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.

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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

The freight brokerage industry in Minnesota, as part of the broader freight transportation sector, is showing positive trends in terms of salaries and job growth. According to the latest data, the salary figures for cargo and freight agents have been updated from previous years.

As of 2022, cargo and freight agents in the United States earn an average salary of $46,860 per year. In Minnesota, these professionals earn a slightly lower average salary of $46,650 annually. The top 10 percent of earners in Minnesota make more than $72,490 per year.

National vs. Minnesota Salaries:

Percentile United States Salary Minnesota Salary
10% $32,720 $38,850
25% $38,400 $42,880
Median (50%) $46,860 $46,650
75% $58,710 $59,520
90% $70,280 $72,490

Salaries by Region in Minnesota:

Location 10% 25% Median (50%) 75% 90%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $39,780 $44,440 $46,650 $59,520 $72,490
Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area $33,960 $38,850 $49,330 $64,140 $72,970
St. Cloud, MN $38,920 $39,170 $45,310 $57,710 $60,060

Freight Broker Trends in Minnesota

The employment trends for Cargo and Freight Agents in Minnesota (43-5011.00) indicate a moderate growth pattern for the decade from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, Minnesota had 1,340 employees working in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 1,430 employees by 2030, representing a growth rate of 7%. Additionally, there are expected to be around 140 job openings annually over this period, which includes openings due to both growth and replacement. This trend suggests a steady job market for cargo and freight agents in Minnesota, though the growth rate is slightly lower than 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)
Minnesota 1,340 employees 1,430 employees 7% 140
United States 95,900 employees (2022) 105,200 employees (2032) 10% (Much faster than average) 11,000

Sources of Data:

Minnesota Data: The employment figures and projections for Minnesota 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 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.