How to Become an International Trade Specialist

How to Become an International Trade Specialist

International trade specialists can grow their careers through the use of careful networking.

If you’re interested in a rewarding and unique career that takes you all over the world, you may be interested in a position as an international trade specialist. An international trade specialist, also known as an importer and exporter, is an expert in international trade solutions for manufacturing companies, government organizations and financial institutions.

What Is an International Trade Specialist?

An international trade specialist is an individual that analyzes trading situations on an international level and advises companies in regards to the best and most efficient ways of importing and exporting goods. An international trade specialist may work in physical goods for consumer sales or financial tools. Specialists need to be extremely well-trained and well-educated so they can identify economic factors that could potentially have an impact on trade.

An international trade specialist will usually have either a Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree in economics, business or other related fields. Specialists usually have at least three to five years of experience within the industry and they are sometimes certified. Programs that offer International Trade and Commerce Certification can make a specialist more competitive within their field.

What Does an International Trade Specialist Do?

An international trade specialist will work with their company to procure goods or sell goods in the most optimal way. International trade specialists need to be very accurate and detail-oriented, and will often need to update themselves on the economy of various markets very often. Trade specialists may need to work with specialized software to determine whether trades will be optimal and may need to evaluate market conditions very closely.

Trade specialists also need to do a significant amount of research in regards to foreign trade programs, taxation, import and export laws and more. Some international trade specialists may work on a consulting basis if they have expertise in a particular type of trade. Specialists need to be extremely good at communication and multitasking, and should also be able to work well with other people.

How Do You Become an International Trade Specialist?

Some international trade specialists enter into the trade through a related field. These fields include political science, public policy, business administration, economics or more. A Bachelor’s Degree is usually required, and a Master’s Degree can make an international trade specialist more desirable to companies. Most international trade specialists will have three to five years of experience within a related field, sometimes under the direction of a specialist.

After getting a degree, an international trade specialist may want to acquire certification. Certification can be costly, but it usually translates to higher levels of salary and an easier time finding employment. Specialists may also want to acquire U.S. security clearance, which is sometimes required to import or export certain items. U.S. security clearance can sometimes take months to acquire, so it should be done fairly early on.

How Do You Advance as an International Trade Specialist?

International trade specialists can grow their careers through the use of careful networking. An international trade specialist will be considered successful if they can consistently trade items in an effective and profitable manner, and if they remain knowledgeable about all trade programs, tariffs and laws. Often, this will require seminars and other forms of secondary education.

Those that become very successful within this field may be able to move into positions in higher grossing companies, and those that become extremely knowledgeable about the industry may be able to act as a self-employed contractor and work on a consulting basis on their own schedule. Those interested in advancing outside of the field may want to acquire positions in related fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this includes purchasing managers, purchasing buyers and purchasing agents.

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