Importers and exporters


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Importers and exporters buy commodities from overseas for the home market and sell home-produced commodities to overseas markets.


Entry does not depend on academic qualifications although some employers require candidates to have a degree or equivalent qualification. Some posts require candidates to have knowledge of a foreign language. Professional qualifications are available. Entrance to professional examinations requires GCSEs/S grades and A levels/H grades or equivalent qualifications.

Typical tasks

  • investigates and evaluates home and overseas demand for particular commodities;
  • obtains orders from buyers and arranges payment by bill of exchange, letter of credit or other means;
  • arranges for shipment of commodities overseas and ensures that insurance and export licences are in order;
  • carries out customs clearance procedures for imports, arranges their storage and delivery and sells them personally or through a commodity broker;
  • advises home and overseas producers on the likely future demand for their goods.

Common job titles

Agent, import-export
Agent, ship's
Officer, export and import
Shipper (wholesale trade)
Supervisor, export-import
Consultant, export
Officer, export
Agent, export
Controller, export
Agent, shipping
Coordinator, export
Executive, import
Agent, import