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Import-export clerk Import-export agent, shipping agent, importer-exporter

Import-export clerks ship goods to and from the UK by road, rail, air and sea.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

Employers will usually expect you to have at least 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths. 

Some employers may ask for A levels, a foundation degree or a degree.

The ability to speak a second language may be useful.

You could get into this job through an international trade and logistics apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent organisational ability
  • IT skills
  • communication skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • managing freight bookings using a computer system
  • checking order, tax and customs documents are correct
  • working closely with national and international suppliers and agents
  • arranging freight deliveries and collections between ports, airports and warehouses
  • handling invoices and payments
  • keeping clients up to date with progress
  • dealing with any problems or delays

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £22,000

Experienced: £23,000 to £28,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000 or more (managers)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work 35 to 40 hours a week.

You’ll be based in an office and spend a lot of your time on a computer, talking with clients, depots and suppliers.

6. Career path and progression

With experience and by completing industry approved qualifications with professional bodies like the Institute of Export or The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, you could become an import-export manager, a specialist in international trade law, or overseas account manager.

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Last updated: 09 October 2018