Export Coordinator: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become an export coordinator. Learn about the education requirements, job responsibilities and average wages to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Export Coordinator?

Export coordinators perform many tasks to prepare cargo to ship abroad, from filling out paperwork to planning the shipment route. Their duties might include keeping shipping records up-to-date and accurate, routing shipments according to company policies, and monitoring shipments throughout the entire journey. They must also communicate information about rates, shipping options, and timelines to clients and keep them apprised of the progress of their shipments. This requires communicating with carriers and destinations regarding the status of shipments. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Education Required High-school diploma or GED required; bachelor's degree sometimes preferred
Key Responsibilities Prepare export documentation and cargo, negotiate shipping rates and schedules, communicate with customers, update records, maintain invoicing
Certification Optional certification available
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7% (for all cargo and freight agents)*
Average Salary (2015) $44,470 (for all cargo and freight agents)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Job Responsibilities Would I Have as an Export Coordinator?

As an export coordinator, you will be responsible for outgoing shipments leaving the United States. Job responsibilities could include preparing export documentation, including letters of credit, master bills of lading and other export compliance documents. You may also prepare cargo, negotiate rates and schedules with shippers and establish route maps. You will communicate with customers about documentation needed and work with them to resolve issues. Invoicing and record keeping will also be among your duties.

How Much Education Do I Need?

Most entry-level jobs require a high-school diploma or GED. Much of your training will be on-the-job. Some companies do prefer that you have a bachelor's degree or certification.

The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) offers an educational program leading to the credential of Certified Export Specialist for professionals with one or more years of experience in the export business in the U.S. The program covers topics such as export administration regulations, quotations, security, payment terms, documentation and other issues encountered in the export business.

What Other Skills and Characteristics Will Be Helpful?

Attention to detail, organization and accuracy are important to having success in this job. Good customer service and negotiation skills will be helpful. As operations and records are increasingly computerized, you will also need strong computer and data entry skills.

How Much Could I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2015, the mean annual wage for cargo and freight agents in the freight transportation arrangement industry was $45,630, while cargo and freight agents in general earned an average of $44,470 (www.bls.gov). PayScale.com listed the median salary for ocean export coordinators as $41,263 in January 2017.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a few alternative careers related to being an export coordinator that you might want to research. For example, information clerks perform clerical tasks, such as maintaining records and dealing with customers, within a wide range of industries. They usually need only a high school diploma to start working. Secretaries and administrative assistants also usually are only required to have a high school diploma. They work in many contexts to provide administrative support to other workers, such as answering phones, scheduling, and filing records. Logisticians usually need to have a bachelor's degree to gain entry-level employment. They manage and organize the lifecycle of products, from purchase to transportation and warehousing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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