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Working as a Cargo Agent

A cargo agent is one of the most important parties involved in ocean freight. This agent advises on different relevant destination charges. He/she pays taxes, tariffs, and duties on behalf of the cargo owner. The cargo agent monitors the movement of the goods and cooperates with the port authorities during goods inspection. Plus, he/she keeps and presents the necessary documents like the packing list, commercial invoice, etc., to the customs authority.

Since a cargo agent handles import, export, and cross trades shipments, he or she needs strategic skills, , management skills, business skills, networking skills, multitasking skills, and logistics skills. You must secure at least a high school diploma to work as a cargo agent. Most of these agents, however, learn about their duties informally, through training. A cargo agent earns an average of $28,473 annually, and that is $14 per hour.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a cargo agent. For example, did you know that they make an average of $13.69 an hour? That's $28,473 a year!

What Does a Cargo Agent Do

There are certain skills that many cargo agents have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, detail oriented and math skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a cargo agent, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.6% of cargo agents included security procedures, while 16.8% of resumes included data entry, and 7.3% of resumes included international shipments. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the cargo agent job title. But what industry to start with? Most cargo agents actually find jobs in the transportation and professional industries.

How To Become a Cargo Agent

If you're interested in becoming a cargo agent, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 18.2% of cargo agents have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.3% of cargo agents have master's degrees. Even though some cargo agents have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a cargo agent. When we researched the most common majors for a cargo agent, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on cargo agent resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a cargo agent. In fact, many cargo agent jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many cargo agents also have previous career experience in roles such as ramp agent or customer service representative.

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Average Salary$28,473
Job Growth Rate1%

Cargo Agent Career Paths

Top Careers Before Cargo Agent

Cashier
17.1 %

Top Careers After Cargo Agent

Driver
7.7 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Cargo Agent

Cargo Agents in America make an average salary of $28,473 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $35,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Salary
$28,473

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range26k - 44k$34k$34,377
Elmwood Park, IL
Salary Range26k - 36k$31k$30,973
Troy, NY
Salary Range24k - 37k$30k$30,357
Chelsea, MA
Salary Range23k - 36k$29k$29,468
Manchester, NH
Salary Range23k - 35k$29k$29,233
Omaha, NE
Salary Range23k - 32k$27k$27,358
$19k
$44k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Warehouse Cargo Agents
Warehouse Cargo Agents
Manpowergroup
Manpowergroup
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$32,97501/29/2021
$32,975
Cargo Screening Agent
Cargo Screening Agent
Menzies Aviation
Menzies Aviation
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$29,21801/21/2021
$29,218
Cargo Agent
Cargo Agent
Aerotek
Aerotek
01/20/2021
01/20/2021
$35,47901/20/2021
$35,479
Cargo Agent
Cargo Agent
Adecco Staffing
Adecco Staffing
12/21/2020
12/21/2020
$20,87012/21/2020
$20,870
Cargo Agent
Cargo Agent
Aerotek
Aerotek
12/19/2020
12/19/2020
$34,43612/19/2020
$34,436
See More Recent Salaries

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Cargo Agent Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Cargo Agent. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Cargo Agent Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Cargo Agent resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Cargo Agent Demographics

Gender

male

61.2 %

female

33.1 %

unknown

5.7 %

Ethnicity

White

57.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

24.1 %

Asian

10.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.7 %

French

6.0 %

Portuguese

6.0 %
See More Demographics

Cargo Agent Education

Majors

Business
22.7 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

44.3 %

Bachelors

18.2 %

Associate

17.2 %
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Cargo Agent

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.6% of cargo agents listed security procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and detail oriented are important as well.

  • Security Procedures, 17.6%
  • Data Entry, 16.8%
  • International Shipments, 7.3%
  • Customer Service, 7.3%
  • Computer System, 6.7%
  • Other Skills, 44.3%
  • See All Cargo Agent Skills

Best States For a Cargo Agent

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a cargo agent. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, California, Illinois, and New Jersey. Cargo agents make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $33,764. Whereas in California and Illinois, they would average $32,033 and $30,873, respectively. While cargo agents would only make an average of $29,540 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Cargo Agent Jobs:
8
Highest 10% Earn:
$40,000
Location Quotient:
3.6
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Maine

Total Cargo Agent Jobs:
7
Highest 10% Earn:
$41,000
Location Quotient:
1.45
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Illinois

Total Cargo Agent Jobs:
49
Highest 10% Earn:
$42,000
Location Quotient:
0.83
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Cargo Agent Employers

1. Delta Air Lines
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$29,439
Cargo Agents Hired: 
127+
2. Air General
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$29,862
Cargo Agents Hired: 
110+
3. Menzies Aviation
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$29,442
Cargo Agents Hired: 
97+
4. American Airlines
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$35,773
Cargo Agents Hired: 
73+
5. Quantem Aviation Services
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$29,468
Cargo Agents Hired: 
58+
6. United
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$29,447
Cargo Agents Hired: 
49+

Cargo Agent Videos

Updated October 2, 2020