Import Sales Coordinator: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Import sales coordinators require some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and additional requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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An import sales coordinator is responsible for mediating foreign business transactions and handling the acquisition of foreign products so they can eventually be resold in in U.S. The industries commonly employing import sales coordinators include international trading companies, government, and import/export merchants.

Essential Information

As liaisons between foreign businesses and domestic distributors and retailers, import sales coordinators identify foreign goods for domestic resale. They also oversee shipping logistics and ensure clearance with customs. Import sales coordinators commonly complete at least a business-related bachelor's degree program and are proficient with a foreign language.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in a field such as international business or international studies; graduate degree may be helpful for advancement
Other Requirements Ability to speak at least one foreign language; willingness to travel
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 5% (sales managers)
Median Salary (2018)** $44,000 (all sales coordinators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale

Job Description for Import Sales Coordinators

Import sales coordinators act as intermediaries for international business transactions, managing the acquisition of foreign products and distribution within the United States for eventual resale. They may work for the government, international trading companies, and import/export merchants, reselling imported goods to distributors or even distributing directly to retailers. Although any goods or services can be imported, import sales coordinators typically deal with specialty items from foreign territories, goods that are cheaper to produce elsewhere or products that are simply unavailable in the U.S.

Duties of an Import Sales Coordinator

Import sales coordinators research both potential products for import and prospective domestic markets for resale, by visiting trade shows, traveling abroad to negotiate with vendors, and meeting with domestic distributors or retailers. They negotiate sales terms with manufacturing representatives and oversee shipping logistics. Import sales coordinators should be knowledgeable of international commerce laws and regulations, and must acquire all necessary licenses or permits. They may employ a customs broker to ensure goods are properly documented before entering the U.S.

Requirements to Become an Import Sales Coordinator

Import sales coordinators should have business acumen and knowledge of foreign customs. A willingness to travel and communicate in more than one language is typically necessary. Importing also requires working knowledge of trade regulations, taxes, tariffs, licenses, and documentation for the U.S. and the country of export.

Entry-level positions can be acquired after completing an international business or international studies bachelor's degree program; however, career opportunities can be enhanced by completing a graduate degree program. In addition to international business, relevant fields of study include business administration, international law, finance, and economics. Coursework in international business and trade principles, global economics, statistics, logistics, and a foreign language can provide appropriate training.

Salary Info

PayScale notes that all types of sales coordinators earned a median salary of $44,000 as of August 2019. Most of these professionals earned between $32,000 and $59,000 per year.

Bachelor's degree programs that can be helpful for securing employment as an import sales coordinator include subjects like international studies and international business. A master's degree can be quite beneficial when seeking career advancement. It is often necessary for import sales coordinators to be fluent in more than one language.

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