What You Might Not Know About Working In The Border Force

What You Might Not Know About Working In The Border Force
Image: ABF

Deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life is a pretty big challenge when you’re young and still figuring out what’s on offer.

This article is sponsored by the Australian Border Force.

While you’re probably well aware of what it entails to follow in your parents’ footsteps or pursue a career that you’ve had solid interaction with (like a teacher or doctor), there are plenty of careers out there you probably didn’t even know existed until later in life.

Take the Australian Border Force (ABF) as an example. Chances are your understanding of what it entails to work as an ABF officer is limited to your experiences going through the security scanner at the airport, but there’s actually more on the table. Here’s what you should know.

#1 It’s more than just airport security

The ABF operates in many locations across Australia, from Northern Command (spanning from Broome in Western Australia through the Kimberley, across the entire Northern Territory, the Gulf country, Torres Strait and Cape York) to working on the ocean as part of the Marine Unit.

ABF officers also patrol the air, seaports, remote locations, mail and cargo centres across the country in order to ensure Australia is protected.

As such, no two days are really the same. If you decide to join, you’ll be able to learn about all of these different areas before being deployed to a location in the state you completed your training — and with some additional training and experience, you may even get the chance to work overseas.

#2 You’ll be trained across all the positions

If you’re still not exactly sure what you want to do, the ABF can provide you with a bunch of options over the course of the 12-month training program.

From mail and cargo through to working as part of the airport team, you’ll be trained across all the areas they currently function in. This is so you’ll be able to be deployed across a range of operational areas according to the ABF’s needs.

According to Officer Ben, “Throughout my ABF career, I’ve had a number of opportunities to gain additional qualifications and skills, and further my knowledge working in different roles.”

#3 You could work with dogs

Working with dogs is a definite perk of any industry, but it’s rare to actually see it happen in practice unless your office has a particularly open pet policy. In the ABF, however, you could very well be stationed in the Detector Dog Program, which means your closest team mate will be of the canine persuasion.

Detector dog teams are trained to search in a range of challenging border environments and are routinely tasked to search luggage, parcels, mail, air and sea cargo, cargo containers, vessels, vehicles, aircraft, structures and people.

Training as a Detector Dog Handler is very technical and challenging, particularly given that novice handlers are trained alongside novice dogs. In total, each detector dog team undergoes eight months training before they graduate.

If that doesn’t float your boat though, don’t stress. Working as a Dog Handler is only one of the diverse opportunities that the DDP offers. Other roles involve breeding and puppy development, juvenile dog development, training and welfare.

Ultimately, working in the ABF can be dynamic and challenging, and there are plenty of opportunities available if you’re keen to give it a shot. The training program runs across 12 months and will give you the skills and knowledge to advance your career within the Australian Border Force.

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