How to Become a Freight Broker in Alaska
People who enjoy a fast-paced work environment and know a good deal when they see one may enjoy a career as a freight broker. Freight brokers arrange transportation for items, negotiate the price of that service and keep their clients up-to-date on the shipment’s progress. They must also carry a license and insurance, while freight agents by contrast do not. Freight agents often work as independent contractors for the brokers and are typically responsible for conducting sales and researching carriers to find the right one.
Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Alaska
To become a freight broker in Alaska, applicants must meet the minimum federal requirements, which include having a high school diploma or equivalent. The state does not require any additional certifications. It may be helpful to enroll in a training program, which teaches some of the skills necessary to be a successful freight broker and walks applicants through the certification process. All brokers must carry a $75,000 surety bond in addition to cargo and general liability insurance.
Alaska Schools for Freight Brokers
While there is no formal training necessary to become a freight broker in Alaska, enrolling in an educational course can provide specialized knowledge and basic information for people who have not previously worked in the trucking industry. Here are some options for prospective freight brokers in Alaska:
- Brooke Training Brooke Training offers students across the country the opportunity to learn both basic freight brokerage skills and advanced techniques. Tuition is free for qualifying veterans, and all students receive job placement assistance after they complete a course.
- Freight Movers School The Freight Movers School has been in operation for more than 40 years. It provides two online programs. One teaches freight brokerage basics, while the other focuses on how to increase sales. All course materials for both classes are available online, making it easy to get started.
Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Alaska
Freight brokers in Alaska must receive a license from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). First, brokers must register the name of their business and get a U.S. Department of Transportation number, which must be submitted along with the license application. Applicants also need to pay a licensing fee. The FMCSA will then review the application and issue a license.
Applicants do not have to take a formal exam to become a freight broker in Alaska. New brokers interested in receiving additional certifications for a competitive advantage can take a Certified Transportation Brokers exam, which is administered by the Transportation Intermediaries Association.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Careers in freight brokerage have been steadily growing thanks to the ever-expanding online retail market. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field will grow by about 29 percent by 2020.
Salaries average $43,926 per year nationwide, with some cities offering the opportunity for even higher pay. In Alaska, salaries typically average around $37,000 per year.
Working as a Freight Broker in Alaska
People who would like to work as freight brokers have two options for finding employment. Many find jobs at existing brokerages, and operations located in larger cities – like Juneau or Anchorage, Alaska – typically offer the highest salaries. However, brokers can also start their own businesses from anywhere in the state. The job offers a large amount of flexibility, and entrepreneurial people may find starting their own business to be particularly rewarding. Being a freight broker allows people to maintain their own schedules and a consistent income while keeping them out of the usual office space.