How to Become a Freight Broker in Maryland
Freight brokers are expected to act as the middlemen between shipping companies and carriers. If a shipping company needs to transport freight, they must rely on carriers who are responsible and capable of getting cargo to its intended destination in a timely fashion. Freight brokers must reach out to carriers and do the proper research to determine if they are fit for the job. Typically, freight agents will work directly with brokers as independent contractors, communicating with customers, building databases and helping with day-to-day business functions.
Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Maryland
Currently, there are no statewide regulations in place for freight brokers in Maryland. Instead, freight brokers must follow national regulations, which require you to earn a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, you must obtain a government-issued Broker Authority license to practice.
You do not need to complete an internship or apprenticeship program, enroll in a post-secondary education program or earn certification to practice as a freight broker. Though not required, it would be a wise decision for you to take advantage of these options, as they will help expand your knowledge of the industry and lay the foundation for a rewarding career. Other options for advancement include finding a seasoned professional who is willing to take you under their wing and serve as your mentor.
Maryland Schools for Freight Brokers
Enrolling in a training program for freight brokers is one of the best ways to develop your skillset before beginning your career. Consider one of the available programs below:
- Freight Broker Boot Camp offers students six months of full online access to financial strategies, workflow diagrams, training articles, negotiating methods and much more, for a payment of $98. With just 30 days of study, you can acquire the skills and knowledge needed to become a freight broker.
- Brooke Training allows ualifying military veterans to attend courses for free. The program also offers job placement assistance to all students upon course completion. Areas of study include basic and advanced techniques. Courses are available online and in-person, the latter only in select states.
- Freight Movers School also offers online and in-person courses. Students will learn brokerage basics along with how to increase sales. Currently, in-person training is available exclusively in Texas and Georgia.
Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Maryland
Across the U.S., every aspiring freight broker needs to follow the regulations set by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
According to this administration, to obtain your Broker Authority license (also known as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license), you must first register your company as a business. Next, you will need to obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number. Finally, you will submit this number, an application and $300 application fee to the FMCSA. Application processing time typically takes between four and six weeks. Please note that all licensed freight brokers are required to carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.
Those who are interested in earning credentials may opt to sit for the Certified Transportation Broker exam, which is offered through the Transportation Intermediaries Association. This certification is not required but could help you land higher paying jobs or increase your clientele if you open your own brokerage.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) during 2017, freight brokers working in Maryland earned an average of $19.79 per hour, which is equivalent to $41,160 per year. The top 10 percent of freight brokers in this state earned more than $62,450 per year according to the same data.
Figures provided by the BLS also state that there were 560 freight brokers working in Maryland during 2016, and by 2026 this number is expected to rise to 600. This represents a 7.1 percent expansion in the job market for freight brokers in Maryland during this 10-year period.
Working as a Freight Broker in Maryland
Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland by hundreds of thousands. Due to its large population, this city will have the highest amount of freight distribution in Maryland, making it an ideal place to work for freight brokers in this state.
If you are new to the industry, you will benefit from working at an established brokerage company with a history of achievement. This will allow you to establish your own career based on principles and techniques that have been proven to be effective. If you have lots of energy and are willing to dedicate your time to learning as much as possible, you may want to consider getting started as a freight broker today.