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Becoming a Freight Broker: What You Should Know

22 Apr 2014

If you are looking for a career change, or if you are just getting started, you may be interested in working as a freight broker. Freight agents and brokers serve an important role in the transportation industry, as these professionals are responsible for routing and expediting the movement of freight and cargo shipments. Find out more about this career opportunity in order to determine if this job is right for you.

Job Responsibilities

Freight brokers spend most of their work day contacting shippers in order to arrange for third-party carriers to transport freight. This includes pickup to delivery, and it may also involve other transfer locations. A primarily sedentary job, freight brokers use the Internet and phone to conduct most of their business. These professionals rarely come into contact with any of the products for which they arrange shipment.


Freight brokers are regulated by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In order to work as a broker, you must complete an application with this agency that allows you legal right to enter into business within the transportation industry. For specific rules and regulations, it is important to contact your state’s Department of Transportation or the FMCSA directly.

Educational Requirements

If you’re thinking about becoming a freight broker, there is no required educational completion level. Many freight agents and brokerage firms will offer training courses, and freight broker schools also exist. Most new brokers learn the bulk of their skills on the job, but having at least a GED or high school diploma is important for being successful in the workplace.

Other Skills

In order to be a successful freight broker, it is important that you are highly-organized and a good problem solver. You should have the people skills needed to interact with clients all over the world, and you should be able to manage your resources and time effectively. High computer software proficiency will also be an asset.

Employment and Wages

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for cargo and freight agents as of May 2012 was $19.10 per hour. The five states with the highest levels of employment within this occupation included California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas. However, none of these were included in the top five highest paying states for cargo and freight agents, which included Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and Nebraska.