How to Become a Freight Broker in Rhode Island

Freight brokers are often a necessary component in the shipping process. When an item is ready for transport, carriers are responsible for getting the item to its intended destination. Freight brokers are expected to make strategic connections between shipping companies and available carriers. While an item is in transport, it is the freight broker who will communicate back and forth between the carrier and shipper, making sure the item arrives safely and on time. Typically, freight agents will assist in this process, working as independent contractors who handle more of the customer-facing components of the business.

Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Rhode Island

To work as a freight broker in the U.S., you must follow national regulations. These regulations require all freight brokers to earn a high school diploma or equivalent and then obtain a government-issued Broker Authority license (also known as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license). There are currently no state regulations in place for this career field in Rhode Island.

While there are no requirements to complete a post-secondary education program or earn certification, both of these options could be beneficial to the aspiring freight broker in many ways, including a possible increase in earnings. Additionally, choosing to complete an internship program could help sharpen your skills and prepare you for a rewarding career.

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Rhode Island Schools for Freight Brokers

Whether you complete a training program before applying for your license is up to you. If you feel it will help you achieve your career goals, consider one of the programs below:

  • Freight Broker Boot Camp is based entirely online and helps aspiring freight brokers develop the skills necessary to enter the field within just 30 days. For a payment of $98, students receive six months of full online access to training articles, financial strategies, workflow diagrams, negotiating methods and much more.
  • Brooke Training offers ourses both in-person and online. Veterans who qualify are invited to attend courses free of charge. Each student will also receive job placement assistance upon course completion. Areas of study consist of both basic and advanced brokerage techniques.
  • Freight Movers School also offers both in-person and online courses. New freight brokers will take the course on brokerage basics, while those who are advanced will take the course on improving sales. In-person courses are currently held only in Texas and Georgia.

Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Rhode Island

After you’ve earned your high school diploma or GED, you will need to register your company as a business before applying for your license. Next, you will obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number, which you will submit to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You will also need to submit an application and $300 application fee. After four to six weeks, you will know whether or not your application has been approved.

Keep in mind that all licensed freight brokers are required to carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.

Those who are interested in earning certification may want to sit for the Certified Transportation Brokers exam, which is administered by the Transportation Intermediaries Association. This certification is completely voluntary.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The freight brokerage industry in Rhode Island, as part of the broader freight transportation sector, is showing trends in terms of salaries. 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 Rhode Island earn an average salary of $46,630 per year. The top 10 percent of earners in Rhode Island make more than $61,570 per year. In comparison, cargo and freight agents in the United States earn an average salary of $46,860 per year, with the top 10 percent earning more than $70,280 annually.

National vs. Rhode Island Salaries:

Percentile United States Salary Rhode Island Salary
10% $32,720 $31,840
25% $38,400 $41,030
Median (50%) $46,860 $46,630
75% $58,710 $51,410
90% $70,280 $61,570

Salaries by Region in Rhode Island:

Location 10% 25% Median (50%) 75% 90%
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA $31,840 $41,030 $46,620 $52,880 $61,570

Freight Broker Trends in Rhode Island

The employment trends for Cargo and Freight Agents in Rhode Island (43-5011.00) show a moderate growth pattern for the decade from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, Rhode Island had 200 employees working in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 210 employees by 2030, representing a growth rate of 5%. Additionally, there are expected to be around 20 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 Rhode Island, though the growth rate is slightly lower than the national average.

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)
Rhode Island 200 employees 210 employees 5% 20
United States 95,900 employees (2022) 105,200 employees (2032) 10% (Much faster than average) 11,000

Sources of Data:

Rhode Island Data: The employment figures and projections for Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the most densely populated city is Providence. This is the city where the highest paid freight brokers in the state will be found working. Due to its large population, this city will see more freight distribution than any other city in Rhode Island.

Freight brokers may work for existing brokerage companies, or they can choose to begin by starting their own brokerage. Cold-calling may be involved in order to create a strong database of shipping companies and carriers, and you’ll also have to sell yourself as a valuable asset to prospective clients. For this reason, working directly under an experienced broker may be ideal for those who are new to the field. No matter what you choose, be prepared to have some tenacity and resilience in order to succeed in this industry.