How to Become a Freight Broker in Montana

Freight brokers often serve as the link between shippers and carriers. To create harmonious relationships between the two parties, freight brokers need to understand important details about the needs of the shipper as well as the capabilities of the carrier. You’ll also need to negotiate pricing in order to generate the highest profits possible. Freight agents will usually work under brokers as independent contractors, assisting with the communication between all parties involved in the shipping process, as well as perform organizational business duties.

Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Montana

In Montana, like all other U.S. states, there are no regulations in place for freight brokers. National laws simply require freight brokers to earn a high school diploma or GED as well as a Broker Authority license.

Before obtaining your license, you may find it helpful to complete a training program for freight brokers. You also have the option of developing your expertise by completing an internship, apprenticeship or by finding a mentor who has a proven track record of success within the industry. Certification is also available for those who are interested.

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Montana Schools for Freight Brokers

Some colleges and universities may offer training programs for freight brokers as continuing education courses. Other programs, like those listed below, are created specifically for freight brokers at a variety of experience levels.

  • Freight Broker Boot Camp is a training program that takes place online. The program allows students to learn how to become a freight broker in as little as 30 days. With a payment of $98, students will receive six months of online access to workflow diagrams, training articles, negotiating methods, financial strategies and much more.
  • Brooke Training offers asic and advanced training for freight brokers, which takes place both in-person and online. Veterans who qualify will receive free tuition. Students will also receive assistance with job placement upon course completion.
  • Freight Movers School allows those who are inexperienced to take courses in freight brokerage basics. Skilled freight brokers may be interested in the course on how to improve sales. This school is also based online.

Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Montana

Once you have earned your high school diploma or equivalent, you will be eligible to apply for your Broker Authority license (also referred to as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license). The licensing process is overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

According to the FMCSA, the first step to obtaining your license is to register your company as a business. You will then need to obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number. Next, you will submit this number, along with an application and $300 application fee, to the FMCSA. The application processing time is 4 to 6 weeks, and once your application has been approved you will receive your license. National law also requires all freight brokers to carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.

You can become a Certified Transportation Broker by taking the exam offered exclusively through the Transportation Intermediaries Association. This certification is optional and may help you get a head-start on the competition if you are just entering the industry.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The freight brokerage industry in Montana, 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 Montana, these professionals earn a higher average salary of $51,840 annually. The top 10 percent of earners in Montana make more than $78,560 per year.

National vs. Montana Salaries:

Percentile United States Salary Montana Salary
10% $32,720 $37,660
25% $38,400 $45,710
Median (50%) $46,860 $51,840
75% $58,710 $62,240
90% $70,280 $78,560

Salaries by Region in Montana:

Percentile United States Salary Montana Salary
10% $32,720 $37,660
25% $38,400 $45,710
Median (50%) $46,860 $51,840
75% $58,710 $62,240
90% $70,280 $78,560

Freight Broker Trends in Montana

The employment trends for Cargo and Freight Agents in Montana (43-5011.00) show a positive growth trajectory for the decade from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, Montana had 460 employees working in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 510 employees by 2030, representing a growth rate of 11%. Additionally, there are expected to be around 60 job openings annually over this period, which includes openings due to both growth and replacement. This trend suggests a healthy job market for cargo and freight agents in Montana, slightly outpacing the national average growth rate.

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)
Montana 460 employees 510 employees 11% 60
United States 95,900 employees (2022) 105,200 employees (2032) 10% (Much faster than average) 11,000

Sources of Data:

Montana Data: The employment figures and projections for Montana 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 Montana

Freight brokers in Montana will earn the highest compensation in cities like Billings and Missoula. As they are the highest populated cities in the state, there will be more work available for freight brokers in metropolitan areas like these.

Successful, existing brokerages are ideal places to work for new freight brokers. Starting your own brokerage will be easier if you are already quite familiar with the industry. Once you have developed the skillset necessary to do your job with ease, handling your own brokerage is more likely to be a successful endeavor.

Do you think this career is a perfect fit for you? If your answer is yes, you should consider getting started today.