Become a Deportation Officer: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Aug 13, 2018

Learn how to become a deportation officer. Research and learn about the education, training, and experience you will need to begin a career as a deportation officer.

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  • 0:04 Become a Deportation Officer
  • 0:44 Career Requirements
  • 1:23 Step 1: Assess Skills…
  • 1:42 Step 2: Complete Training
  • 2:14 Step 3: Government…
  • 2:36 Step 4: Opportunities…

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Become a Deportation Officer

Deportation officers assist in deportation hearings, and therefore must be well-spoken and consistent witnesses, familiar with immigration laws and regulations, and able to piece together information necessary for their cases. They promote national security and prevent terrorism by removing illegal aliens from the United States. Additionally, officers must be physically capable of apprehending illegal aliens. They may be required to complete physically strenuous tasks and react quickly to adverse situations. Deportation officers must be prepared to work with uncooperative individuals in both controlled and uncontrolled situations.

Career Requirements

Education Level High school diploma minimum; advanced degree helpful for advancement
Experience Legal experience and investigative skills are additionally beneficial
Key Skills Critical thinking skills, excellent verbal and written communication, analytical skills, social awareness, knowledge of current laws and regulations regarding immigration, physical fitness
Salary $52,738 (Median salary for immigration officers as of October 2016)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net Online,

Obtaining a job as a deportation officer will require a minimum of a high school diploma. Individuals interested in advancement in this career field will find it helpful to have an advanced degree. Legal experience and investigative skills are additionally beneficial. There are some key skills that this type of career may entail, including critical thinking, analytical skills, social awareness, knowledge of current laws and regulations regarding immigration, and physical fitness.

The website reports that the median annual salary for the related field of immigration officer is $52,738 as of October 2016.

Step 1: Assess Skills and Abilities

Before attempting to pursue a career as a deportation officer, a person must make sure he/she possesses all of the necessary mental and physical requirements to successfully perform the job. Such requirements include excellent verbal and written communication skills, adept critical thinking, and peak physical fitness.

Step 2: Complete Training

Deportation officers must complete Basic Immigration Law Enforcement Training in order to be employed. Attending the ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Basic Immigration Law Enforcement Training Program can fulfill these training requirements. ICE stands for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, through which deportation officers are employed. Aspiring deportation officers may also complete the Border Patrol Academy or a combination of programs at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) to obtain the necessary training.

Step 3: Government Requirements

Due to the sensitive nature of the job and physical demands, deportation officers must meet set requirements. Prior to being hired, they must pass a medical exam by a government physician. They must also obtain security clearance, possess a valid driver's license, and meet firearms requirements. Officers must meet age requirements and be willing and able to travel often.

Step 4: Opportunities to Advance

In order to advance as a deportation officer, a person can continue his/her education regarding the laws and regulations concerning immigration. With this information, he/she will be able to contribute more significantly to immigration hearings. Additionally, an officer who is capable of speaking more than one language may be able to advance more rapidly due to the necessity of officers who can communicate easily with people who do not speak English.

In summary, a deportation officer is employed by the federal government working at immigration hearings and working to identify and apprehend individuals that are in the U.S. illegally. These officers must meet government requirements and complete ICE training, along with having a minimum of a high school diploma, knowledge of immigration laws, and investigative skills.

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