Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers
Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate the operations of importing, exporting and wholesaling establishments.
identifying local and overseas business opportunities
developing and implementing business plans, and marketing, operating, human resource, pricing and credit policies and procedures
determining the mix of products and services to be provided and negotiating conditions of trade
liaising with local and overseas suppliers and distributors about orders and products
researching regulatory and statutory requirements affecting the importing, exporting, wholesaling and distribution of goods
monitoring business performance and preparing estimates, financial statements and reports of operations
appointing agents and distributors
arranging the shipping of goods into and out of the country
overseeing the display and sale of merchandise and preparation of product information for customer service staff and customers
implementing after-sales service procedures
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 19,900 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 81% of people employed as Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 48 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $2,140 per week, this is much higher than weekly earnings for all jobs ($1,593).
Median hourly earnings are $54, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers work in the Wholesale trade industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers||All Jobs Average|
Around 72% of Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria and New South Wales have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers is 48 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 25% of the workforce. This is 23 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||10.0||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Extensive experience or a formal qualification in commerce is needed to work as an Importer, Exporter or Wholesaler. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Retail Services and Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||8.0||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||13.9||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers who are motivated, organised and can communicate clearly with a variety of different people.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Talking to others.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Reading work related information.
54%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
48%Management of financial resources
Figuring out how money is needed to do something, and keeping track of the money that's being spent.
48%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Using maths to solve problems.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
45%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Teaching people how to do something.
Looking for ways to help people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
64%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
63%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
59%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
50%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
47%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
39%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
33%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
29%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
23%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
22%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
20%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
48%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
See details that are far away.
41%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
37%Speed of recognition
Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
71%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
67%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
67%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
66%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
64%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
63%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
61%Managing payments and orders
Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.
60%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
58%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
56%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
55%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
53%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
53%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
51%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
48%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
47%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
45%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
43%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
37%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Use electronic mail.
100%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Talk on the telephone.
97%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
89%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
88%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work with people in a group or team.
85%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
83%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Work to strict deadlines.
80%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
80%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
77%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
77%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
75%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
74%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
71%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 13-1022.00 - Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.