International Commerce Careers: Job Descriptions & Education Requirements

Sep 26, 2019

International commerce careers range from commerce managers to logistics specialists, and each career has a distinct job description and educational path. Read on to learn about the various careers.

A number of careers deal with international commerce, from management positions to financial analysts to lawyers. Most of these careers require a bachelor's degree, but many higher-paying careers require further education or certification.

Essential Information

International commerce includes careers in management, trade, finance, law and logistics. Prospective candidates should have experience with import and export compliance, auditing, financing, taxation, and legal recourse. Due to the wide range of career options and educational requirements, candidates should decide upon a specialization and plan their careers accordingly. Below are five job descriptions and respective education requirements for each field.

Career Title Marketing Manager Logistician Financial Analyst
Required Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Median Salary (2018)* $134,290 $74,600 $70,280
Job Outlook (2018-2028)* 8% 5% 6%

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

International commerce professionals have several career paths from which to choose. For those interested in accounting and finance, a job as an international commerce finance specialist may be appealing. Professionals with an interest in law can find work as an international commerce compliance attorney, while those with interpersonal communication skills may wish to become an international commerce manager.

International Commerce Manager

International commerce managers - also known as global managers - create company objectives and implement strategies in order to maximize profits and gain global market share. Commerce managers follow market trends and determine the allocation of resources towards products, services and markets. Additionally, managers monitor regulatory changes, update policies accordingly and may be responsible for securing the appropriate government approvals and licenses. Employers require at least a bachelor's degree in business or a related field in addition to five or more years of managerial experience. Some employers may prefer candidates who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or are a licensed customs broker.

International Commerce Specialist

International commerce specialists - more commonly known as international trade specialists - research, evaluate and provide insights on international business opportunities. Specialists must be well versed in import and export compliance and customs. Duties include recording transactions, performing audits, monitoring changes in regulatory laws and screening products and services to ensure compliance with trade laws. Candidates should have a bachelor's degree in business, management or accounting along with five or more years of experience in global trade compliance. Familiarity with industry specific applications such as SAP, a business management software, and prior management experience may be preferred by some employers.

International Commerce Finance Specialist

In this career path, international commerce finance specialists develop auditing, accounting and financial systems. These finance professionals create models to evaluate business opportunities and assist in creating global operating plans. In addition, specialists develop, implement and oversee budgets as well as review business proposals, including mergers and acquisitions. For this position, most employers require an MBA in Finance or a master's degree in accounting. Five or more years of experience in financial and investment analysis may also be required. The median salary of financial specialists was $70,280 as of 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

International Commerce Compliance Attorney

International commerce compliance attorneys follow global trade legislation and help assess regulatory risk. Attorneys work closely with compliance departments and provide legal support and expertise on international audits and regulations. Employers require candidates to have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and more than ten years of legal experience, with at least four in global trade. According to the BLS, lawyers of all types earned a median salary of $120,910 per year as of 2018.

International Commerce Logistics Specialist

Another career option is the international commerce logistics specialist position, which specializes in transportation and freight across global markets. Specialists work within the supply chain to ship products and services while maintaining compliance with customs regulations. Specialists are knowledgeable of shipping routes, free trade zones and international taxation and in some cases may negotiate freight payments. To pursue this career, many employers require a bachelor's degree in business, supply chain management, transportation or logistics. Five or more years of import and export, logistics, freighting and shipping experience is preferred. Logisticians earned a median salary of $74,600 per year as of May 2018, reports the BLS.

While the BLS predicts varying levels of job growth for all of these occupations, many of them will face strong competition due to the desirability of the positions. Additional education or certification and a willingness to relocate can increase applicants' chances at securing a job in international commerce.

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