Customs Brokers

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$71,690 Median Wage (2022)
31,000 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
4.60% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Prepare customs documentation and ensure that shipments meet all applicable laws to facilitate the import and export of goods. Determine and track duties and taxes payable and process payments on behalf of client. Sign documents under a power of attorney. Represent clients in meetings with customs officials and apply for duty refunds and tariff reclassifications. Coordinate transportation and storage of imported goods.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)

Related Work Experience: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: N.A.

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance.
  • Advise others on logistics topics.
  • Pay charges, fees, or taxes.
  • Obtain documentation to authorize activities.
  • Negotiate contracts with clients or service providers.
  • Coordinate logistics or other business operations.
  • Advise others on business or operational matters.
  • Coordinate regulatory documentation activities.
  • Update knowledge of legal or regulatory environments.
  • Estimate costs of goods or services.
  • Prepare regulatory or compliance documentation.
  • Monitor inventories of products or materials.
  • Develop business relationships.
  • Advise others on financial matters.
  • Examine product information to ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Calculate data to inform organizational operations.
  • Submit financial applications.
  • Advise others on legal or regulatory compliance matters.
  • Oversee business processes.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Prepare and process import and export documentation according to customs regulations, laws, or procedures.
  • Clear goods through customs and to their destinations for clients.
  • Pay, or arrange for payment of, taxes and duties on shipments.
  • Calculate duty and tariff payments owed on shipments.
  • Request or compile necessary import documentation, such as customs invoices, certificates of origin, and cargo-control documents.
  • Classify goods according to tariff coding system.
  • Stay abreast of changes in import or export laws or regulations by reading current literature, attending meetings or conferences, or conferring with colleagues.
  • Sign documents on behalf of clients, using powers of attorney.
  • Advise customers on import and export restrictions, tariff systems, insurance requirements, quotas, or other customs-related matters.
  • Post bonds for the products being imported or assist clients in obtaining bonds.
  • Quote duty and tax rates on goods to be imported, based on federal tariffs and excise taxes.
  • Arrange for transportation, warehousing, or product distribution of imported or exported products.
  • Monitor or trace the location of goods.
  • Confer with officials in various agencies to facilitate clearance of goods through customs and quarantine.
  • Inform importers and exporters of steps to reduce duties and taxes.
  • Obtain line releases for frequent shippers of low-risk commodities, high-volume entries, or multiple-container loads.
  • Provide advice on transportation options, types of carriers, or shipping routes.
  • Contract with freight forwarders for destination services.
  • Apply for tariff concessions or for duty drawbacks and other refunds.
  • Insure cargo against loss, damage, or pilferage.
  • Prepare papers for shippers to appeal duty charges.
  • Suggest best methods of packaging or labeling products.
  • Maintain relationships with customs brokers in other ports to expedite clearing of cargo.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.