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Customs Broker

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

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
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: Customs Brokers (1236.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Customs, Ship and Other Brokers (B116) 
  • 2011 NOC: Customs, ship and other brokers (1315) 
Interest Codes
The Customs Broker is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Customs Brokers

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

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 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 More

Updated Mar 08, 2016

Customs brokers use their knowledge of trade related laws and regulations to move shipments through Canada Customs as quickly and efficiently as possible. They also may act as freight forwarders, consultants or legal agents for organizations such as importers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

In general, customs brokers:

  • prepare and process import and export documents and other forms in accordance with customs regulations, laws and procedures
  • arrange to pay duties, taxes, storage and transportation charges, as well as bonds to cover dutiable goods
  • monitor and trace the location of goods
  • arrange storage or transportation of imported goods
  • provide advice about duty and tax rates on commodities, export and import restrictions, tariff classification systems, letters of credit, insurance requirements and other import and export related matters (for example, shipping requirements for domestic and foreign transportation services)
  • provide audit services to help importers comply with Canada Border Services Agency, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Industry Canada, Health Canada, Transport Canada as well as other government agencies requirements
  • troubleshoot problems when they arise
  • represent clients before administrative tribunals or in other dealings with government officials.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Customs brokers work in offices located in urban centres or at border crossing locations. They usually work a standard 40 hour week but may have to be on hand evenings or weekends to meet scheduled shipments. Those employed in frontier or border offices often work shifts to provide 24 hour service for clients.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Customs brokers need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to keep up with ever-changing computer systems, trade and customs procedures, laws and regulations
  • good oral and written communication skills 
  • the ability to work well both alone and with other people
  • the ability to evaluate shipments quickly and handle many details in a short time
  • the ability to work well under pressure when problems arise.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

There are no minimum education requirements in this occupation. However, customs brokers prefer to hire people who have post-secondary education related to economics, business or international trade, or a Certified Customs Specialist or Certified Trade Compliance Spcialist designation (see below).

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

For information about achieving a designation as a Certified Customs Specialist or Certified Trade Compliance Specialist, see the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers website.

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 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

Mount Royal University

Reeves College - Calgary City Centre

Reeves College - Calgary North

Reeves College - Edmonton

Robertson College - Calgary

Robertson College - Edmonton

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Customs brokers are employed by:

  • customs brokerage firms
  • freight forwarders
  • importers
  • exporters
  • manufacturers.

Advancement in this occupation usually takes the form of pay increases and increasingly complex responsibilities. Over time, customs brokers may advance into supervisory, management or consulting roles.

Customs brokers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1315: Customs, Ship and Other Brokers. In Alberta, most people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Salaries for customs brokers vary according to the complexity of their responsibilities and the amount of foreign trade they handle.

According to the 2009 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Customs, Ship and Other Brokers occupational group earned on average from $12.00 to $49.04 an hour. The overall average wage was $21.99 an hour. More recent data is not available.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Canadian Society of Customs Brokers website:

Careers in Transportation website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 20, 2014. 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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