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Export Documentation Specialist: Job Description and Requirements

Export documentation specialists ensure that businesses file accurate documentation for all exports. Most employers prefer that specialists hold a bachelor's degree, but some will hire export documentation specialists who don't have a degree if they have at least 1-5 years of field experience.

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Job Description for Export Documentation Specialists

Export documentation specialists must be familiar with various federal and international rules and regulations pertaining to exports and documentation, such as those set by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Recognizing international business customs and trade credit practices can be beneficial to people in this position. It also helps to know one or more foreign languages.

Transportation intermediary companies - for example, commercial banks and freight forwarders - often employ export documentation specialists. These workers process commercial invoices, perform billing operations and provide rate quotes. Export documentation specialists also confirm accurate pricing on documents and maintain precise records of a company's exports. They execute logistics duties and act as liaisons between clients.

Export Documentation Specialist Education Requirements

Employers typically require that candidates for export documentation specialist positions hold a bachelor's degree, with a major in international studies, international business or a related topic. An international business program generally includes courses in micro- and macroeconomics, international law, strategic management and business ethics. Students might study abroad to gain experience with different cultures, which lends experience when working with international clients.

If job candidates prove knowledgeable in government regulations and have previous airfreight experience, they might be hired without a bachelor's degree. Employers often choose candidates with 1-5 years of previous experience in the field. At the very least, applicants need to have a high school diploma.

Additional Requirements

According to a sampling of November 2010 job postings for export documentation specialists on Monster.com, other requirements for export documentation specialists included strong organizational and communication skills, as well as an eye for detail. Applicants also were expected to be able to multitask and work in a fast-paced environment. Most employers also sought job candidates who were proficient in Microsoft Office Suite.

Salary and Job Outlook

Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks, including export-documents clerks, made a median annual salary of $35,170 as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects 11% job growth for this occupational group from 2012 to 2022.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics