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How to Become a CBSA Officer in 5 Steps

You might have learned what it takes to become a CBSA Officer, but here we have how to become a CBSA Officer, their job opportunities, estimated salaries, and the typical job responsibilities.

The Canada border Services agency, abbreviated as CBSA, is a Canadian agency that deals with the facilitation of legitimate trade and travelers. In addition, it is known for protecting the Industry and environment of Canadians by preventing weapons, narcotics, and obscene materials. Basically. They enforce about a hundred regulations and act the keep the country secured.

Being a CBSA Officer is highly rewarding, and here we have the perfect description of how to become a CBSA Officer. Stay tuned!

What is a CBSA Officer?

A CBSA officer is also known as a border services officer, customs agent, or customers officer, geared with the responsibility of providing integrated border services. They are employed by the CBSA as a federal law enforcement officer to control the movement of goods and people through Canadian borders, as well as collect duties and taxes, likewise detain and remove potential threats.

They are responsible for supporting public safety and national security by facilitating the free flow of people, including plants and animals, that satisfy all requirements under the program legislation.

About 14,000 Canadian border services agents have been working tirelessly to ensure that the security of Canada and its citizens are assured. Therefore, not only should you know how to become a CBSA Officer, but you must understand that the agency functions mainly to aid the flow of legal trade and travel through the borders of Canada.

Responsibilities of CBSA officer

There is about 1,100 point of service that the CBSA officer works across Canada. This includes airports, highway crossings, rail ports, postal facilities, and marine terminals. In addition, every Canadian border officers enforce laws and regulations as they impact all sectors of Canadian Society to uphold public safety.

These are some of the other responsibilities of a CBSA officer

  • Control the movement of animals, goods, plants, and people into and out of Canada
  • Detain, apprehend, and remove people who threaten Canada, including war criminals and terrorists.
  • Collect applicable taxes and duties on imported goods.

How difficult is it to become a CBSA officer?

Undoubtedly, if you are focused, passionate, and dedicated to law, security or policy, you will be most successful in becoming a CBSA officer. There is a list of the intensive selection process, prerequisites, and ongoing dedication in the job line. However, it is worthwhile because you will enjoy competitive salaries, job security, and other benefits associated with working as a CBSA officer.

How to Become a CBSA Officer in 5 Steps           

The CBSA Officer has many responsibilities and a broad border management career. This ranges from border risk management data analysis and investigation. Learn how to become a CBSA Officer in these simple steps

#Step one: Meet the Requirements to apply for a CBSA officer

Knowing how to become a CBSA officer entails getting acquainted with the requirements of this job role. So let’s start by reviewing the necessary job requirements to be considered for the border services Officer Training. Let’s go!

  • You must either be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
  • You must have a valid driver’s license
  • Also, you must earn a high school diploma, a 2-year college diploma, or a university degree
  • You are to complete courses in subjects like psychology, security, criminology, law, or policy

#Step two: Satisfy the Selection process 

Once you have gotten the job requirement to land this job role, you must learn about the selection process of a CBSA Officer, which is in 8 steps. They are

#1. Officer trainee entrance exam (OTEE)

This is an online exam that consists of 132 multiple-choice questions. This exam will assess your writing skills, reasoning skills, analytical skills, and client orientation. The validity of the exam is for the duration of your assessment. However, if you fail, you will have to wait for the next year to rewrite

#2. Interview

This step is solely on the need of the agency. You will undergo a rigorous interview that will assess your integrity, values, communication abilities, judgment, and ability to deal with challenging conditions and situations. Importantly, you should prepare all your documents at this point to prevent delays in your candidacy.

#3. Firearms safety courses

Without a doubt, you must pass and complete the Canadian restricted firearms safety courses (CRFSC) and Canadian firearms safety courses (CFSC) before you can proceed with your training correctly. You wouldn’t need an acquisition and protection license for this.

#4. Physical evaluation

You will perform use-of-force training that is physically demanding. It is part of the induction training program; hence Important to complete the physical abilities requirements evaluation.

