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.

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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 freight brokerage industry in Ohio, 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 Ohio, these professionals earn an average salary of $41,240 annually, which is slightly lower than the national average. The top 10 percent of earners in Ohio make more than $62,440 per year.

National vs. Ohio Salaries:

Percentile United States Salary Ohio Salary
10% $32,720 $33,320
25% $38,400 $38,400
Median (50%) $46,860 $41,240
75% $58,710 $51,170
90% $70,280 $62,440

Salaries by Region in Ohio:

Location 10% 25% Median (50%) 75% 90%
Akron, OH $37,190 $37,640 $37,640 $49,000 $62,310

Freight Broker Trends in Ohio

The employment trends for Cargo and Freight Agents in Ohio (43-5011.00) show a steady growth pattern for the decade from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, Ohio had 2,360 employees working in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 2,590 employees by 2030, representing a growth rate of 10%. Additionally, there are expected to be around 260 job openings annually over this period, which includes openings due to both growth and replacement. This trend suggests a stable job market for cargo and freight agents in Ohio, aligning with 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)
Ohio 2,360 employees 2,590 employees 10% 260
United States 95,900 employees (2022) 105,200 employees (2032) 10% (Much faster than average) 11,000

Sources of Data:

Ohio Data: The employment figures and projections for Ohio 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 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.