Foreign Service Commercial Officer

Help local companies set up operations on foreign shores.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$34,000 – $107,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Foreign Service Commercial Officers do?

Making it in the business world isn’t easy, and it gets even harder if you don’t understand the laws, the customs, or even the language of the country you’re working in. In order to help American businesses looking to expand internationally, the Foreign Affairs office created the role of Foreign Service Commercial Officer. As a Foreign Service Commercial Officer, you help businesses navigate the tricky waters of operating abroad while also working with foreign governments to advocate for US interests.

A Foreign Service Commercial Officer has two main responsibilities. First, you serve as a sort of Teacher, explaining information to businesses. The businesses you work with might be looking to open up new international branches or start exporting their products. Either way, your job is to make their transition easy.

To do that, you might explain what forms or permits are required, help them find business partners, or explain cultural quirks that would help their new branch run smoothly. You also work with the CEOs of companies to figure out when to begin exporting and how to create an overall strategy for their move.

Your second major responsibility is to advocate for US businesses. This might mean promoting a specific industry, like educational products or wine, or advocating in general for increased partnership between American and foreign companies. You could also work with international governments to relax trade barriers for American business, and handle sticky issues like lax copyright or labor laws.

As a Foreign Service Commercial Officer, you’re actually an accredited Diplomat, and so you must act like one. A big part of your job is to make connections, so you can expect to spend your time networking with members of the business community and foreign leaders.

Should I be a Foreign Service Commercial Officer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: E-Commerce Retailer, Special Service Officer

    How to Become a
    Foreign Service Commercial Officer

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Foreign Service Commercial Officer-related education!
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