How to Become a Freight Broker in North Carolina

Freight brokers play an integral role in the process of transporting freight from point A to point B. If a shipping company is in need of a carrier, they may not have the time or resources to do the proper research in order to find a carrier who is responsible and reliable. Instead, freight brokers are just one call away, and since doing the research is part of their job function, they can make seamless connections between both parties. Freight brokers will also need to communicate frequently with both carriers and shippers to ensure expectations are being met. To assist with these duties, freight agents will work for brokers as independent contractors, helping to ensure that business practices are effective and highly functional.

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Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in North Carolina

On a state-level, there are no laws in place for freight brokerage. Instead, all freight brokers must meet national standards, which will require you to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, you’ll need to obtain a government-issued license to practice. This license is commonly referred to as a Broker Authority license or Motor Carrier Operating Authority license.

There are no requirements to complete a post-secondary education program, earn certification or complete an internship program; however, each of these options will be great additions to your resume. Moreover, finding a professional who is willing to be your mentor is another way to learn the tricks of the trade before entering the field.

North Carolina Schools for Freight Brokers

Post-secondary education may be necessary for some, while others may feel they can succeed without it. If you are in favor of learning as much as you can in a curriculum-based setting, you may find one of the programs below to be appealing:

  • Freight Broker Boot Camp allows students six months of full online access to financial strategies, negotiating methods, workflow diagrams, training articles and much more for a price of $98. Students will acquire the skills to enter the industry within just 30 days of study.
  • Brooke Training offers ree tuition to veterans who qualify. The program also offers all students job placement assistance upon course completion. In-person and online courses are available for both new and advanced freight brokers.
  • Freight Movers School also allows students to complete courses either in-person, in states like Texas and Georgia, or online. Areas of study include improving sales and brokerage basics.

Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in North Carolina

The licensing process for freight brokers is overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These national regulations require that all freight brokers first register their company as a business before applying for a license. Next, you must obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number. You will then submit this number, along with an application and $300 application fee, to the FMCSA. You will receive approval within four to six weeks of submitting all the required information. All licensed freight brokers must also carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.

You an become a Certified Transportation Broker by sitting for the exam administered by the Transportation Intermediaries Association. This certification is not required but may help new freight brokers land coveted positions within the industry.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The freight brokerage industry in North Carolina, 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 North Carolina, these professionals earn an average salary of $46,240 annually, closely aligning with the national average. The top 10 percent of earners in North Carolina make more than $63,780 per year.

National vs. North Carolina Salaries:

Percentile United States Salary North Carolina Salary
10% $32,720 $21,230
25% $38,400 $36,290
Median (50%) $46,860 $46,240
75% $58,710 $55,250
90% $70,280 $63,780

Salaries by Region in North Carolina:

Location 10% 25% Median (50%) 75% 90%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $21,230 $29,690 $48,090 $58,170 $63,820
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $21,510 $34,980 $47,940 $56,890 $58,940

Freight Broker Trends in North Carolina

The employment trends for Cargo and Freight Agents in North Carolina (43-5011.00) indicate a notable growth pattern for the decade from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, North Carolina had 3,040 employees working in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 3,420 employees by 2030, representing a growth rate of 13%. Additionally, there are expected to be around 350 job openings annually over this period, which includes openings due to both growth and replacement. This trend suggests a robust job market for cargo and freight agents in North Carolina, surpassing 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)
North Carolina 3,040 employees 3,420 employees 13% 350
United States 95,900 employees (2022) 105,200 employees (2032) 10% (Much faster than average) 11,000

Sources of Data:

North Carolina Data: The employment figures and projections for North Carolina 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 North Carolina

Charlotte is the most highly populated city in North Carolina by far, making it the city where the highest paid freight brokers can be found working in this state.

Freight brokers may opt to work for existing brokerage companies, or they may choose to work as entrepreneurs. Choosing to work for a brokerage company may mean that some of the tougher duties, like building a client database, is already done for you. While the entrepreneurial route will allow you to be more in control, it will also require more work on your end, at least initially. If you’re prepared to do the work, you can begin to turn profits quickly.

This career field will continue to grow in the coming years, so if you’re interested, now is an opportune time to get started.