Independent customs brokers earn more in some Eastern states.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a federal agency, and customs service agencies depend on independent customs brokers to meet the demand for the high volumes of imports and exports entering and exiting the United States. Independent customs brokers assist companies that import and export products, ensuring they meet all federal regulations when moving products across international borders. They also fill out forms for all transactions and enter the data into computer databases. Salaries for independent customs brokers vary, depending on the district or states in which they work.
Salary at $55,000
The average annual salary of an independent customs broker was $55,000 as of 2014, according to the job site Indeed. To qualify for this job, applicants must be at least 21 years old and have good moral character, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They must score 75 percent or higher on the licensing exam through the USCBP. After getting hired, most customs brokers are trained on the job by experienced customs brokers. Independent customs brokers, who may work for independent agencies, usually need experience, since they are self-employed, although the USCBP doesn’t specify the amount of experience required. Other important qualifications are physical stamina, a thorough knowledge of federal customs regulations and interpersonal and customer-service skills.
Top Pay in State of New York
In 2014, average salaries for independent customs brokers varied the most in the West region, according to Indeed, where they earned the highest salaries of $60,000 in California and the lowest salaries of $36,000 in Hawaii. Those in the Northeast made $48,000 to $68,000 per year in Maine and New York, respectively. Independent customers brokers earned $41,000 in Nebraska and South Dakota and $61,000 in Illinois — the lowest and highest salaries in the Midwest. In the South, they made the least in Louisiana and the most in Washington, D.C., at $48,000 and $67,000, respectively.
Earn $9,000 More Than Customs Brokers
While independent customs brokers made $55,000 in 2014, customs brokers earned average annual salaries of $46,000 the same year, according to Indeed. Independent customs brokers are more experienced than customs brokers, which is why they earn higher salaries. Companies that offer customs services, such as DHL and CEVA Logistics, may hire independent customs brokers on contractual bases and expect them to have experience. Many customs brokers work for U.S. Custom and Border Protection. A first-line supervisor of helpers, laborers and material movers, who facilitate the shipment of products, is the career most closely associated with independent customs brokers. The BLS reported that these first-line supervisors earned $47,180 annually as of May 2012.
Average Job Growth
The BLS doesn’t forecast jobs for independent customs brokers. It estimates a 9 percent increase in employment for first-line supervisors of helpers, laborers and material movers from 2012 to 2022, which is statistically average, compared to the 11 percent national rate for all occupations. Jobs for independent customs brokers are more plentiful during strong economies, when companies import and export more products.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Qualifications for Becoming a Customs Broker
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail: First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers, and Material Movers, Hand
- Indeed: Independent Customs Broker Salary
- Indeed: Customs Broker Salary
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers, and Material Movers, Hand
- U.S. Customers and Border Protection: Becoming a Customs Broker
- Indeed: Independent Customs Broker Salary in Maine, and New York
- Indeed: Independent Customs Broker Salary in Hawaii, and California
- Indeed: Independent Customs Broker Salary in Louisiana, and Washington, DC
- Indeed: Independent Customs Broker Salary in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Illinois
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Hand Laborers and Material Movers Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Hand Laborer or Material Mover
- CEVA: Customers Brokerage
- DHL: Customs Services
- Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images