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Career and Education Opportunities for Customs Inspectors in Honolulu, Hawaii

Customs inspectors can find many career and educational opportunities in the Honolulu, Hawaii area. There are currently 550 working customs inspectors in Hawaii; this should grow 19% to 660 working customs inspectors in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for customs inspectors, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.6% over the next eight years. In general, customs inspectors investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.

Customs inspectors earn about $35 per hour or $72,830 annually on average in Hawaii and about $29 per hour or $60,910 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for customs inspectors are better than earnings in the general category of Police and Security in Hawaii and better than general Police and Security category earnings nationally. People working as customs inspectors can fill a number of jobs, such as: inspector, immigration and customs enforcement special agent , and drug inspector.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Honolulu where you can study to be a customs inspector, among twenty-four schools of higher education total in the Honolulu area. The most common level of education for customs inspectors is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a customs inspector if you already have a high school diploma.


In general, customs inspectors investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.

Customs inspectors interpret and explain laws and rules to travelers and manufacturers. They also record and report job-related efforts and decisions. Equally important, customs inspectors have to detain persons found to be in violation of customs or immigration laws and manage legal action. They are often called upon to examine immigration applications and passports and interview persons to establish eligibility for admission and travel in the U.S. They are expected to examine cargo and personal articles entering or leaving U.S. for adherence to revenue laws and U.S. customs rules. Finally, customs inspectors institute civil and criminal prosecutions and cooperate with other law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of those in violation of immigration or customs laws.

Every day, customs inspectors are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for customs inspectors to decide on duty and taxes to be paid on goods. They are often called upon to collect samples of products for examination or testing. They also testify regarding decisions at immigration appeals or in federal court. Somewhat less frequently, customs inspectors are also expected to investigate applications for duty refunds and petition for remission or mitigation of penalties when warranted.

And finally, they sometimes have to examine cargo and personal articles entering or leaving U.S. for adherence to revenue laws and U.S. customs rules.

Like many other jobs, customs inspectors must have exceptional integrity and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Honolulu include:

  • Bailiff. Maintain order in courts of law.
  • Chief of Police. Supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
  • Correctional Officer. Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Forest Fire Lookout. Enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards. Report forest fires and weather conditions.
  • Police Officer. Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
  • Police Records Officer. Collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.
  • Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.
  • Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.
  • Transportation Security Officer. Inspect baggage or cargo and screen passengers to detect and prevent potentially dangerous objects from being transported into secure areas or onto aircraft.


Honolulu Community College - Honolulu, HI

Honolulu Community College, 874 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817-4598. Honolulu Community College is a small college located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,218 students. Honolulu Community College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated seven students in 2008.


Certified Medical Investigator: The spectrum of professions involved in forensic investigation has broadened dramatically over the past 20 years.

For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.

Certified Corrections Manager - Security Threat Groups: Individuals who head a Security Threat Group (STG) program in an adult or juvenile corrections facility, contribute to the development of agency policies/procedures pertaining to STGs, and are involved in the implementation of these policies/procedures.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.

For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.

Computer Forensics: The primary goals we have for our certification programs are to both assist law enforcement and organizations requiring highly skilled investigators in the identification of highly skilled individuals, and to promote the training and education efforts within the computer investigation, computer forensic and computer security industries.

For more information, see the Cyber Enforcement Resources Incorporated website.

Certified Cyber-Crime Expert: High-profile cases of corporate malfeasance and increased attention paid to cybercrime and cyberterrorism have elevated electronic evidence discovery to an indispensable component of any organization's security plan.

For more information, see the E-Business Process Solutions website.


Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii photo by ErgoSum88

Honolulu is located in Honolulu County, Hawaii. It has a population of over 374,676, which has grown by 0.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Honolulu, 180, is far greater than the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Honolulu are accommodation and food services, educational services, and health care. For men, it is accommodation and food services, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 31.1% of Honolulu residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Honolulu residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 33.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Waiokeola Congregational Church, Daijingu Temple of Hawaii and Wesley Methodist Student Center are among the churches located in Honolulu. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Honolulu is home to the Livingston Pool and the Mamala Bay Golf Course as well as Spalding Memorial Tennis Courts and Kuhio Park. Shopping malls in the area include Aina Haina Shopping Center, Ala Moana Shopping Center and Aloha Tower Marketplace Shopping Center. Visitors to Honolulu can choose from Kosuga Inc, Hawaiian Condo Resorts Inc and Honolulu Airport Hotel for temporary stays in the area.