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Job Description of an Import/Export Document Coordinator

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Goods traded across international lines are subject to multiple regulations. Import/export professionals are knowledgeable about these laws and work to ensure that global sales are carried out without a hitch. Import/export document coordinators manage all of the paperwork that is required to ensure that the shipment of purchased or traded goods occurs efficiently and, most importantly, legally.

Basic Tasks

Import/export document coordinators prepare and maintain the paperwork associated with the trading and shipment of goods. They create and obtain approval for orders, and also document cost data and invoices. As shipments come and go, they manage warehouse inventory levels to ensure that space is used effectively and efficiently. Import/export document coordinators liaise with both staff and customers to coordinate the delivery of goods, and also ensure that all government and organizational policies are followed. This is particularly important when shipping heavily regulated products, such as agricultural goods.

Necessary Education

In most instances, import/export document coordinators must have a high school diploma or its equivalent in order to find employment. The majority of the duties, however, can be learned on the job. Candidates looking to get a leg up in the job market would be well served by brushing up on their basic computer skills. In addition, elementary business coursework in areas such as accounting are also very relevant to the profession.

Annual Pay

Material recording clerks, such as import/export document coordinators, earned an average annual salary of $24,810 in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More specifically, the median wage paid to shipping clerks was $29,010. Most people employed in this field are employed on a full-time basis, and although they typically work standard business hours, a non-traditional work schedule -- such as night, weekends and holidays -- may be required under special circumstances.

Next Steps

Although the import/export document coordinator is usually an entry-level position, there is a definite career path for those with higher professional aspirations. The next step would be promotion to import/export coordinator, with the ultimate goal of becoming import/export manager. In addition to the experience gained in the most junior position, those with ambitions of building a career in the import/export industry must obtain a bachelor’s degree, as this is required prior to promotion by most employers. Relevant coursework includes international relations and global business management. In addition, fluency in a foreign language can go far in increasing a job seeker’s marketability.


KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC's largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.

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