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Job description, salary and benefits: Border services officers

From: Canada Border Services Agency

Everything you need to know about what border services officers (BSO) do, their working conditions, characteristics the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) demands of BSOs, and how they are compensated.

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A BSO is the perfect career for anyone who wants to serve their country and be challenged every day. No two days are alike and continuous learning is part of the job.


  • contribute to the fight against terrorism, crime, illegal immigration and the illegal wildlife trade
  • work with and support other government departments to protect the safety of Canada's resources
  • promote economic growth by enforcing over 90 acts and regulations in support of trade and commerce touching every sector of Canadian society
  • collect duties and taxes on imported commodities
  • protect Canadians, the environment and industry by preventing narcotics, weapons and firearms, obscene materials and other prohibited goods from entering Canada
  • assist to protect against human, animal and plant diseases

BSOs pride themselves on customer service, working to support a strong economy with sustainable and economic growth, and safeguarding the border to create safer communities. Endless opportunities are what set us apart.

Read about our accomplishments

Working conditions

BSOs work at 1,100 points of service across the country, including highway crossings, airports, marine terminals, rail ports and postal facilities. They may need to work in adverse weather conditions and at high volume points of service.

BSOs must also:

  • be willing to relocate anywhere in Canada including rural, remote and isolated areas
  • be willing to work overtime
  • be willing to work shifts on rotations, including weekends and statutory holidays
  • wear and maintain a uniform
  • have a valid unrestricted driver's license and be willing to operate a government vehicle
  • be willing to travel, domestically and internationally as required
  • carry, use and maintain CBSA-issued defensive equipment

What makes a good border services officer

BSOs are federal public servants who must always demonstrate:

  • respect
  • courtesy
  • fair application of the law

A BSO is part of a team that upholds the safety and security of Canada and Canadians.

Behaviours, abilities and skills a BSO needs to do their jobs include:

  • analytical thinking, judgement and decisiveness
  • client service orientation and effective communications skills
  • personal values, ethics and integrity
  • managing difficult and stressful situations
  • good writing skills

Are you ready for a career on the frontline? Watch these videos for more details about some of the career opportunities at the CBSA.


While attending the Canada Border Services College you will receive paid accommodations and meals, and an allowance of $125 per week to cover basic living expenses.

As a trainee your annual salary will be $69,423 to $77,302 (FB-02). Rates of pay are subject to change upon the signing of a new collective agreement.

Upon successful completion of the development program at an assigned port of entry, you will become a border services officer. Your annual salary will increase to $75,100 to $89,068 (FB-03). You might also be entitled to a bilingual bonus if you occupy a bilingual position.

Visit the Treasury Board rates of pay for more information.


Once your letter of offer is processed you will receive a benefits letter that explains the following benefits:

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