How to Become a Freight Broker in Minnesota

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Freight brokers play a key role in getting products from the manufacturer to the retailer.

They function to make the process run smoothly and efficiently.

Using large databases, freight brokers select the type of transportation company their client needs.

Then they maintain reliable communication between the parties to get products to their destination.

From examining the specifics of the shipment and the type of truck, train, boat, or other transportation that is needed, you will also be responsible for negotiating the shipment costs fairly for everyone.

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What Skills Do a Freight Broker Need?

Freight brokers need a diverse set of skills in order to be successful.

These include:

  • Great communication skills
  • Ability to broker deals between carriers and shippers
  • Organization skills
  • Planning skills
  • Ability to work in an active environment.

What Do Freight Brokers Do?

  • Coordinate details about a client’s load and get it scheduled.
  • Find an appropriate carrier for the client.
  • Negotiate the shipping price.
  • Schedule pickup and drop off of the shipment and any other details.
  • Monitor the shipment in transit and take care of any issues that arise.
  • Communicate with both parties during the shipping process.
  • Manage payments and invoices.

Becoming a Certified and Licensed Freight Broker in Minnesota

You are not required to have a special certification to work as a freight broker in Minnesota.

It’s helpful from a career standpoint to have one.

The most widely industry certification comes from the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).

It is the Certified Transportation Broker (CTB).

There are also no licenses that are state-specific to Minnesota.

The credentials you need are through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

This is a section of the US Department of Transportation.

FMCSA ensures that carriers move products safely and efficiently by managing transportation rules and regulations.

Easy Steps to Get Your FMCSA Freight Broker License Quickly

  • Start by applying for a USDOT number through the US Department of Transportation. Their system is called the Unified Registration System (URS) for first-time applicants.
  • Get a Surety Bond for at least $75,000. The cost if you have good credit will be 1-5% of the bond. A Trust Fund Agreement is another option.
  • You will need a designated Process Agent. They will need to register through FMCSA. They function as your legal representative in Minnesota for cases such as liability or product loss.
  • The application process costs $300. It typically takes 4–6 weeks for the license to be processed through FMCSA.

Education Opportunities in Minnesota

Freight brokers are not required to have any educational background in Minnesota.

However, employers are looking for applicants who have a high school diploma or GED.

There are training classes and programs available.

This helps you to understand the industry and your role.

Also, employees are attracted to applicants who went for formal training.

Another benefit of these training courses is that many of them are online and/or self-paced allowing you to proceed through your education at your own pace.

Educational Training Programs in Minnesota for Freight Broker Training

  • Normandale Community College in South Bloomington, MN – This college offers both online and self-paced courses for freight broker training. These courses cover everything you need to know about the industry and being a freight broker.
  • South Central College in North Mankato and Faribault, MN – This college also offers both online and self-paced courses for freight broker training. You will learn how to get your FMCSA license.  You’ll also learn about how to start up your brokerage.

Salary Expectations and Potential for Career Growth

In Minnesota, the average salary for freight brokers is $56,250 a year or $27.04 per hour according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The national average for freight brokers is $54,880.

This salary level can increase with the types of commissions you get.

Also, as you gain more experience, your salary may grow.

The highest-paid freight brokers in Minnesota can earn up to $86,370 annually.

Currently, there are 1,390 freight brokers working in Minnesota.

The job growth rate is about 10% on average nationally.

This means that job growth would produce 9,500 jobs for freight brokers each year.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Minneapolis $51,220
St. Paul $51,220
Duluth $46,033
Rochester $48,196
Eden Prairie $51,134
Minnetonka $51,220
Rochester $48,196
Easton $47,764
Saint Cloud $46,110
Burnsville $51,076

Regional Salary in Minnesota

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI1,870$51,460$24.74$72,490$39,780
St. Cloud, MN100$47,820$22.99$60,060$38,920
* 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

How profitable are freight brokerages?

It really depends on the experience of the freight broker.

Brokerages can produce high revenues annually.

There are several variables that affect the income stream.

The number of clients, shipment volume, and value of the shipments all come into play.

An inexperienced broker could earn $50,000 a year while a more experienced freight broker could earn $500,000.

How stressful is it to work as a freight broker?

This can be a stressful job.

Tight deadlines, issues with a shipment, all of these things can raise stress levels.

On the other hand, some people thrive in this active environment.

Is it hard to be a freight broker?

It can be a challenging job.

Building clients’ trust takes time.

Also setting up reliable shippers can also take time when you are getting started.

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

That really depends on if you just go through the process or decide to pursue an educational program.

College programs will extend the time and costs, but they’re very helpful.

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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