How to Become a Freight Broker in Washington
When an item arrives at a shipping company, it will be packaged and documented. A carrier will then be needed to transport the item to its intended destination. When a shipping company does not have the time or resources to find available carriers, they may rely on freight brokers, who are responsible for doing the research and investigation required to connect carriers with shipping companies. The freight broker will communicate with both parties throughout the shipping process, ensuring that items arrive as expected. To help with these duties, brokers will often employ freight agents as independent contractors.
Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Washington
There are currently no U.S. states with regulations in place for freight brokers. There are national laws, however, that every freight broker across the country must follow, which include earning a high school diploma or equivalent, along with a government-issued Broker Authority license to practice.
Enrolling in a post-secondary education program is not required, but it can be a useful option to learn more about the industry before starting your career. Additionally, you may choose to earn certification, complete an internship or find a professional who is willing to act as your mentor. All of these options will help prepare you for a successful career as a freight broker.
Washington Schools for Freight Brokers
Freight broker training programs are a great idea for those who want to increase their level of expertise in a curriculum-based environment.
- Load Training allows tudents to undergo training either online or in-person. In-person courses currently take place exclusively in the cities of Phoenix, Atlanta and Houston. These in-person training sessions last for just five days at a time. Students will learn how to create a truck availability database, how to respond to inquiries from carriers and shippers, and much more.
- Brooke Training also llows students to choose from in-person or online courses. Areas of study include both basic and advanced industry techniques. Veterans who qualify are invited to attend courses for free, and every student will receive job placement assistance upon course completion.
- Freight Movers School instructs new freight brokers on basic techniques. Those who are experienced may be interested in taking the course on improving sales. Courses are offered both in-person and online. Currently, on-campus courses can only be taken in Texas and Georgia.
Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Washington
The Broker Authority license is commonly referred to as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license. The regulations to obtain this license are set in place by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
According to this administration, to obtain this license you must first register your company as a business. Next, you must obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number. After doing so, you will send this number, along with an application and $300 application fee, to the FMCSA.
Application approval time is between four and six weeks. It is important to note that all licensed freight brokers are expected to carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.
If you’re interested in earning certification, you may want to sit for the Certified Transportation Brokers exam, which is offered through the Transportation Intermediaries Association. This certification is not required to find employment; however, it may help you land higher paying jobs or find more high-end clients as a professional freight broker.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data in 2017, which stated that freight brokers in Washington earned an average hourly income of $25.94, or $53,960 annually. The highest paid freight brokers in this state earned $84,770 during the same year.
The BLS also states that there were about 1,890 freight brokers working in Washington during 2016. By 2026, this number is expected to jump to 2,200, adding 310 workers to the field in Washington over this 10-year period.
Working as a Freight Broker in Washington
Seattle is the most populated city in Washington State, by far. This makes it a perfect city for freight brokers to work, as the high population will equate to a large amount of freight distribution.
Brokerage companies are an ideal place for new freight brokers to start their careers. This is because you’ll be surrounded by more experienced brokers, allowing you to learn from their mistakes to avoid making your own. When you have started earning large amounts of revenue, you may decide to start your own brokerage company. This will be an easier task if you already have substantial experience under your belt. If this career sounds exciting to you, apply your ambition and ability to self-motivate so that you can get started on your professional journey as a freight broker.