One way to become an import-export agent is to work for an export management company (EMC) or export trading company (ETC) in an agent position. Another way is to become an independent agent.
Those who wish to work as an agent for an EMC or ECT company can prepare for this career by getting a bachelor's degree. Acceptable majors include business, international business, supply chain management and finance. Having an MBA with an emphasis on a business specialty is also a plus.
Agents at export management companies are involved in tasks such as product advertising and marketing, dealing with foreign distributors, product invoicing and shipping. Agents working for an export trading company are involved in market research for products and pitching products to domestic and foreign companies.
A person that wishes to work independently can establish a service business as an import-export agent. Getting started requires a computer, access to a fax machine or number and the desire to help companies find products to buy or sell. An agent working alone can decide to take an indirect approach in which the agent acts only as an intermediary between companies buying and selling foreign goods.
An independent agent may take a direct approach. In this case, the agent ships products to overseas destinations.