Importers and exporters sell and buy goods, such as raw materials, foodstuffs and manufactured goods, produced in Australia for export to overseas markets, or procure products made overseas for import to Australian markets.
You can work as an importer and exporter without formal qualifications, but employers usually require Year 10. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in international trade, business, international business or leadership and management. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become an importer and exporter by completing a degree in international trade or international business. You could also consider a course in a related field such as business, commerce or management. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.
Importers and exporters may perform the following tasks:
Importers and exporters are mainly self-employed in small businesses, although some may work for larger companies. Staff with specialist import/export knowledge and skills are also employed by banks and government departments. People with relevant formal qualifications may have greater opportunity for employment. New entrants usually commence in the distribution or sales area of the firm. Training varies according to the size of the firm and the products traded. Most people need five years of experience in less complex areas such as distribution or sales in order to develop basic knowledge and skills.
An import/export (administration) manager is usually based in the company's head office. Their main role is to supervise the receipt, recording and progress of import/export orders through the company in an efficient manner. This involves liaising with company departments, customers and external organisations.
An import/export (distribution) manager coordinates the movement of goods in and out of the country, ensures compliance with customs barrier control matters, and negotiates freight rates and delivery schedules.
An import/export (sales/marketing) manager travels overseas to obtain orders or source supplies from overseas customers, attends trade shows and exhibitions, and demonstrates products or acquires product knowledge.