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Import or Export Agent

An import or export agent acts as a middle person for the purchase or sale of products between both domestic and overseas companies. Responsibilities for this career vary depending on the field and type of company for which the agent works. Duties may also be different depending on where the agent is in the supply chain.

What Does an Import or Export Agent Do?

As mentioned, the specific duties for an import or export agent depends on their field and company. For example, at an export management company, agents work with foreign distributors, overseas marketing and advertising, and organizing budgets and invoices. On the other hand, at an export trading company, they are busy researching the market for specific projects, as well as delivering sales pitches regarding trade to foreign and domestic companies.

Import or export agents may also choose to be hired by a company, open their own company, or work individually. While working individually will cut out the middleman, there is greater risk and much more responsibility involved.

Import or export agents also need to understand global economic trends and be able to recognize how certain announcements and news stories will affect certain trade opportunities. Along with recognizing trends, agents also need to understand the legal formalities, documentation, federal regulations, and local regulations associated with different companies and how they may influence current and future prospects. When delays, damages, and other issues arise, they must also know how to quickly and effectively find solutions and report to the proper individuals to have these problems resolved in a timely manner.

How Much Do Import or Export Agents Earn?

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide information for this specific career, the similar position of purchasing agent has an annual median salary of $67,600. As with all careers, salary depends on the field in which an individual is working, as well as job responsibilities. Some companies may also have agents receive a portion of commission or retainers depending on their trade arrangements.

How Do I Become an Import or Export Agent?

A bachelor’s degree is typically the standard for this career. For those interested in management positions, a master’s degree may be the right choice. Specializations may be centered around particular products or areas of the world. While in school, individuals should pay close attention to learning subjects such as trade policy, currency transactions, import-export law, and policies associated with trade deals.

Agents need to be highly organized to maintain correct information about products, different markets, various companies, and trading. They should also be very research-savvy and be able to interact with both local and international markets and people in those markets. The most important part of this job is to keep up with trade and the products and materials associated with a particular business. Staying informed and being proactive are valuable assets.

With the right background, you can excel in a career as an import or export agent. Concordia University, St. Paul offers an online business degree and a Master of Business Administration. Taught by business professionals, you will learn core business principles and gain practical knowledge. Both programs are offered in a flexible online format that allows you to complete your coursework at a time and place that works best for you.Place the entire article in this