How to Become a Freight Broker in Minnesota
Working as a freight broker requires consistency, resilience and persistence. This is because you may experience rejection often. Freight brokers connect shipping companies with carriers, and in order to turn profits freight brokers must do well at negotiating. When you’re starting out, you may encounter shipping companies or carriers who are unwilling to work with you at your desired compensation rates, carriers who end up being less reliable than you initially thought, or shipping companies who feel they have no need for your services. You must position yourself as someone who is qualified, trustworthy and efficient, which may require building a team. Freight brokers typically work with freight agents who assist them in compiling databases and reaching out to clients.
Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Minnesota
Freight brokers in Minnesota are not held to any statewide regulations. However, national regulations require freight brokers to first earn a high school diploma or GED and then obtain a government-issued Broker Authority license.
Completing a training program for freight brokers is recommended, although not required for advancement within the trade. You may also benefit greatly from completing an internship program and working under a seasoned professional. Additionally, you may choose to earn certification to further distinguish yourself from other freight brokers who may be your direct competition.
Minnesota Schools for Freight Brokers
Since many colleges and universities do not currently offer courses for freight brokers, most training programs will be available online. Consider those listed below:
- Freight Broker Boot Camp is an online training program that allows students to learn how to become a freight broker in as little as 30 days. For just $98, students receive six months of full online access to workflow diagrams, training articles, negotiating methods, financial strategies and much more.
- Brooke Training allows tudents to acquire both basic and advanced skills to establish a long-lasting career in freight brokerage. Veterans who qualify can receive free tuition. The program also offers assistance with job placement upon course completion.
- Freight Movers School provides courses in freight brokerage basics for beginners. Those who are more advanced within the trade may want to sign up for a separate course that teaches students how to improve sales. This school is also based online.
Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Minnesota
After earning your high school diploma or GED, national regulations also require aspiring freight brokers to meet the standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order to obtain their Broker Authority license (also referred to as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license).
The first requirement is to register your company as a business. After doing so, you will obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number. This number, as well as a license application and $300 application fee, must then be submitted to the FMCSA. This organization will review your information and issue your license upon approval. Applications are typically processed within 4 to 6 weeks.
The FMCSA requires that freight brokers carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.
Freight brokers who are interested in certification may opt to become Certified Transportation Brokers. The exam for this certification is offered exclusively through the Transportation Intermediaries Association.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) during 2017, freight brokers working in Minnesota earned an average of $22.03 per hour, which is equivalent to $45,820 per year. The top 10 percent of freight brokers in this state earned more than $63,000 per year.
Figures provided by the BLS also state that there were 1,350 freight brokers working in the state of Minnesota during 2016, and by 2026 this number is projected to rise to 1,430. This represents a 6 percent expansion in the job market for freight brokers in Minnesota during this 10-year period.
Working as a Freight Broker in Minnesota
Due to the nature of this industry, freight brokers will earn the highest compensation in cities with large populations. In Minnesota, those cities are Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
You may find employment at existing brokerages or you may choose to start your own brokerage business. If you’re just starting out, you may benefit from working at a brokerage that has been in business for several years. This way, you can learn insider tips on how to build a thriving business as a freight broker.