How to Become a Freight Broker in South Dakota

Freight brokers are responsible for making seamless connections between carriers and shipping companies. To do this, you must understand the needs of the shipping company as well as the capabilities of the carrier. You can set yourself up as a valuable asset to both parties, as long as you understand how to communicate properly and remain consistent with professional business practices. You may also work in tandem with freight agents, who will help you build databases of carrier and shipper information and assist you in communicating with both parties before, during and after the shipping process.

Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in South Dakota

Many career paths require a college degree and other credentials; however, freight brokerage is not one of them. According to national law, freight brokers simply need to earn a high school diploma or GED, and then obtain a government-issued Broker Authority license, in order to practice in this field.

National laws do not require freight brokers to take advantage of any post-secondary education programs, but it is a wise option, especially for those who are new to the trade. You may even choose to learn by becoming an apprentice, completing an internship program or finding a freight broker who is willing to serve as your mentor. These opportunities will help you advance more quickly than you might if you decided to enter the career field with no training or experience.

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South Dakota Schools for Freight Brokers

While schooling is not required, it may be ideal for those who have a desire to learn all the ins and outs of the industry before entering the field. Consider the available programs below:

  • Freight Broker Boot Camp is based online and allows students to acquire the necessary skills to become a freight broker within as little as 30 days. For a payment of $98, students will receive six months of full access to training articles, financial strategies, workflow diagrams, negotiating methods and much more.
  • Brooke Training allows ualified military veterans to attend courses for free, while every student who completes courses will also receive job placement assistance. Courses are offered both online and in-person in select states.
  • Freight Movers School offers courses on brokerage basics for new freight brokers. There is also a course on improving sales for more experienced brokers. In-person courses currently take place only in Texas and Georgia. Online courses are also available no matter where you live.

Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in South Dakota

National regulations for freight brokers are enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). According to this administration, in order to obtain your Broker Authority license (also known as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license), you will first need to register your company as a business. Next, you will obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number. You will then submit this number, an application and a $300 application fee to the FMCSA. Your application will be processed within four to six weeks.

It s important to note that all freight brokers are expected to carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.

You can become a Certified Transportation Broker by successfully completing the exam administered by the Transportation Intermediaries Association. If you are inexperienced, this credential could help you land jobs or find clients early in your career.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The freight brokerage industry in South Dakota, 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 South Dakota earn an average salary of $55,480 per year. The top 10 percent of earners in South Dakota make more than $90,070 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. South Dakota Salaries:

Percentile United States Salary South Dakota Salary
10% $32,720 $46,830
25% $38,400 $47,610
Median (50%) $46,860 $55,480
75% $58,710 $72,410
90% $70,280 $90,070

Salaries by Region in South Dakota:

Location 10% 25% Median (50%) 75% 90%
East South Dakota nonmetropolitan area $46,990 $47,430 $58,830 $72,410 $90,070
Rapid City, SD $47,050 $47,610 $55,560 $72,860 $90,640
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD $37,120 $41,860 $51,660 $66,140 $78,770
Sioux Falls, SD $46,830 $48,000 $53,810 $65,840 $74,880

Freight Broker Trends in South Dakota

The employment trends for Cargo and Freight Agents in South Dakota (43-5011.00) indicate a steady growth pattern for the decade from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, South Dakota had 210 employees working in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 230 employees by 2030, representing a growth rate of 10%. 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 South Dakota, 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)
South Dakota 210 employees 230 employees 10% 20
United States 95,900 employees (2022) 105,200 employees (2032) 10% (Much faster than average) 11,000

Sources of Data:

South Dakota Data: The employment figures and projections for South Dakota 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 South Dakota

Freight brokers have high earning potential, and this potential is maximized when they work in densely populated areas. This is because these will be the places with the largest amounts of freight distribution. In South Dakota, freight brokers will earn the most compensation in Rapid City.

You’ll need to be patient and resilient to work in this industry. When you’re just starting out, you’ll have to do some groundwork in order to build your connections with shipping companies and carriers. Brokerage companies with proven track records of success will be great places for new brokers to work. When you venture off on your own to build a brokerage company, you’ll find greater levels of success in a shorter amount of time if you’ve already laid the foundation for a successful career. Choose to learn all you can from experienced professionals, build your knowledge of the industry and set your goals high to establish a fruitful career as a freight broker.