Every year, countless goods are imported and exported between the United States and other countries. Every time a product crosses an international border, a variety of laws and fees apply. Import-export agents, also known as customs brokers, are responsible for assisting companies with international trade. These professionals must understand taxes, tariffs and legal requirements for the shipment of goods.
The job of an import-export customs broker is to facilitate the movement of goods between different countries. Workers in this profession prepare paperwork for government customs officials, and assist importers with the payment of tariffs. Import-export professionals are knowledgeable in border trade law, and work with companies to ensure that all international laws are followed when items are moved.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median income for import-export customs brokers is £18.9 per hour as of 2009. In annual terms, the median salary is £39,396 per year. Not all workers in the profession earn this amount, however. The exact amount of pay for a customs broker is influenced by factors such as education and experience.
Several factors affect the actual salary of import-export professionals. The Department of Labor CareerOnestop website classifies customs brokers and import brokers as "business operations specialists" and tracks income variations based on geographic location. In the state of Florida, workers in this career earn a median salary of £36,725 per year. This median salary is £40,755 in California, and £35,360 in Illinois.
The Department of Labor reports that salaries and job opportunities for import-export customs brokers are expected to increase in the near future. Specifically, this career is expected to grow by 7 to 13 per cent between 2008 and 2018. A total of 368,300 additional job openings are predicted to be available during this time period.