Becoming an Expeditor: Job Description & Salary Information

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What are the pros and cons of an expeditor's career? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary information to see if becoming an expeditor is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career as an Expeditor

As an expeditor, you would work with businesses to better manage the stream of information, materials and work. The following are some pros and cons of the profession to help you decide if it is right for you.

Pros of Being an Expeditor
A high school diploma is enough to qualify for employment*
Can receive on-the-job training*
Easy to advance to higher position (usually certification is enough)*
Regular hours*

Cons of Being an Expeditor
Low wages ($30,628-$62,618 in 2015)**
Slow job growth through the year 2022 (estimated 4%)*
Some job positions require extensive experience (at least five years for some)***
May have to work weekends and holidays (depending on shipments and arrivals)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com, ***Careerbuilder.com.

Essential Career Information

Job Description and Duties

As an expeditor, your tasks would include making schedules, tracking materials, writing purchase orders and estimating costs. You would also create progress reports and note production complications in addition to making sure the business received a quality product. You may have to look over documents and products to make sure they are accurate, revise staffing tables in order to ensure materials requirements and work with personnel to review necessary alterations.

You would also take responsibility for any delays or changes to orders, providing proper documentation and information. Your job may require you to make sure shipments have been received and delivered in addition to gathering forecast data from personnel. You would spend a majority of their time either in a warehouse or office.

Job Prospects and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of employment for expediting clerks was expected to experience a 4% job growth from 2012 to 2022, which is slower when compared to the average of other occupations. The BLS reported as of 2014 that production, planning and expediting clerks in the 10th-90th percentile range earned a yearly salary of $26,830-$72,050. According to PayScale.com expediting clerks made a median salary of $42,578. The 10th to 90th percentile was reported as $30,628-$62,618 as of July 2015.

What Are the Requirements?

While a high school diploma may qualify you to work as an expeditor, it may be a good idea to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in business administration. Bachelor of Business Administration programs may teach you valuable skills in business computer applications, strategic decision analysis, statistics or economic analysis. Courses in associate's degree programs may focus on spreadsheets, global issues, business law or financial accounting.

Nevertheless, expeditors usually receive on-the-job training, with the amount of training determined by the level of technology you'd be working with at the company or organization. Having good organizational, problem-solving and interpersonal skills can be crucial to performing well as an expeditor.

What Employers Are Looking For

Employers may prefer applicants who have adequate experience, a college degree, organizational skills and are able to read mechanical drawings. Following are job postings that were available in May 2012:

  • A staffing company in Charlotte, NC, advertised for a technical expeditor to shape manufacturing schedules, talk with vendors, learn and apply the company system and file purchasing orders. Requirements included a college degree in business or engineering, familiarity with certain computer programs and the ability to interpret manufacturing schedules.
  • An industrial company in Virginia Beach, VA, advertised for a full-time expeditor. Job duties included expediting materials, alerting departments to any alterations of orders, processing order confirmations, approving invoices, keeping up with logs and making sure that all information for deliveries is up-to-date. Job requirements included five years of experience, a high school diploma, oral and written communication skills and the ability to use office equipment.
  • A manufacturing company in Smyrna, GA, advertised for a full-time expeditor/purchaser with an associate's degree to oversee inbound shipments, maintain order files, perform administrative duties and make sure that all policies and procedures are being followed. Other requirements included organizational and computer skills and good data analysis skills.

How to Stand Out in the Field

If you want to advance in your career as an expeditor, you may want to consider becoming certified by the American Purchasing Society. You could pursue designations as a Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP), Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) or Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC). The Certified Purchasing Professional and Certified Professional Purchasing Manager designations are only awarded to individuals who are in purchasing or materials management, have at least three years of experience and pass an exam. Other attributes that may serve you well as an expeditor are excellent typing and recordkeeping skills, the ability to communicate clearly with vendors and production managers and customer service skills.

Other Career Paths

Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers

If an office-bound job doesn't appeal to you, then working as a heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver may be better suited for you. As a truck driver, you would deliver goods over several states, unload and load materials, perform inspections and make sure your truck is in good working order. Additionally, you may have to transport hazardous materials.

In order to work as a heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver, you must have a high school diploma and a Commercial Driver's License, which requires you to pass a special driving test. You could attend a professional driving school in order to learn the laws and regulations for truck driving and how to maneuver through crowded streets. The job of a truck driver can be physically demanding, since they have to load and unload their truck and drive for long periods of time. The job also comes with the risk of traffic accidents and injury. PayScale.com reported in 2012 that truck drivers in the 10th to 90th percentile range earned a yearly salary between $28,000-$68,000.

Information Clerk

Rather than making sure that goods and materials are delivered on time, information clerks ensure that an office is run smoothly and efficiently. You would offer clerical support by keeping current records and information, making sure procedures are being followed and assisting with administrative work. You could choose to operate in a particular work setting or with a specific type of record or information; for instance, your options may include law offices, private businesses and government agencies. A high school diploma is usually enough to qualify as an information clerk, but some employers may prefer applicants who have either an associate's or bachelor's degree. Clerks usually receive on-the-job training. In 2012, PayScale.com cited that most information clerks earned a yearly salary between $17,000-$36,000.

Popular Schools

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Featured Schools

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization

What is your highest level of education?

Georgetown University

  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Management
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business
  • MBA - Management

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • Master : Business Admin
  • BSBA - Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • Associate: Business Admin.

Which subject are you interested in?

American University

  • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
  • Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation

What is your highest level of education?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Government Analytics

What is your highest level of education?

Keiser University

  • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
  • Bachelor of Arts - Business Administration with a concentration in Transportation and Logistics
  • Associate of Arts - Accounting
  • Grad Business Certificate - Management and Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Management
  • BS - Business Management
  • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management

What is your highest level of education?