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

Nearly every industry depends on trucking to transport and deliver products. As a result, freight brokers will always be needed, and the outlook for this career field is positive. It is expected to grow by 29 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The national average salary for freight brokers is $43,926 per year with opportunity for growth in certain cities. Salaries in Massachusetts can be much higher, with the average salary of a freight broker in Boston listed at $79,570.

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.