Moving goods and services across international borders generates billions of dollars and offers a wide range of interesting job opportunities.
Hoping to work in the import/export industry? Your first step is to get some quality training.
But before you jump into a program, you need to be clear about a few basic points.
For starters, you should know what the training covers, what's required to enrol, and whether the program prepares you for international trade certification.
You should also know what jobs the training can lead to and how much those jobs pay.
By the end of this post, you'll understand all of that and more.
Have a look at 7 key things you need to know before starting import/export training.
1. HOW LONG DOES IMPORT/EXPORT TRAINING TAKE?
A university degree in international commerce takes 4 years. But you can get comprehensive import/export training in half that time if you take a diploma.
Several colleges across Canada offer this program. You can complete an import/export diploma program in 2 years or less.
For instance, Herzing College's import/export course takes just 14 months of full-time study.
Earning a bachelor degree certainly has advantages. But if you're looking for a quicker, less expensive study option, consider a diploma.
2. WHAT WILL IMPORT/EXPORT TRAINING TEACH YOU?
Import/export professionals need to have a good grasp of trade laws and regulations as well as business strategy and marketing techniques.
So what can you expect to learn in an international trade course? What are the main skills covered in class?
Quality import/export training will teach you how to:
☑️ Follow international trade regulations
☑️ Complete the documentation needed to ship goods across borders
☑️ Coordinate the efficient transportation of goods (transportation logistics)
☑️ Research international markets to identify opportunities and risks
☑️ Create a plan for an international business
☑️ Promote your products or services in overseas markets
☑️ Process international payments
☑️ Negotiate with suppliers, producers, and distributors
These are the skills that will help you succeed in the import/export field. A quality import/export diploma covers all these competencies.
3. WHAT JOBS CAN YOU GET WITH IMPORT/EXPORT TRAINING?
Many new graduates land entry-level roles as import/export clerks.
This position focuses on organizing and coordinating shipments and making sure all customs requirements are met. You could work for shipping companies, manufacturing firms, or international retailers.
You could also start your own import/export company. Herzing instructor Karla Perez says a lot of students use the training as a springboard to self-employment.
"Many of our students are interested in starting their own international trade business.
In most cases, students already know which products or services they would like to trade internationally. Our import/export training gives them a good foundation to launch the business."
4. HOW MUCH DO IMPORT/EXPORT PROFESSIONALS MAKE?
Once you finish import/export training and begin your first job, how much money can you expect to make?
According to PayScale, the median salary for import/export clerks in Canada is about $40,000.
More experienced import/export clerks are making around $49,000.
We found many job postings for import/export coordinators across Canada that offered salaries between $40,000 and $55,000.
5. HOW strong is QUEBEC'S IMPORT/EXPORT INDUSTRY?
Every year, Quebec companies do billions of dollars worth of trade with countries all over the world.
According to OEC data, Quebec exported $84 billion worth of goods in 2020 alone. Its imports totaled more than $76 billion.
Even while the pandemic wreaked havoc on international trade, exports from the province actually grew by 1.6%.
Karla says the future of the industry is bright.
"Quebec is an excellent place to start an import/export career. The province is so multicultural, with people and products from all over the world.
The diversity makes it easier to introduce products from overseas. Also, there is good demand for entry-level jobs like import/export clerk."
6. WHAT CERTIFICATION CAN help YOUR IMPORT/EXPORT CAREER?
The Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) is a globally recognized organization that certifies import/export professionals.
It offers the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) designation.
The CITP credential is highly respected all around the world. It can help you stand out from the competition when applying for import/export jobs.
Tip: Look for import/export training that's built around FITT principles. That way, you'll be prepared to challenge the FITT exams and work toward CITP certification.
7. WHAT'S REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION TO IMPORT/EXPORT TRAINING?
For diploma-level import/export training, you generally need to be a high school graduate and pass an entrance test.
You must also be proficient in English. That may require taking a test like the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
For example, Herzing College applicants must have an overall IELTS score of 6.0 (out of a possible 9).
Your score in each of the 4 bands—reading, writing, listening, and speaking—must be at least 5.5.
Tip: Colleges have different admissions requirements for this program. Check with each school to confirm you have the right documentation.
EXPLORE IMPORT/EXPORT TRAINING AT HERZING
Herzing College Montreal offers an accelerated import/export training program. It takes just 14 months, including an 8-week internship at a local company.
Graduates are eligible to take the FITT exams and pursue CITP certification.
Want to learn more? We recommend talking to an Admissions Advisor.
An Advisor can answer your questions about class schedules, tuition, financial aid, international applications, and more.
Click below to explore the import/export program and chat live with an Advisor. We're here to help!