Becoming a freight broker may be a rewarding career path for the right person, one that makes it easier for you to make good money out of high school without a lot of training.
Some brokers may even start a business as a freight broker and make even better money.
Here’s what you need to know about getting started in this field.
Table of Contents
- Freight Broker Duties in California
- Licensing Requirements to Become a Freight Broker in California
- Freight Broker Programs in California
- Freight Broker Schools in California – Summary Table
- Salary for a Freight Broker in California
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Freight Broker Info by State
Freight Broker Duties in California
As a freight broker, you work as an intermediary or middle person between two businesses.
You identify, assess, and commission the transportation of goods for a shipper and make sure that they reach the proper destination on time.
You do this by setting up and using a large network of processes that help improve efficiency.
Other job duties include:
- Generating leads for sales for your client
- Collecting data about goods and properly storing it
- Carefully negotiating prices, including quotes and payments
- Working with a carrier to ensure that they can haul goods proper
- Track, manage, and update a good’s journey to the shipper and buyer
- Handle any emergencies that may occur during the shipment
- Finalize the delivery process to ensure success
- Create and manage relationships with all team members
- Make sure all documents reach the proper point on time
Licensing Requirements to Become a Freight Broker in California
Like most states, California doesn’t have a specific licensing law for freight brokers.
Instead, you must obtain a license nationally through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
First, you start by registering with this organization to receive a DOT number.
Then, you must apply for a license with the FMCSA and pay a $300 application fee.
Things that you’ll need to receive this license include:
- Show that you have a $75,000 surety bond to start your business
- Prove that you have appropriate cargo and general liability
- Highlight that you have a freight agent available in all states in which you do business
At this point, you can start looking for jobs or open up a freight broker business if you prefer.
However, you can also obtain a Certified Transportation Broker or CTB certification with the Transportation Intermediaries Association or TIA.
This certification costs $800 for non-members or $675 for members, with exam costs of $375 for members and $525 for non-members.
Certification isn’t required but provides many benefits, including:
- Proving that you understand the job duties of this role
- Increasing your knowledge of this career field
- Improving your potential earnings by boosting your credibility
- Enhancing your business profile in many ways
Note that you don’t have to join the TIA to take the exam and get certified.
However, it’s usually a better idea to do so because you will get many benefits, such as a network of contacts that you can use to find better jobs and build stronger connections in the freight business.
Typically, it costs very little to join this organization and maintain your membership.
Freight Broker Programs in California
Here are a few training options for freight brokers in California that you may want to consider:
San Diego State University
Offers a freight broker program that helps you understand the job duties as well as obtain your licenses
Stanislaus State Extended and International Education
Which offers an online training option for freight brokers that teaches laws and operations
Is a specialized freight broker training school that will give you hands-on experience in this exciting field
Freight Broker Schools in California – Summary Table
|San Diego State University||5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182, United States|
|Stanislaus State Extended and International Education||Stanislaus State One University Circle Turlock, California 95382, United States|
|Brooke Training||120, 5005, 5005 Colleyville Blvd #120, Colleyville, TX 76034, United States|
Salary for a Freight Broker in California
As a freight broker, you can make about $36,417 to $41,129 in California, with a median salary of $38,753.
For a job that requires minimal training and no college experience, that’s a pretty solid wage.
Note that some freight brokers may make even more money if they’re skilled enough to set up a business.
Going into operation for yourself may potentially double or triple your income, though you’re at a higher risk of total loss and must work hard to stay solvent.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
Is This a Good Salary for California?
According to Salary.com, the average salary in California is $89,000 per year.
That’s more than the median of a freight broker in the state.
Does this mean you shouldn’t become one?
No, because California is filled with many high-earning people, and you can make more than the median as a freight broker if you start a business and work hard at maintaining it.
Do You Have to Pay to Renew Your License?
Yes, you must pay regular relicensing fees to keep your freight broker business in operation.
Typically, it costs about $300 per year or so.
Note that you’ll also have to pay your surety bond back over the years to avoid defaulting.
Is Certification Worth It?
Though it costs extra money to stay certified, it’s typically a great idea for freight brokers.
There are many people who may compete with you in this field in California, meaning you need to do what you can to stand out.
Getting certification ensures that you at least compete with these professions and can potentially help you make more money at the same time.
Freight Broker Info by State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia