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What is a Custom Broker?

Custom Broker Example Prepare customs documentation and ensure that shipments meet all applicable laws to facilitate the import and export of goods. Determine and track duties and taxes payable and process payments on behalf of client. Sign documents under a power of attorney. Represent clients in meetings with customs officials and apply for duty refunds and tariff reclassifications. Coordinate transportation and storage of imported goods.

What Do Customs Brokers Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Insure cargo against loss, damage, or pilferage.
  • Suggest best methods of packaging or labeling products.
  • Prepare and process import and export documentation according to customs regulations, laws, or procedures.
  • Obtain line releases for frequent shippers of low-risk commodities, high-volume entries, or multiple-container loads.
  • Pay, or arrange for payment of, taxes and duties on shipments.
  • Prepare papers for shippers to appeal duty charges.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Custom Broker?

When polled, Customs Brokers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Custom Broker

  • Export Agent
  • Import Manager
  • Customs Entry Writer
  • Customs Director
  • Customs Brokerage Manager

Custom Broker Employment Estimates

There were about 1,023,900 jobs for Custom Broker in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 90,400 new jobs for Custom Broker by 2026. There will be an estimated 104,200 positions for Custom Broker per year.


The states with the most job growth for Custom Broker are Utah, Nevada, and Arkansas. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maine, or Oklahoma. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Customs Brokers Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Customs Brokers ranges between about $38,420 and $123,000 a year.


Customs Brokers who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Customs Brokers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $85,140
Alaska $82,160
Arizona $67,670
Arkansas $59,530
California $83,470
Colorado $82,130
Connecticut $78,120
Delaware $81,880
District of Columbia $102,730
Florida $66,440
Georgia $75,070
Hawaii $73,310
Idaho $67,630
Illinois $71,780
Indiana $61,290
Iowa $65,020
Kansas $74,520
Kentucky $66,450
Louisiana $60,430
Maine $66,760
Maryland $91,400
Massachusetts $85,980
Michigan $70,410
Minnesota $71,220
Mississippi $65,650
Missouri $73,500
Montana $66,290
Nebraska $74,370
Nevada $71,580
New Hampshire $70,890
New Jersey $78,920
New Mexico $70,340
New York $83,330
North Carolina $74,040
North Dakota $73,010
Ohio $71,190
Oklahoma $72,940
Oregon $68,890
Pennsylvania $80,910
Rhode Island $80,380
South Carolina $69,340
South Dakota $70,830
Tennessee $62,330
Texas $80,140
Utah $72,100
Vermont $67,910
Virginia $88,180
Washington $77,850
West Virginia $70,180
Wisconsin $57,620
Wyoming $69,740

What Tools & Technology do Customs Brokers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Customs Brokers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • SAP
  • Materials requirement planning MRP software
  • Electronic data interchange EDI software

How do I Become a Custom Broker?

Education needed to be a Custom Broker:


What work experience do I need to become a Custom Broker?


Customs Brokers Sector


The table below shows the approximate number of Customs Brokers employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Custom Broker might also be interested in the following careers:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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