What Is the Typical Salary for Freight Brokers?

Explore the career requirements for freight brokers. Get the facts about licenses and skills required, as well as job growth and potential salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Freight Broker?

Freight brokers manage the transportation of multiple shipments of goods to ensure each gets to its proper destination successfully. Their duties might include advising clients on transportation options, tracking delivery of shipments, and preparing shipping documents such as bills and invoices. They also enter shipping information into computer programs by hand or scanner and check import and export documents for packages. See the table below for information regarding this particular career.

Education Required No formal requirements; high school diploma and on-the-job training may be required
Licensure Required Professional license required
Key Skills Basic computer knowledge
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7%*
Average Salary (2015) $44,470*

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description of Freight Brokers

Freight brokers manage the transportation of goods and cargo by tracking the freight while in transport, documenting pickups and deliveries, recording cargo information, figuring shipping rates and determining the shipping route. Document preparation is also part of the job and requires you to understand shipping regulations and other procedures that must be followed for legal transport of freight. If items are damaged or lost during transport, you must document the damage or the circumstances of the incident.

As a freight broker, you work with shippers and receivers, as well as shipping companies. It is your job to coordinate the activities of the people and companies involved to complete a safe shipment. You also maintain contact with each party throughout the shipping process to make sure everyone is doing their part to get the shipment to its destination.

What Salary Could I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), freight brokers, which fall into the BLS category of cargo and freight agents, earned a mean annual wage of $21.38 an hour, or $44,470, as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Salary varies by industry, as those working in water transportation or the federal government may earn an average salary of more than $50,000. The BLS projected a job growth for this field of 7% from 2014-2024, which is average.

What Education Requirements Must I Meet?

There are usually no formal education requirements to become a freight broker. Employers may require you to have a high school diploma and provide on-the-job training. Employers may start you out in a position where you handle simple tasks, such as affixing shipping labels, checking inventory and verifying shipping information. As you gain experience on the job, you can move into handling the full duties of a freight broker. You may also have the opportunity to advance into a leadership position.

While formal training may not be required, employers may look for specific skills. You often need to be experienced in working with computers, have good typing skills and be able to handle general clerical duties, according to the BLS.

What Are the Licensing Requirements?

Freight brokers follow rules and regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA requires freight brokers to register for an Interstate Operating Authority license using Form OP-1 (www.fmcsa.dot.gov). After securing your license, you are required to post a surety bond. Additional requirements may need to be met if you are arranging the transport for hazardous or other regulated materials.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Individuals interested in becoming a freight broker might also want to research some related alternative careers which also only require a high school diploma to gain entry-level employment. Receptionists work in a wide variety of contexts. Their duties may include answering phones, scheduling appointments, and filing records. Customer service representatives aid customers by recommending products and answering questions, making sales, and keeping records of transactions. Dispatchers schedule and dispatch personnel to work in certain locations. They communicate with customers and workers and relay orders and messages.

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