How to Become a Freight Broker in Ohio
Freight brokers act as a go-between for carriers and shipping companies. Brokers will typically employ freight agents to work for them as independent contractors, and these agents will work to compile a database of carriers, making the broker’s job a bit easier. When a freight broker receives a call from a shipping company, the broker will rely on this database to find carriers who are available to transport loads from point A to point B. To do their jobs effectively, freight brokers will need to communicate thoroughly with all involved parties and have insurance coverage in case anything happens with the load before it reaches its destination.
Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Ohio
If you want to become a freight broker in Ohio, you should know that there are currently no statewide regulations in place for this trade. You will have to follow national regulations instead, which require all freight brokers to earn a high school diploma or GED and obtain a government-issued Broker Authority license.
While national requirements do not make it mandatory for freight brokers to complete post-secondary education programs or earn national certification, choosing to take advantage of both of these options could help you build a long-standing career in this field. Finding a mentor or completing an internship are also wise initiatives to take if you want to learn all you can before spreading your wings to fly on your own as a freight broker.
Ohio Schools for Freight Brokers
Enrolling in a training program will help you build your skills in a more structured way. Each program below was designed to help you learn the tricks of the trade in a curriculum-based setting.
- Load Training offers ourses both online and in-person. In-person trainings take place over a five-day period in the cities of Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix. The program will teach students how to respond to inquiries from carriers and shippers, how to create a truck availability database and more.
- Brooke Transportation Training Solutions also allows students to complete courses both in-person and online. Training options are available for the new and the experienced freight broker. Each student will receive assistance with job placement upon course completion, and qualifying veterans are invited to complete courses for free.
- Freight Movers School offers in-person courses in Georgia and Texas. Online courses are also available in the areas of brokerage basics and advanced techniques.
Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Ohio
The regulations for freight brokerage are set in place and enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This organization requires that all aspiring freight brokers first register their company name as a business. The next step requires you to obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number, and the following step is to submit this number, along with an application and application fee of $300, to the FMCSA.
Application approval time usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks. Once you have received your Broker Authority license (also known as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license), you will need to carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.
While certification is not necessary, it may be a desirable credential for those who want to market themselves as qualified and experienced freight brokers. The Certified Transportation Brokers exam is offered through the Transportation Intermediaries Association.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data in 2017 that stated that freight brokers in Ohio earned an average hourly income of $22.42, or $46,620 annually. The highest paid freight brokers in this state earned more than $70,000 during the same year.
The BLS also states that there were about 2,680 freight brokers working in Ohio during 2016. By 2026, this number is expected fall to 2,460, signifying an 8.2 percent decline in the job market during this 10-year period.
Working as a Freight Broker in Ohio
Cities with large populations will typically be the places where freight brokers can be found working. In Ohio, these cities include Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo.
Although Ohio is expected to see a small decline in the number of freight brokers working in this state over the coming years, this career field will continue to see growth nationally, especially as more people begin to shop exclusively online.
You can expect to find employment at existing brokerages, or you may choose to become your own boss by starting your own brokerage company. The latter will require more time, research and expertise, but it is always possible to achieve your dreams with the proper dedication.