How to Become a Freight Broker in Maryland

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If you are considering a new career, look into becoming a freight broker in Maryland. 

The position is central to the transportation industry. 

This position connects shippers with products to move to carriers who can transport the products.

You’ll be negotiating pricing and communicating with both parties to ensure that the loads make it to their destination safely.

It’s rewarding and important work that makes sure that the supply chain runs smoothly.

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What Does a Freight Broker Do?

Freight brokers have to be able to communicate well with others.

You also need to juggle multiple shipments and be able to negotiate prices that are good for both clients.

This can make for full days but with changing situations every day.

The most common duties include:

  • Negotiating rates
  • Troubleshooting any problem situations that arise
  • Ensuring that shipments smoothly get from one point to their final destination.
  • Building a client base through marketing strategies
  • Finding potential carriers that you can reach out to
  • Invoicing clients and maintaining bookkeeping tasks.
  • Remain current on transportation trends and any changes in legal regulations and permitting.

Licensing Requirements

There are several steps that you need to take to become certified to work as a freight broker in Maryland.

However, Maryland does not require brokers to attend training classes.

It does help when seeking employment.

Companies look for employees who don’t require a large amount of training.

If you are seeking to open your own brokerage, the training is attractive to potential clients.

The two requirements are that you must be 18 years old and a high school graduate.

This is required to get a broker authority license.

Getting a Broker’s License

The licensing of freight brokers is overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which is part of the US Department of Transportation.

You will need to register with their office to get your DOT number and Motor carrier number (MC).

This is the information that you will need to start your license application with FMCSA.

In order to get your license, you’ll need to have the following documents in place:

  • General liability insurance and coverage for cargo.
  • A $75,000 surety bond – If you have good credit, the cost will be 1-5% of the bond.
  • Securing a freight agent

The cost of getting your license is a $300 deposit which is non-refundable.

The licensing process takes about 4–6 weeks.

Then you can begin to work legally as a freight broker in Maryland.

Freight Broker Education Opportunities in Maryland

While not required, taking formal coursework can be very beneficial to getting into a good job.

You’ll learn about the industry and what you need to know to do your job effectively.

There are several good online educational resources if you decide to pursue training and education.

These include:

  • Udemy offers several online programs to train to be a freight broker.
  • Community College of Baltimore Country has a course that takes about six months to complete.
  • Ed2Go provides online courses through several Maryland colleges. These courses take six months to complete.

Becoming Certified

While certification is not required in Maryland, becoming a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) will help you grow your career.

This is done through the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). 

The course is 60 – 180 hours to finish.

The cost ranges from $800 (non-members) to $675 (members).

To finish is an exam that is in three components.

The cost for the exam is $525 (non-members) and $375 (members).

During the exam, you can take all three components at one time or do each component separately.

Career Prospects and Average Pay

Freight brokers earn on average $43,770 a year based on information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It is anticipated that there will be a 10 percent job growth between 2020 – 2030.

This is based on the rising number of products that are being shipped.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Baltimore $49,422
Frederick $51,640
Gaithersburg $53,374
Bowie $53,406
Rockville $53,454
Hagerstown $48,864
Annapolis $50,943
Silver Spring $53,518
Salisbury $51,110
Cumberland $44,115

Regional Salary in Maryland

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD770$46,540$22.38$63,410$30,460
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Cargo and Freight Agents, OCC Code 43-5011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is being a freight broker a stressful job?

It can be very hectic because there are many moving parts in each project.

Getting products from one place to another requires constant attention and dedication to the work.

While it can be a busy workplace, many find the work very rewarding.

How long does it take to be able to work as a freight broker?

That really depends on whether you decide to go through an education program.

While this will length the time and cost it takes for you to be certified, it is very beneficial.

You’ll learn everything that you need to know about the job and the industry.

Plus, employers prefer prospective employees who have this educational background.

How much does it cost to become a freight broker?

There is your initial $300 non-refundable deposit for your license.

However, you have to factor in insurance and surety bond.

If you decide to pursue educational courses, that adds to overall costs.

Also, if you are opening your own office, there will be the cost of rent and office equipment.

As you make decisions about how you want to pursue your career, you will be able to make decisions about how to also make it affordable.

What are the most important skills a freight broker needs?

Communication and attention to detail and skills used every day.

Freight Broker Info by State

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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