Becoming a Freight Broker in New Mexico – Get Your License
Freight brokers are crucial members of the transport industry. They work with shippers who seek to move goods and carriers looking to transport them. Brokers work to create relationships between these two sides, ensuring that both are happy with the price and that the load arrives at its intended destination safely and legally.
Brokers perform multiple tasks throughout their day. Some of these include:
- Researching and building relationships with potential shippers and carriers
- Negotiating rates and providing quotes
- Troubleshooting problems that may occur during transportation
- Financial reconciliation includes issuing invoices and collection payments
- Processing permits and meeting all legal requirements
- Staying current on transportation trends to secure the best prices
If you are considering a career in brokerage, be aware that your days start early and can often be chaotic and stressful. However, such an environment energizes you, and your communication and negotiation skills are robust, freight brokerage can be a rewarding career path with multiple opportunities.
Although New Mexico holds no requirements for freight brokers to obtain formal post-secondary education, National law requires that all freight brokers acquire a Broker Authority license which is also known as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority License. This license comes from the U.S Department of Transportation‘s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) who will issue you a number known as a (DOT). This number will be used to apply for your license and takes 4 – 6 weeks to be processed. There is a $300 non-refundable processing fee and applicants must be able to prove the following:
- Demonstrate that you possess a $75,000 surety bond
- That you have adequate insurance to cover cargo and general liability
- That you have a designated freight agent in each state that you intend to work with
Studying in New Mexico
There is no requirement to pursue post-secondary education. Yet, many employers prefer to hire brokers that have some training and knowledge to bring to the position. This is especially true if you are planning on opening your own brokerage. Securing new clients will be much easier if you can prove to them that you are trustworthy and knowledgeable about the industry.
For those looking to complete some formal training, consider completing a program run by the corporate partners of Brooke Transportation Training Solutions and Ed2go. They offer a 180-hour program that can be completed in conjunction with any of the following institutions:
- University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
- Central New Mexico Community College (Albuquerque)
- New Mexico State University at Carlsbad
- Northern New Mexico College (El Rito)
- Eastern New Mexico University at Ruidoso
- Santa Fe Community College (Santa Fe)
If you are looking to advance your career even further, you should consider getting certified through the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) by becoming a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB). You are not required to become certified, but it signals to potential employers and clients that you are dedicated to bettering the transportation industry.
In order to become certified, candidates need to complete the TIA’s Certified Transportation Broker course. The course takes an average of 80 to 180 hours to complete and costs $800 for non-members and $675 for members. Once this course has been completed, candidates must write and pass a three-part exam. The components of the exam can be completed all at once or separately as long as all parts are completed within three exam cycles. The cost of writing the exam is $525 for non-members and $375 for members.
There is no requirement for membership with the TIA in order to become certified, but there are many benefits for those that choose to become members, including job postings, industry networking opportunities and training information.
Salary Expectations and Career Outlook
Across the nation, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that freight brokers can expect to make an average of $43,770 per year. This works out to about $21.04 per hour. In New Mexico, brokers can expect to make a little more with an average yearly expectation of $49,330, which works out to about $23.70 per hour. An experienced broker may make up to $76,760 per year with training and time.
The career outlook for a new broker is average to slightly higher than average. The freight broker occupation is expected to grow by 5 to 10 percent from 2020 – 2030, this means an addition of about 10,700 positions. In New Mexico specifically, there are fewer projected job openings: only 20 new openings per year between 2018 – 2028. With this in mind, formal training and certification could mean the difference between acquiring one of these coveted positions or not.
Working in New Mexico
Freight brokers will have the best luck seeking employment or setting up their own business in urban areas, particularly near shipping and transport hubs or major manufacturing centers.
The best urban areas in New Mexico to look for employment are: Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe.