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How to become a Border Force Officer

Border Force Officers are responsible for maintaining the security and safety of the country and people. They do this by patrolling air and seaports, cargo centres, and even regional and remote areas.

If you are dedicated and resilient, have a high level of integrity and professionalism, and want to help keep people safe, becoming a Border Force Officer could be perfect for you.


About you:


  • Physically fit
  • Strong work ethic
  • High level of integrity
  • Resilient
  • Great team worker
  • Calm under pressure
  • Excellent communicator
  • Reliable and mature


The job:


  • Processing passengers and crew in air and seaports
  • Inspecting and clearing incoming and outgoing cargo
  • Seizing unlawful or prohibited goods
  • Patrolling the coastline via sea or air
  • Investigating illegal border activities
  • Locating and detaining unlawful non-citizens
  • Working in detention centres
  • Training and working with detector dogs


Lifestyle Impact: High


  • Part Time opportunities: Low – around 20% of Border Force Officers work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 41 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Border Force Officers’ salary (median) $85,000* per year (source: ato.gov.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Depending on operational requirements, you may need to move for work. This also includes potentially being posted to a different location at short notice.
  • The job can be stressful at times, and you may be dealing with some difficult behaviour and dangerous items.
  • You will be expected to commit to the values and behaviours of the Australian Border Force, including restrictions on certain body modifications (including tattoos and piercings).


Border Force Officers are most in demand in these locations:


Border Force Officers are employed by the Australian Government, and work all around the country, wherever people are entering and leaving Australia. Border Force Officers typically work in the Public Administration and Safety industry.


How to become a Border Force Officer


To become a Border Force Officer, you will need to undergo a recruit training program with the Australian Border Force (ABF).


Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English and Maths.


Step 2 – To apply for the Border Force Officer Recruit Training (BFORT) program, you will need to be at least 18 years of age and hold a minimum Certificate IV or Diploma-level qualification (in any field), or have relevant work experience.


Step 3 – As part of the recruitment process, you will need to undergo a variety of testing, including medical, fitness, psychological, and security assessments, as well as an interview.


Step 4 – If your application is successful, you can begin the 12-month training course, which includes a mix of theoretical and practical learning.


Step 5 – Upon completion of training, start working as a fully-qualified Border Force Officer.


Step 6 – With lots of experience, you might like to consider specialist roles in the future.


Find out more here –



Similar Careers to Border Force Officer


Safety Inspector

Police Officer

Correctional Officer


Defence Force




Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What do Border Force Officers do?


Border Force Officers are responsible for managing the security of a country’s borders.


Which industries employ Border Force Officers?


Border Force Officers are mostly employed in the Public Administration and Safety industry.


What options are there for career progression?


While completing your training, you will work as a Border Force Officer Recruit, before moving on to become a General Duties Border Force Officer. After this, you can build on your experience and down the track apply for specialist roles, such as roles in the Marine Unit and Detector Dog Program.


Do I need to go to university to become a Border Force Officer?


Not necessarily – the minimum requirement for joining the BFORT program is a Certificate IV or Diploma qualification. However, ABF also welcomes university-level qualifications.


Where do Border Force Officers work?


Border Force Officers can work nearly anywhere in the country, including the seas and skies. Depending on where you live, you may need to consider relocating for training and work.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Border Force Officer?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Border Force Officer is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Research the role and requirements carefully to ensure that you will be eligible to apply once leaving school. Start working on your fitness, and practice for the cognitive and work reliability
  2. Find work experience or casual work and start building on valuable skills, including communication, teamwork, and reliability. These are all highly valued as part of the recruitment process.
  3. Talk to a Border Force Officer to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about the role.

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