How to Become a Freight Broker in Florida

Freight brokers have lively careers full of sales, negotiation and conversation with clients. They spend their days arranging transportation for various types of freight by negotiating prices, then keeping their clients up to date about each shipment’s status. Freight brokers have licenses and insurance, while freight agents, who often work as independent contractors for brokers, do not have these provisions. Instead, agents are tasked with sales and finding carriers to meet clients’ needs.

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Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Florida

Those interested in becoming freight brokers in Florida must meet the federal requirements for becoming a broker. The state itself does not require any additional qualifications. Brokers should have a high school diploma or equivalent, a $75,000 surety bond, contingent cargo insurance and general liability insurance. While there is no formal training program required to become a broker, some people may find such programs useful in their career paths.

Florida Schools for Freight Brokers

Many freight brokers begin working right away after receiving their licenses. Some, however, choose to enroll in a training course before beginning. These courses can teach people who are unfamiliar with sales and the trucking industry how to succeed as a freight broker. The following programs are available in Florida:

  • University of North Florida The University of North Florida offers training programs for both freight brokers and freight agents. The course teaches prospecting, sales, marketing and negotiating skills, among others. Graduates have access to weekly events that are designed to help them connect with other people in the industry.
  • Valencia College alencia runs an online, self-paced course for freight brokers and agents. Students have 180 days to complete the course once they enroll. They will learn how to start their own freight broker business, manage finances, understand marketing and overcome typical challenges within the industry.

Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Florida

Freight brokers in Florida must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Before obtaining this license, brokers must register the name of their business and get a U.S. Department of Transportation number. This information can then be submitted with the license application and registration fee of $300 to the FMCSA.

The state of Florida does not require freight brokers to take a formal exam before beginning their business operations. However, Transportation Intermediaries Association offers a Certified Transportation Brokers exam for those who would like a formal acknowledgement of their skills.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The freight industry continues to grow, driven by the increase in online and physical businesses, leading to a higher demand for freight transportation. The outlook for the freight broker industry remains positive, with significant growth expected.

As of the latest data, cargo and freight agents in the United States earn an average salary of $46,860 per year. In Florida, these professionals earn a slightly higher average salary of $47,470 annually. The following HTML tables provide a detailed comparison of salaries at different percentiles both nationally and in Florida, as well as in specific regions within Florida.

National vs. Florida Salaries:

Percentile United States Salary Florida Salary
10% $32,720 $31,650
25% $38,400 $38,760
Median (50%) $46,860 $47,470
75% $58,710 $60,690
90% $70,280 $77,550

Salaries by Region in Florida:

Location 10% 25% Median (50%) 75% 90%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL $31,650 $39,010 $47,750 $60,110 $80,920
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL $35,750 $39,120 $47,510 $63,030 $78,750

Freight Broker Trends in Florida

The employment trends for Cargo and Freight Agents in Florida (43-5011.00) indicate a robust growth trajectory for the decade from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, Florida had 8,710 employees working in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 10,670 employees by 2030, representing a significant growth rate of 23%. Additionally, there are expected to be around 1,140 job openings annually over this period, which includes openings due to both growth and replacement. This trend suggests a strong job market for cargo and freight agents in Florida, with a growth rate that substantially exceeds the national average.

In comparison, the national trend for the same period shows a growth rate of 10%, which is considered much faster than average. In 2022, there were 95,900 employees in this occupation across the United States, with projections indicating an increase to 105,200 employees by 2032. Nationally, there are expected to be about 11,000 job openings annually over this period.

Employment Trends

Location Employment (2020) Projected Employment (2030) Projected Growth (2020-2030) Projected Annual Job Openings (2020-2030)
Florida 8,710 employees 10,670 employees 23% 1,140
United States 95,900 employees (2022) 105,200 employees (2032) 10% (Much faster than average) 11,000

Sources of Data:

Florida Data: The employment figures and projections for Florida are sourced from Projections Central, specifically their 2020-2030 long-term projections. Projections Central is known for providing detailed and state-specific employment projections, offering valuable insights into various occupational trends.

United States Data: The national employment figures and projections are obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), specifically their 2022-2032 employment projections.

Working as a Freight Broker in Florida

Freight brokers have two options regarding where to work. Many choose to join an existing brokerage. Salaries at brokerages will typically be highest in large cities, such as Tallahassee or Miami, with jobs more plentiful in these areas, as well. Brokers can also start their own businesses, working from home or their own office instead. Working as a freight broker offers a large amount of flexibility and the ability to make a sustainable living outside of the traditional office setting.