How to Become a Freight Broker in North Carolina – Get Your License
Consider becoming a freight broker in North Carolina if you’re looking for an exciting, challenging career that doesn’t require a degree. In a matter of months, you can learn the skills needed to do this job and earn your federal license.
What Are the Duties of a Freight Broker?
Freight brokers communicate between shippers, people and companies needing to ship goods, and carriers, the companies and individuals who transport goods. They connect shippers with the best carriers to meet their needs and budget.
As a freight broker, you’ll act as the middleman. The job requires attention to detail and good organizational skills. You must be able to problem-solve when something changes in a shipment and communicate well with people on both ends.
Some of the typical daily duties of a freight broker working in North Carolina are:
- Talking to clients about what the need for a shipment, including all details and budget
- Maintaining a list of carriers
- Assigning shipments to the appropriate carriers
- Negotiating prices and ensuring payments go through
- Planning a shipment from pick up to drop off of goods
- Tracking shipments and taking care of any issues that arise
- Keeping clients up to date on the status of shipments
- Finding cargo to fill carrier’s trucks
Do Freight Brokers Need a Degree or License to Work in North Carolina
Freight brokers are regulated at the federal level. The North Carolina Utilities Commission only regulates brokers working with passenger carriers. If you plan to work with tourist bus companies and similar carriers, you will need to apply with the Commission.
To broker goods and products across state lines, you need a license through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The first step is to apply for a U.S. Department of Transportation number, which you can do on the FMCSA website.
Next, you need to purchase a surety bond or trust fund agreement. These must be in the amount of $75,000 or more, and you’ll need to show proof when you apply for a license. Complete the BOC-3 form through the FMCSA to designate a process agent, and you’re ready to apply and submit the $300 fee.
These are the minimum requirements to begin working as a freight broker, but you may want to take a couple of additional steps:
- Register your business. Many freight brokers work independently, starting a small business. If you plan to do this, choose a legal framework, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), to be more professional. You can do this through the state.
- Earn certification. The Transportation Intermediaries Association offers a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) credential. As a CTB, you show clients and employers that you have the skills and knowledge to do the job.
Freight Broker Training Programs in North Carolina
You do not need to earn a degree or have any formal education to do this job. If you’re serious about it, though, consider completing a program in freight brokering, which will help you get started and get your license:
- Wake Technical Community College. Register through Wake Tech for an online course that provides everything you need to start your own freight broker business or find employment with an existing company.
- Fayetteville Technical Community College. Fayetteville offers a similar program, which takes about six months or less to complete.
- Brooke Transportation Training Solutions. This company offers in-person courses in freight brokering if you don’t prefer remote learning. You can find locations around the country, including Charlotte.
Career Outlook and Salaries for Freight Brokers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), growth in careers for freight brokers is strong, at 10 percent. In 2020, the BLS reported national employment in the field at 95,600. North Carolina is seeing similar growth. Freight broker jobs here are growing at a rate of 11%.
Salaries for freight brokers can vary depending on how they work. As an independent freight broker, you can set your rates and work hours. As an employee, you receive a salary. The national median salary for freight brokers is $43,770 per year. For those in North Carolina, the average is higher, at $45,950.
How to Work a Freight Broker in North Carolina
Once you’ve completed a program and received your license, you have a couple of options for working as a freight broker. You can start your own business, which means working anywhere you want. Alternatively, you can seek employment with an existing company. Most jobs are available in North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte.