Purchasing and Customs Agents, Officers, and Brokers

(NOC 1225, 1315)

in All NS Occupations

Purchasing agents buy general and specialized equipment, materials, land or access rights and business services for use or for further processing by their establishment. They are employed throughout the public and private sectors. Customs brokers clear goods through customs and to their destination on behalf of importer and exporter clients. Ship brokers buy and sell cargo space on ships and buy and sell ships, yachts and other watercraft on behalf of clients. This group also includes other brokers, not elsewhere classified, who negotiate commercial transactions, logistics or other services between parties on behalf of clients. They are employed by customs, ship or other brokerage establishments or may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All NS Occupations

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 33315 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Purchasing and Customs Agents, Officers, and Brokers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work).

The median employment income for 79% of Purchasing and Customs Agents, Officers, and Brokers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $52,367. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$16.00

Minimum

$25.96

Median

$36.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$24,255

Minimum

$50,506

Median

$80,357

Maximum

Compared to: All NS Occupations

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$19.89

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,872

Minimum

$29,983

Median

$83,126

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Purchasing agents buy general and specialized equipment, materials, land or access rights and business services for use or for further processing by their establishment. They are employed throughout the public and private sectors.

Customs brokers clear goods through customs and to their destination on behalf of importer and exporter clients. Ship brokers buy and sell cargo space on ships and buy and sell ships, yachts and other watercraft on behalf of clients. This group also includes other brokers, not elsewhere classified, who negotiate commercial transactions, logistics or other services between parties on behalf of clients. They are employed by customs, ship or other brokerage establishments or may be self-employed.

Job duties

Purchasing agents and officers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Purchase general and specialized equipment, materials, land or access rights, or business services for use or for further processing by their establishment.
  • Assess requirements of an establishment and develop specifications for equipment, materials and supplies to be purchased.
  • Invite tenders, consult with suppliers and review quotations.
  • Determine or negotiate contract terms and conditions, award supplier contracts or recommend contract awards.
  • Establish logistics of delivery schedules, monitor progress and contact clients and suppliers to resolve problems.
  • Negotiate land acquisition or access rights for public or private use, and may conduct field investigations of properties.
  • May hire, train or supervise purchasing clerks. // Purchasing agents and officers may specialize in the purchase of particular materials or business services such as furniture or office equipment.

Customs brokers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Prepare and process import/export documents and other forms on behalf of clients according to customs regulations, laws and procedures.
  • Sign import/export documents on behalf of client, using power of attorney.
  • Arrange for payment of duties, taxes, storage and transportation of imported goods and bonds to cover duty goods.
  • Quote duty and tax rates on commodities for clients.
  • Provide advice to clients on export and import restrictions, tariff systems, letters of credit, insurance requirements and other custom related matters.
  • May represent client before administrative tribunals or in other dealings with government officials.

Shipbrokers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Buy and sell cargo space on ships on behalf of individuals, companies and governments.
  • Consult trade publications and other sources to provide information to clients on available cargo space, destinations, rates and departure locations and times, and arrange ship charters for clients.
  • Negotiate rates and terms and prepare contracts and other papers.
  • Buy and sell ships, yachts and other watercraft on behalf of clients.
  • Inspect vessels, explain features and negotiate price when purchasing or selling for clients.
  • Arrange for insurance coverage for cargo or for ships.
  • Arrange for registration and licensing of ships.

Sample job titles

  • advertising buyer
  • cargo broker
  • contract negotiator
  • customs broker
  • land agent
  • procurement officer
  • purchaser
  • purchasing agent
  • ship agent
  • shipbroker

Skills

To work in this field, you need excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills. You must have good negotiation skills and be attentive to detail. The ability to analyze detailed information accurately and quickly is necessary in order to make decisions. You must have initiative and be willing to accept new ideas and take risks. You must be efficient and aware of customer needs. Familiarity with computers would be helpful.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is required and some post-secondary education in commerce or a related field may be required to work in these jobs.
  • A bachelor's degree or college diploma in business administration, commerce or economics is usually required for purchasing agents and officers.
  • A certificate in purchasing from the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) may be required for purchasing agents and officers.
  • Certification from the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) may be required.
  • Customs brokers require several years of on-the-job training and completion of a customs brokers training program through the International Federation of Customs Brokers Association. A customs broker licence, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency, is required for an individual or company to operate a customs brokerage business.
  • Correspondence courses from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers are available for shipbrokers.

