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Education and Training: Vocational or technical school
Average Salary: $36,340 per year
Job Outlook: Fair

An expeditor is in charge of purchase/supply management and is required to follow up on all open purchase orders to minimize costly rescheduling and production delays owing to the shortage of purchased material. An expeditor also has to assist the purchase manager or agent with his administrative tasks. They are in charge of tracking the arrival of materials and processing orders in a cost effective and timely manner. Expeditors also have to ensure that the materials are ready for their scheduled delivery. They are in charge of creating a smooth work flow and are responsible for procurement of materials or solving issues relating to it. They may also be charged with other smaller tasks within the organization such as filing documents and bills and they need to make use of computers to keep everything organized. Expeditors also have to return any unused material and are required to multitask. Expeditors work with the warehouse personnel, inside sales, and managers to co-ordinate customer order shipments. They also have to handle special projects which may be assigned to them occasionally. They have to expedite all purchase orders to ensure prompt delivery via electronic and/or written communication or telephone.
Resolving issues related to shipments, invoice discrepancies, damaged items, overages, etc. also comes under their role.

Education and Training Requirements

An expeditor must have a high school education that includes courses in accounting, mathematics, and business management. Experience with mechanical drawing, drafting, and computers are also useful. Those who have worked with a contractor or have a good understanding of tools and materials will be given preference for employment.

Getting the Job

Most of the construction companies have an expeditor. While a group of people may work as expeditors in big companies, the job may be handled by just one person in smaller firms. Those who are interested in becoming expeditors can give their contact details to the local construction firms. Entry level jobs just require high school education and no prior experience. Expeditors can also work in companies that sell paint products, aluminum products, and other related businesses. Expeditors mostly start their career in material distribution. Job openings for expeditors are advertised in internet job banks, classified columns in newspapers, and employment offices of the state.

Job Prospect, Employment Outlook and Career Advancement

The job prospects for expeditors will mainly depend on the prevailing economic conditions. There will be more construction works undertaken in a strong economy when the need for expeditors will rise. With the advancement of technology, computers are able to handle tracking of shipments and other works and hence fewer expeditors will be needed to handle projects. However, companies may be reluctant to cut their existing expediting staffs because delays can prove costly in this sector. Those who are fully qualified can move to senior positions such as purchasing agents. The need for expeditors will also depend on factors such as size of the company, their willingness to invest in trained staff, etc.

Working Conditions and Environment

Expeditors cannot hope to work in the regular 9-5 shift. They may have to spend the most part of the day at the job site visiting materials suppliers and checking the supplies in order to schedule shipments. They may also be required to work during early mornings or late evenings at the job site. They will normally be paid on completion of the job regardless of whether it takes forty or sixty hours a week.
Since their job involves strenuous work, expeditors must be in good physical condition. They must be hard working and people friendly. A cool and composed attitude can also work to their advantage while facing problems. Prospective expeditors must also have other attributes such as attention to detail and a disciplined outlook which can help them to succeed in their career.

Salary and Benefits

In the United States, the median expected salary for a typical Expeditor I is $35,802. While the median expected salary for an Expeditor II is $39,699, the median salary of a typical Expeditor III is $51,013.

Where to Go for More Information

Associated General Contractors of America
2300 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 400
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 548-3118

National Association of Home Builders of the United States
1201 Fifteenth St. NW
Washington, DC 20005-2800
(800) 368-5242

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesManufacturing & Production