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.
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
According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) during 2017, freight brokers working in Montana earned an average of $21.16 per hour, which is equivalent to approximately $44,020 per year. The top 10 percent of freight brokers in this state earned more than $62,000 during that same year.
Figures provided by the BLS also state that there were 340 freight brokers working in Montana during 2016, and by 2026 this number is projected to rise to 370. This represents a 9.5 percent expansion in the job market for freight brokers in Minnesota during this 10-year period.
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.