How to Become a Freight Broker in Massachusetts

Working as a freight broker can be an engaging and rewarding career for people who enjoy the fast-paced world of sales and negotiation. Freight brokers are responsible for arranging transportation for various types of freight, negotiating prices and informing their client of the shipment’s progress as it is hauled. They must hold a license and insurance, unlike freight agents, and can oversee these agents, who work as independent contractors and are responsible for sales and finding the proper carrier for clients’ needs.

Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts follows the standard federal guidelines when determining the qualifications necessary to become a freight broker. It is necessary to meet these minimum requirements of education and training to become a freight broker in Massachusetts, but there are no additional requirements. In general, one must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and enrollment in a training program is highly recommended. All brokers must also carry a $75,000 surety bond, contingent cargo insurance and general liability insurance.

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Massachusetts Schools for Freight Brokers

Formal training is not necessary for becoming a freight broker. However, enrolling in a course can help people enter the industry with more specialized knowledge. Here are two programs in the state that offer freight broker courses:

  • Bunker Hill Community College. This community college offers online freight broker training in collaboration with Ed2Go. The 180-hour course is self-paced, meaning that students can take their time to complete the program. It offers information about basic freight brokerage techniques, transportation law, insurance, how to set up a business and how to obtain a license. Graduates have access to virtual job fairs, which are held online every Friday.
  • Brooke Training. Brooke raining, another online program, offers courses to students across the country. Tuition is free for qualifying veterans. Brooke Training has a beginner and advanced program, allowing for continued education. The school also provides job placement assistance.

Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Massachusetts

To work in Massachusetts, freight brokers must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). To obtain this license, brokers must first register the name of their business. They can then get a U.S. Department of Transportation number, which they will need in order to submit a license application to the FMCSA. Applicants must pay a licensing fee as well.

There is no formal exam required to become a freight broker in Massachusetts. However, the Transportation Intermediaries Association offers a Certified Transportation Brokers exam, which can be taken to gain a competitive advantage in the industry.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The freight transportation industry is crucial to every sector, ensuring the delivery of products nationwide. As such, the demand for freight brokers remains high, with a positive career outlook. While specific growth predictions beyond 2020 are not provided, the ongoing expansion of the logistics and transportation sector suggests a continued need for these professionals.

As of the latest data, cargo and freight agents in the United States earn an average salary of $46,860 per year. In Massachusetts, the average salary for this occupation is $46,800 annually, closely aligning with the national average. Notably, in the Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH area, the average salary is similar, with the top 10% earning $68,460 or more.

National vs. Massachusetts Salaries:

Percentile United States Salary Massachusetts Salary
10% $32,720 $33,130
25% $38,400 $40,040
Median (50%) $46,860 $46,800
75% $58,710 $62,620
90% $70,280 $68,460

Salaries by Region in Massachusetts:

Location 10% 25% Median (50%) 75% 90%
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $34,390 $45,560 $46,860 $62,810 $68,460
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA $31,840 $41,030 $46,620 $52,880 $61,570
Worcester, MA-CT $35,700 $38,380 $46,610 $61,480 $73,610

Freight Broker Trends in Massachusetts

The employment trends for Cargo and Freight Agents in Massachusetts (43-5011.00) demonstrate a significant growth trajectory for the decade from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, Massachusetts had 880 employees working in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 1,150 employees by 2030, representing a substantial growth rate of 31%. Additionally, there are expected to be around 130 job openings annually over this period, which includes openings due to both growth and replacement. This trend indicates a robust job market for cargo and freight agents in Massachusetts, significantly outpacing both the state and national average growth rates.

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)
Massachusetts 880 employees 1,150 employees 31% 130
United States 95,900 employees (2022) 105,200 employees (2032) 10% (Much faster than average) 11,000

Sources of Data:

Massachusetts Data: The employment figures and projections for Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts

Most freight brokers work for established brokerages or start their own businesses. Thanks to the flexibility of this career path, it is possible to start your own company and either work from home or secure an office space wherever you choose. For those seeking to join an existing firm, jobs will be most readily available in big cities, such as Boston, Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts. Jobs in these cities will also likely pay higher salaries than those in surrounding towns due to the higher cost of living. Freight brokers enjoy a large amount of freedom unavailable in other careers, making it an ideal choice for people seeking a consistent income outside of the traditional office setting.