You can complete your Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) at the following centers

  • New Alberta Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police Officers
  • New Standardized physical abilities test from the École Nationale de police du Québec
  • Correctional Officer Physical Abilities Test (COPAT)
  • Peace Officers Physical Abilities Test (POPAT)
  • Fitness Testing for Ontario Correctional Officers (FTOCO)
  • Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police (PREP)
  • Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) from Redline Conditioning (BC) and Lethbridge College (AB)

#5. Second language evaluation: 

The CBSA induction process proceeds with second language evaluation. To fit in a bilingual position, you must know French and English. So to qualify, you must be able to write and read in your second official language, at least at the intermediate level.

#6. Psychological assessment 

The psychological assessment aims to evaluate your suitability to carry a duty firearm. Also, this assessment seeks to identify behavioral issues on the potential judgment that can affect your ability of sound judgment whenever you are in a stressful or confusing situation.

#7. Medical Exam

Without a doubt, to run this job role, you must pass a category III replacement evaluation that a specialist designated by Health Canada will carry out.

The medical exam includes the entire clinical history, hearing and vision testing, and answering confidential questionnaires. The doctor’s decision will determine if you’ll be able to perform physical duties or undergo use-of-force training. To pass this test, you must meet the hearing and vision standards which are

  • Vision: corrected vision 6/9 in the better eye and 6/15 in the other eye
  • Hearing: not more than a 25-decibel loss (in the better ear) at a range between 500 and 3,000 hertz

#8. Secret security clearance

This is an essential step to becoming a Canadian border Services agent. In the selection process, you will have to undergo a security clearance screening process that will begin with your mail. This process requires you to respond with documentation that lists your reference and fingerprint. Note that you have to obtain a security clearance for your employment at a Canadian border Services agency.

#Step 3: Self-paced, online training modules (unpaid)

This officer induction training program will take about five weeks to complete. In addition to satisfying the selection process, you will enroll in training courses to learn about

  • Policies, legislation, and procedures (applicable to goods and people to and fro Canada).
  • Communication and interview skills
  • The techniques of inspection
  • The use of physical training and Force techniques.

#Step 4: In-residence training at the CBSA College in Rigaud, Quebec (weekly allowance)

So, the next step on how to become a CBSA officer is to carry out In-residence training at the CBSA College in Rigaud, Quebec. This officer induction training program will take place for 13 weeks.

#Step 5: Paid on-the-job-training

Finally, the fifth stage on how to become a CBSA officer will take place for one and a half years. An officer induction development program will require you to be trained at one of the agency’s ports of entry.

Salary of a CBSA Officer

The salary of a CBSA officer changes based on the years of experience, level of training, and seniority. However, as a trainee, you will earn an annual salary that ranges from $64,234 to $71,525. So, after completing your development program at the port of entry, you will become an official border services officer.

So, your annual salary will increase after induction as an official border services officer from about $69,486 to $82,411.

The job outlook of a CBSA Officer

There are many job opportunities for border services officers or CBSA officers in every province in Canada. For example, in Quebec, the Job Outlook of the Canadian border Services agency is suspected to be good for the next three years. This is because the new positions open up general demand and retirement.

The responsibilities of the Canada border Services agency are complex using a workforce of over 14,000 employees. These employees offer services at 1,200 points using 6500 uniformed CBSA offices to provide Security Services at the 39 international checkpoints in Canada.

So, the Canadian government, through the CBSA, needs civilian and uniformed employees to fill positions majorly because the present workforce is getting their retirement.

Also ReadHow to Become a US Citizen in 7 Simple Steps

Frequently Asked Questions

Can CBSA check my phone?

Yes, including your laptops, tablets, and any other digital device you have with you.

Do CBSA officers use guns?

Basically, at all POEs, all border Services officers use duty firearms. But what services do officers who work in major airport terminals lock their firearms away?

Is CBSA a great place to work?

Yes, the Canadian border Services agency is a perfect career and a great place to work if you are interested in law enforcement and public policy


The cbsa officers are responsible for the safety of Canadians and Canada at every point of entry. It is a promising career that has job security and is highly rewarding.

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