How to Become a Freight Broker
Freight Broker Careers & Degrees

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Freight brokers are considered a crucial part of the transportation industry, especially nowadays when e-commerce is booming.

These people are in charge of the goods that need to be transported and shipped across the country.

They have to ease and track the shipments, so freight brokers have to be responsible people with great attention to detail.

All those who are interested in becoming freight brokers need to get familiar with what a freight broker’s duties are and the necessary steps that they have to take so as to become one.

Our article will provide you with information related to what a freight broker’s responsibilities are, what kind of education you should take to become a freight broker, and what you can expect after finishing school.

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Education Requirements to Become a Freight Broker

In order to be successful in this profession, freight brokers have to understand the various trucking industry trends and that cannot be achieved if they do not learn about the trucking industry.

Furthermore, by learning about this industry, they also develop the necessary skills to become a freight broker.

It is true that different paths are offered for those who want to become freight brokers and it is u to you to choose the one that suits you the most.

The most common steps are the following:

  • Attend freight broker training school.
  • Register your business and prepare your business plan.
  • Find the right carriers.
  • Meet licensing requirements.
  • Obtain freight broker bond.
  • File your BOC-3.
  • Develop a marketing strategy.

When Freight Broker Training is in question, some of the prospective freight brokers want to attend a freight broker school.

This is due to the fact that they are aware of how important it is to get fully prepared for the requirements of the brokering job.

Additionally, they will understand the significance of getting the top freight broker training books, so as to refer to them whenever you come across an issue that you cannot solve.

If you have chosen to attend freight broker classes, you should look for freight broker training experts such as Dennis Brown from Freight Broker Bootcamp school, and Scott Woods from the Transportation Training Group.

Gaining the transportation broker training from an expert will give you an insight into the industry and you will get practical knowledge about the work of a freight broker.

Those who have passed the training will be offered more freight broker jobs.

Even though freight broker training school is not required to perform this job, it is highly recommended as you will learn there all you need to know on how to run a successful brokerage business.

Some schools will offer you courses in-person which is a better option as you will get more hands-on experience, while other training schools will only offer self-study online classes.

Freight Broker Job Description

Whoever plans to become a freight broker has to be acquainted with the duties he/she will have upon employment.

Freight brokers are people who are responsible for matching shippers with transportation services with the aim to transport goods to customers.

Freight brokers can be found working for a company or they can start their own business.

Here are some of the main duties of a freight broker:

  • They have to have great marketing so as to attract new leads and prospects
  • Their most important task is to locate and select those freight service carriers that are safe and efficient
  • Freight brokers must quote shipping estimates for customers and schedule orders with carriers
  • So as to keep track of business, they must record relevant activities
  • Their job is to keep customers up to date on shipping status
  • They must know the answers to all customer’s questions and requests
  • They need to be communicative and collaborative with carriers, shippers, and dispatchers
  • The duty of the freight broker is to prepare carriers for loads, negotiate the price and contract the carriers

Freight Broker Salary and Career Path

The salary of freight brokers depends on numerous factors.

One of them is whether they work full-time or part-time.

Furthermore, the salary of a freight broker will be based on their experience, industry knowledge, employment status, and geographical location.

If we take into consideration the national average salary in the U.S., freight brokers earn approximately $61,891 per year.

