How to Become a Freight Broker in West Virginia
When an item arrives at your doorstep, you may be completely unaware of what it took for the item to get there. When shipping companies receive new cargo, they may be in need of carriers to transport these items to their intended destinations. Freight brokers do the necessary research to find carriers who will work well with different shipping companies. This will require you to build a database so that you can understand when carriers are available as well as the types of loads they are capable of transporting. To help with these efforts, you may work in collaboration with a freight agent who helps build these databases and communicates directly with customers.
Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in West Virginia
Freight brokers are not held to any statewide legislation in West Virginia. Instead, they must follow national regulations, which require a high school diploma or equivalent, along with a government-issued Broker Authority license to practice.
Since there are no requirements to complete a training program or earn certification, it is up to you if you would like to take advantage of the options available to help you advance within the industry. In addition to post-secondary education programs and national certification, you may choose to complete an internship or apprenticeship program. Further, you may find a seasoned professional who is wiling to take you under their wing and show you the tricks of the trade. If you want to be successful, it would be a wise decision to find a learning method that best suits you before entering this business.
West Virginia Schools for Freight Brokers
Completing a training program is not necessary to find employment as a freight broker. But if you’re interested in learning more about the trade in a way that is structured and tailored to your needs, you may be interested in one of the programs below:
- Freight Broker Boot Camp allows students to learn how to become a freight broker within just 30 days. The program is based entirely online and costs $98 for six months of full access. Students will learn about financial strategies, negotiating methods, training articles, workflow diagrams and much more.
- Brooke Training offers ob placement assistance to each student who completes courses. Free tuition is also available for veterans who qualify. Areas of study include both basic and advanced techniques, and courses are available in-person as well as online.
- Freight Movers School is also based online. In-person courses are available in select states. New freight brokers as well as those who are more experienced will benefit from the courses this program offers.
Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in West Virginia
When you have completed high school or earned your GED, you will need to follow the requirements set in place by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order to obtain your Broker Authority license (also referred to as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license).
These requirements include registering your company as a business. Once you have done that, you will need to obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number. Next, you’ll submit this number, an application and $300 application fee to the FMCSA. Your application will be processed within four to six weeks.
The FMCSA also requires that all freight brokers carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.
You can become a Certified Transportation Broker by successfully completing the exam administered through the Transportation Intermediaries Association. This credential is not necessary to work as a freight broker but may be useful, especially to brokers with little-to-no experience within the trade.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) during 2017, freight brokers working in West Virginia earned an average of $19.31 per hour, which is equivalent to $40,170 per year. The top 10 percent of freight brokers in this state earned more than $57,000 per year.
BLS data also indicates that there will be 7 percent national growth in the job market for freight brokers during the 10-year period between 2014 and 2024.
Working as a Freight Broker in West Virginia
Charleston is the most densely populated city in West Virginia, making it the best place to work for freight brokers in this state. This city will have a larger amount of freight distribution than anywhere else in West Virginia.
You can work as a self-employed freight broker by starting your own brokerage company; however, if you’re just starting out, it may be best to find employment at an existing brokerage company first. This will allow you to learn the tricks of the trade from brokers who are already experienced. Once you thoroughly understand best practices and industry techniques and develop the skills that will distinguish you from the competition, you’ll be in a great position to work independently at your very own brokerage company.