Becoming a Freight Broker in Arkansas – Get Your License
Whenever a cargo load has to be shipped by land, it is the job of Freight Brokers to take charge of handling the process. Shippers get in touch with Freight Brokers, who then comb through their database to find a suitable carrier (transport company) with the appropriate specifications for the type of cargo and the shipper’s budget for shipment. All over the country, these professionals work tirelessly to make cargo shipments safe and efficient for all parties involved.
Becoming a Freight Broker involves constant communication with different people and intense organizational expectations. Still, it can be a lucrative and rewarding career for the right person. Some of their primary duties include making appointments with clients to discuss shipment, looking for the most suitable carrier company to fulfill the need, and monitoring every step of the ongoing shipment to ensure that everything goes well and without a hitch. If you are thinking of diving into the world of Freight Brokering, here is a list of essential qualities that every Freight Broker must possess, regardless of education and experience:
- The ability to communicate effectively with others to understand what the client needs as well as successfully negotiate pricing with carrier companies
- Good time management
- Excellent planning and organization skills
- Being able to remain calm and level-headed during unexpected situations
- The capacity to make quick and effective decisions
Freight Broker Licenses and Certifications in Arkansas
Arkansas requires no specific license for Freight Brokers to operate in the state, but all registered professionals must apply for a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the organization within the U.S. Department of Tourism that creates and enforces rules and regulations to ensure that carrier companies operate safely and efficiently. There are a few steps you need to take to obtain your Freight Broker license, which are:
- Applying for a USDOT (Department of Transportation) number through the Unified Registration System (URS) Application of the FMCSA for first-time licensure applicants
- Obtaining a Surety Bond (Form BMC-84) or Trust Fund Agreement (Form BMC-85) that is worth $75,000 or higher
- Appointing a Process Agent and applying for their registration through FMCSA Form BOC-3 (Your Process Agent is the legal representative in the state where you will be operating as a broker.)
- Paying the $300 application fee and waiting the required 4-6 weeks of processing time
Certifications are currently not required to work in this profession. However, obtaining a relevant certificate can give you a considerable advantage over others when attracting clients. Aside from benefiting from added knowledge and experience, certifications are also tangible proof of your competency and capability in the industry. The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) offers courses that award a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) certificate at the end, the highest and most widely recognized certification for brokers in the country.
Although employers would be keen on hiring those with at least a High School or GED diploma, there are no educational requirements needed to work as a Freight Broker. Nevertheless, attending training and relevant classes is necessary to learn about the field and become a successful Freight Broker.
Relevant Freight Broker Education in Arkansas
Many educational institutions across the country offer training and courses for Freight Brokers, which are mostly fully online-based. This is convenient for those whose schedules are geared more toward online learning. Here are some schools around Arkansas to get you started on your journey:
- The University of Arkansas – Little Rock in Little Rock, AR, offers an online course in Freight Brokering. The curriculum is created by specialists and is self-paced, which means you can take the classes at the leisure of your own time.
- Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, AR, offers a comprehensive course on Freight Brokering, including everything you need to know about obtaining an FMCSA license.
- TALTOA, located in Fort Smith, AR, specializes in Freight Broker training and consulting. They offer live and personalized training as well as guaranteed placements and support consulting.
Career Outlook and Salary of Freight Brokers
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 95,600 Freight Brokers are currently employed in the country. The long-term (2020-2030) growth rate for this career is at a national average of 10 percent, with 9,500 new jobs projected to arise per year.
A Freight Broker working in the United States earns an average hourly income of $21.04, which amounts to $54,880 a year. Their experience in the industry and commissions earned per year will add a substantial amount to that number. Higher-earning Freight Brokers have reported annual wages amounting up to $69,890.
Freight Broker Opportunities in Arkansas
When it comes to transporting goods and cargo, Freight Brokers are an indispensable resource. Hence, professionals are always in high demand, especially in places where many transport and shipments go through. Companies in Arkansas are looking to hire competent Freight Brokers in Fort Smith, Little Rock, and Bentonville.