However, freight brokers’ salaries can range from $43,000-$108,950 per year.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$46,770
$26K
$34K
$46K
$55K
$69K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$44,330
Alaska$44,070
Arizona$41,980
Arkansas$51,640
California$47,850
Colorado$47,130
Connecticut- NA -
Delaware$43,370
Florida$42,590
Georgia$45,940
Hawaii$39,600
Idaho$46,700
Illinois$48,180
Indiana$43,220
Iowa$40,270
Kansas$42,900
Kentucky$42,340
Louisiana$46,640
Maine$53,350
Maryland$42,580
Massachusetts$44,670
Michigan$44,930
Minnesota$52,850
Mississippi$42,840
Missouri$47,730
Montana$47,470
Nebraska$53,130
Nevada$39,020
New Hampshire$51,020
New Jersey$54,500
New Mexico$46,940
New York$50,870
North Carolina$45,650
North Dakota$40,980
Ohio$42,960
Oklahoma$42,110
Oregon$54,110
Pennsylvania$48,400
Rhode Island$52,530
South Carolina$45,880
South Dakota$51,970
Tennessee$42,310
Texas$43,930
Utah$41,170
Vermont$36,910
Virginia$46,350
Washington$54,720
West Virginia$39,360
Wisconsin$45,930
Wyoming$51,270
Puerto Rico$27,300
Virgin Islands$32,570

The top earning state in the field is Washington, where the average salary is $54,720.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Washington - $54,720
New Jersey - $54,500
Oregon - $54,110
Maine - $53,350
Nebraska - $53,130
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Freight Brokers, OCC Code 43-5011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat is a freight broker?

A freight broker’s main responsibility is to help shippers connect with qualified, secure, and efficient carriers.

Their everyday task is to organize deals and rates between shippers or transportation companies and carriers as well as organize and supervise each step of the delivery process.

Also, they need to communicate status updates on the shipper’s load to necessary parties, meaning that freight brokers really play an important role in the transportation industry.

QuestionHow much does freight broker make?

How much they will make depends on numerous factors, but generally speaking, freight brokers can make an annual income ranging from $31,000 up to $65,000.

The greater experience in the industry they have, the higher salary they can expect.

Furthermore, the location of the broker’s business also plays an important role when the salary is in question.

It is good to know that some freight brokers make between $100,000 and $200,000, but they usually have additional freight agents hired to work under them.

A freight broker earns between 10% and 35% profit for every shipment that they handle.

Entry-level freight brokers earn $100 to $500 for every shipment, while those who have gained some experience and professional networks earn as much as $5,175 per shipment.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a freight broker?

It cannot be exactly stated how much money you will need to become a freight broker, as it varies due to different costs for things like business equipment, insurance expenses, software, and marketing.

However, the costs of starting a brokerage business are relatively low.

In case you want to get a freight broker license, they are issued federally and are handled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association.

To get one, you will have to pay a one-time non-refundable fee of $300.

QuestionWhat is the demand for freight brokers?

Having in mind the fact that the income opportunities for freight brokers in today’s economy are high, you should start thinking about becoming one.

The need for qualified, licensed brokers is crucial for the success of the business so a huge growth in the freight brokerage market is expected in the years to come.

The USA has a strong economic environment and constant need for freight brokers in the shipping industry.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a freight broker?

The first step in this career path is to attend freight broker training school which typically lasts about 30 to 45 days.

If you prefer studying at home, you can take online courses and learn at your own pace.

In the majority of cases, people start working within six to 12 months.

Still, the exact time will vary, as each person invests a different amount of time and resources into starting the brokerage business.

Our suggestion is to first get hired to work with an established freight broker company, as this is the best place to gain industry experience and training.

Then, when you become experienced enough, you can start planning your own business strategy.

If you still choose to start on your own, make sure you meet all the requirements such as picking a name for your freight brokerage and registering your business with the licensing department.

You will have to choose a legal framework that fits your business best, and an LLC or limited liability corporation is the most frequently chosen framework by freight brokers.

Registration means that you will receive a tax I.D. number from the IRS.

Have in mind that all freight brokers must have a license before they can operate in the field.

You will need to apply for a USDOT number with the Department of Transportation in your state, then fill out an OP-1 freight broker application.

Be prepared to wait three to four weeks, as that is the time needed to process the application.

The license costs about $300 and after your application has been approved, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will send you your motor carrier number in the mail.

Another 10 days are necessary for your registration to be completed.

Then, you will receive your full MC authority and you can begin operating your business.

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