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Customs Broker

Customs brokers are international trade specialists who handle the import and export of goods for clients. They also may be involved in logistics or supply chain management.

Also Known As


NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 1236.1: Customs Brokers

2006 NOC-S

  • B116: Customs, Ship and Other Brokers

2011 NOC

  • 1315: Customs, ship and other brokers

2016 NOC

  • 1315: Customs, ship and other brokers

2021 NOC

  • 13200: Customs, ship and other brokers

2023 OaSIS

  • 13200.01: Custom brokers
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Customs brokers act on behalf of importers to move goods through customs. They understand and advise clients about laws related to trade.

Some customs brokers are also freight forwarders or consultants. In general, customs brokers:

  • Know and follow all related regulations, laws, and procedures
  • Prepare and process import and export documents
  • Arrange to pay duties, taxes, and other import-related charges
  • Keep track of and trace the location of goods
  • Arrange storage or transport of imported goods
  • Provide advice on duty and tax rates on goods, import and export restrictions, and tariff classifications
  • Help clients when they are audited by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or other government departments
Working Conditions
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Customs brokers work in urban offices or at border crossings. They usually work a 40-hour week. Offices are open 24 hours every day.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Customs Brokers

2006 NOC: 1236.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in co-ordinating information to arrange for payment of duties, taxes, storage and transportation of imported goods, and of bonds to cover duty goods


Interest in speaking with people to quote duty and tax rates on commodities


Interest in signing import/export documents on behalf of clients, using power of attorney

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Customs brokers need:

  • The ability to keep up with changing laws, procedures, and technology
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • The ability to work well on their own and with others
  • The ability to work well under pressure

They should enjoy talking to people, making decisions, and having clear rules and organized methods for their work.

Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Minimum Education High school diploma

There are no minimum educational requirements in this occupation. However, employers prefer to hire people who have:

  • Post-secondary education in economics, business, or international trade
  • A Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) designation
  • A Certified Trade Compliance Specialist (CTCS) designation

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton South
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Red Deer
MCG Career College - Calgary
MCG Career College - Cold Lake
MCG Career College - Red Deer
Professional Institute of Management & Technology
Reeves College - Calgary City Centre
Reeves College - Calgary North
Reeves College - Edmonton
Reeves College - Edmonton North
Reeves College - Lloydminster
Robertson College - Calgary

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no legislation regulating this occupation. For information about the voluntary Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) or Certified Trade Compliance Specialist (CTCS) designations, see the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB) website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Customs brokers work for:

  • Customs brokerage firms
  • Freight forwarders
  • Importers
  • Exporters
  • Manufacturers

Newly hired employees in customs brokerage firms may start out as data entry clerks. When they have learned enough about the business they may advance to other positions.

Advancement in this occupation usually takes the form of pay increases and more complex responsibilities. Over time, customs brokers may become supervisors or managers. They also may become consultants.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 1315: Customs, ship and other brokers occupational group, 76.1% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 1315: Customs, ship and other brokers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 4.3% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 28 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Salaries for customs brokers vary according to the complexity of their responsibilities.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Canadian Society of Customs Brokers website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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