risks
carry out drug and commercial investigations
administer computer-based customs declarations and enquiries.
Skills and knowledge
Customs officers need to have :
knowledge of legislation relevant to customs work
understanding of customs procedures and policies
knowledge of border protection methods
knowledge of search and investigation techniques
skill in inspecting and evaluating people, goods and areas.
Customs officers :
do shift work, which can include nights, weekends and public holidays
work in offices, ports, on ships, and in airport terminals and freight depots. When outdoors, they work in all weather conditions
may work in hazardous, dusty or noisy conditions with heavy machinery operating
may sometimes have to deal with tired, angry and upset people.
To become a customs officer you need to be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and hold a current driver's licence.
Applicants shortlisted for trainee customs officer positions attend an assessment centre for :
cognitive (thought processes) testing.
Successful applicants are then formally interviewed and must pass a medical assessment.
If your interview is successful, you become a trainee customs officer and complete a nine-week training programme in Auckland, which includes a two-
week residential programme.
All staff appointed to New Zealand Customs Service must pass a drug test and security checks.
There are no specific secondary education requirements for this job, but NCEA Level 2 English and maths are preferred.
Customs officers need to be :
skilled at communicating
skilled at analysing information and solving problems
good at planning
polite, patient and helpful
firm when dealing with people, when necessary
able to relate to people from different backgrounds and cultures
observant, with an eye for detail.
Useful experience for customs officers includes :
customer service roles dealing with the public, handling complaints and dealing with conflict
work involving legislation or law enforcement
being able to speak and understand other languages.
Customs officers need to be reasonably fit and healthy, and have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses). You must pass a medical exam for entry into the role, and ongoing fitness tests for some customs officer positions.