Other considerations

Progression to managerial positions is possible with experience. There is no mobility between the different types of brokers in this group.

By the numbers

Quick look

860

employed in 2016

95.5%

employed full-time

4.7%

self employed

41.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
58.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
N/A

median age

Compared to: All NS Occupations

427,305

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

10.0%

self employed

49.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
50.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.9

median age

Where will I likely work?

58.8%

Halifax

13.4%

Annapolis Valley

12.8%

Northern

9.1%

Southern

5.9%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

30.2%

Public Administration

9.9%

Wholesale Trade

8.1%

Retail Trade

5.8%

Transportation and Warehousing

5.2%

Construction

What is the age of Employment?

34.3%

45-54

24.5%

35-44

22.5%

55-64

17.6%

25-34

2.0%

65+

2.0%

15-24

Compared to: All NS Occupations

36.5%

45-54

28.0%

55-64

18.6%

35-44

10.7%

65+

6.0%

25-34

Top levels of education

29.3%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
27.3%

High school

N/A
21.5%

Bachelor's degree

$53,363 median annual income
11.3%

Trades certificate

N/A
3.6%

University certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

34.4%

College certificate or diploma

$33,837 median annual income
23.7%

High school

$30,074 median annual income
22.9%

Bachelor's degree

$39,473 median annual income
5.8%

Trades certificate

$32,871 median annual income
4.7%

Less than high school

$23,775 median annual income

Education & training

Applied economics

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of economic principles and analytical techniques to the study of particular industries, activities, or the exploitation of particular resources. These programs include courses in economic theory; microeconomic analysis and modelling of specific industries and commodities; the economic consequences of resource allocation decisions; regulatory and consumer factors; and the technical aspects of specific subjects as they relate to economic analysis.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Business administration and management - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of a firm or organization. These programs include courses in management theory, human resources management and behaviour, accounting and other quantitative methods, purchasing and logistics, organization and production, marketing, and business decision-making.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Business College - Dartmouth

45 Ochterloney Street, Suite 100

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6

(902) 463-6700

Eastern College - Halifax

6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111

Halifax, NS B3L 0B7

(902) 423-3933

Success College

800 Sackville Drive

Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8

(902) 865-8283

Academy of Learning - Halifax

6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 455-3395

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Unit 37, 115 Chain Lake Drive

Halifax, NS B3S 1B3

(877) 491-6774

Business administration, management and operations - Other

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Business Administration, Management and Operations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Business/commerce - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general study of business, including the processes of interchanging goods and services (buying, selling and producing), business organization, and accounting as used in profit-making and non-profit public and private institutions and agencies. The program prepares individuals to apply business principles and techniques in various occupational settings.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Economics - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the systematic study of the production, conservation and allocation of resources in conditions of scarcity, together with the organizational frameworks related to these processes. These programs include courses in economic theory, microeconomics and macroeconomics, comparative economic systems, money and banking systems, international economics, quantitative analytical methods, and applications to specific industries and public policy issues.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Customs Broker

Not Provincially Regulated: This job may be regulated by a federal regulatory body.

Regulating body:
Canada Border Services Agency
1969 Upper Water Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3R7
(800) 461-9999

Contacts

Supply Chain Management Association of Nova Scotia
PO Box 21, Halifax CRO
Halifax, NS B3J 2L4
Tel: (902) 425-4029
Fax: (902) 431-7220
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
320, 55 Murray Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3
Tel: (613) 562-3543
Fax: (613) 562-3548

Job postings

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Supply Chain/Purchasing Supervisor (NOC 1225)

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restaurant products purchaser

Purchasing Specialist

Purchasing Specialist

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