How to Become a
Freight Broker

Woman taking notes while standing in front of a box

Do you want to have a career that revolves around your communication abilities? If so, then you may want to consider a career as a Freight Broker. This guide will break down the skills required to succeed as a Freight Broker, as well as the educational path towards getting an entry-level Freight Broker job. It will also include salary information and a glimpse at some common Freight Broker tasks.

What Does a Freight Broker Do?

A Freight Broker is a matchmaker between those who transport goods and those who need goods transported. Today’s technology allows Freight Brokers to work from anywhere, including home. With that being said, most of a Freight Broker’s time is spent in the field having meetings with current and prospective clients.

Being a Freight Broker requires a unique mix of hard and soft skills. They have to have good communication skills to close deals, as well as technical knowledge to meet the logistical needs of clients. The following are some typical duties of a Freight Broker:

  • Communicative tasks, such as pitching services and negotiating deals with clients

  • Analytical tasks, such as dissecting logistical data to craft informed solutions to client problems

  • Organizational tasks, such as keeping track of multiple clients and ensuring a seamless delivery for clients

Freight Broker Skills

At their core, a Freight Broker is a salesperson. Good communication skills are a must. If a Freight Broker can't close deals, then they don't make money. If a Freight Broker can't build relationships, then they won't succeed. Written communication skills are also important. A Freight Broker in the Internet age relies on e-mail as a valuable communication tool for reaching busy decision makers. Freight Brokers also need technical skills like proficiency in math in order to calculate things like mileage for trips  and currency conversions.

Other Freight Broker skills include:

  • Ability to multitask and work in a fast-paced environment

  • Negotiation skills

  • Basic computer skills

  • Networking skills

  • Time management skills

How Do You Become a Freight Broker?

Education and Training

Based on analysis of Freight Broker job postings, it is possible to get an entry-level job with a High School diploma. With that being said, most positions ask for candidates to have a Bachelor's degree in Logistics or Supply Chain Management. Coursework in these degrees covers topics such as:

  • Business Ethics

  • Project Management

  • Distribution Strategies

  • Managing Supply and Inventory

  • Accounting

Those looking to pursue a Bachelor’s degree should look for a program that requires an internship for graduation. An Internship gives you work experience for your resume and can lead to full-time employment.

The transportation industry is federally regulated. This means employers are extra cautious during the hiring process. It is for this reason that earning a certification from the Transportation Intermediary Association makes you more attractive in today’s job market. Earning the Certified Transportation Broker certification requires completion of a four-hour, multiple-choice exam. The exam covers best business practices, regulatory issues and traffic management concepts.

Finding a Job

Cargo and supply transport has been the bedrock of a functioning society since the dawn of civilization. Given the increasingly complex needs of our globalized society, Freight Brokers will always be in demand. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Freight Brokers is forecasted to grow 9 percent through 2024. Developing countries in an increasingly globalized society will be the driving force in creating Freight Broker jobs. Aspiring Freight Brokers will find job openings at companies that specialize in anything from local to international transportation.

Do you think you have the skillset to be a successful Freight Broker? Getting a job as a Freight Broker starts with creating a resume that highlights your skills. Check out JobHero’s Freight Broker Resume Samples to jumpstart your process.

Once you’ve nailed your resume, the next step is to search online for job opportunities. Remember that your network can be a vital tool in helping your job search. Be sure to utilize LinkedIn to connect with others in the industry.

When crafting your Freight Broker cover letter, be sure to interject your personality while highlighting your communication skills. Make the reader feel like they have to meet you in an interview. If you're stuck, then check out our Freight Broker cover letter sample to get unstuck.

Insights from a Freight Broker

Scroll down to get some insight into the lives of freight brokers and what they do.

What is the common career path for a Freight Broker?

The most common career path to becoming a freight broker is first acquiring a bachelor's in Logistics or Supply Chain Management. Although there may be some jobs open to high school graduates, it is much more common to see job descriptions of this sort with a bachelor's requirement. People in this industry also tend to apply for internship programs which provide the experience sometimes needed to be taken into consideration.

What should someone consider before becoming a Freight Broker?

You're going to need a bachelor's degree. Most of the things you'll learn in a bachelor's degree are rarely going to be needed because most of it is handled by corporate employees. So something to consider before applying for a job is if they offer training. There are certification programs out there that may be too expensive to afford and you might as well be thinking about attending an undergraduate program instead. But if the company offers the training that's where you want to aim for.

What type of person excels in this job?

They are self-motivated. Usually, plan strategically for results and customer satisfaction. They are usually very active in their job and attentive to detail and flexibility.

What are some of the most important skills for Freight Brokers to have?

The most important skills a freight broker can have is the ability to communicate properly and do networking. Excellent negotiation skills and knowledge of foreign languages are also a plus. High organizational mindset and the ability to market your business if you are a small or independent broker will put you on track towards success.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a Freight Broker?

There are many things that freight brokers enjoy about their jobs. One of them is being independent and having control over their schedules. There is unlimited earning potential depending on how many hours you work and clients usually grow dependent on you.

How Much Does a Freight Broker Get Paid?

Freight Brokers are generally paid on an hourly basis, with the median wage in the U.S. being $20.13. Freight Brokers in the bottom 10th percentile make $11.76, while those in the top 90th percentile make $32.08.

The Top 10 States for Freight Broker Salary

    West Virginia

    $25.76

    Maine

    $25.18

    Connecticut

    $23.80

    Rhode Island

    $23.19

    Alabama

    $23.10

    Oklahoma

    $22.82

    New Hampshire

    $22.34

    Pennsylvania

    $21.79

    Texas

    $21.57

    Washington

    $21.56

    Freight Broker Resources

    Are you looking to dive deeper into the world of a Freight Broker? Check out this list of resources to advance your exploration.

    Web Resources

    Careeronestop.org
    This informational hub, which is sponsored by the United States Department of Labor, has everything you need to know about becoming a Freight Broker.

    Coursera.org
    Coursera is an online learning hub that offers digital courses from real Universities. This is a great place to learn skills and knowledge possessed by Freight Brokers, such as Logistics and Project Management.

    Professional Groups

    Transportation Intermediaries Association
    This is the leading professional association for Freight Brokers in America. They have an education hub filled with specialized courses, and they also provide the Certified Transportation Broker designation.

    The information in this article comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job postings and other online sources.