How to Become a Freight Broker in Ohio – Get Your License

If you enjoy working with people and have an eye for detail and organization, consider being a freight broker in Ohio. This flexible career allows you to work as an employee for a brokering company or as a self-starting entrepreneur setting your own hours.

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To get started in freight brokering, learn more about what this career is and the requirements. Ohio schools and online programs provide the education you need to thrive as a freight broker. Once you have a license, you can start working.

What Does an Ohio Freight Broker Do?

Understanding what a freight broker does is important before jumping into this career. Freight brokers act as intermediaries, communicating between carriers and clients. Clients reach out to brokers to help set up transportation for their goods via carriers.

The broker keeps a database of carriers to choose the best company for a client’s needs and budget. Some of the day-to-day duties of a freight broker include:

  • Taking calls from clients and listening to the details and special requirements for a shipment
  • Maintaining information on carriers, their costs, and their areas of expertise in shipping
  • Finding the right match between shippers and carriers
  • Negotiating prices
  • Planning the details of a shipment and monitoring its progress
  • Updating clients on the state of their shipments
  • Problem-solving if something doesn’t go according to plan
  • Helping shippers fill empty spaces in their trucks

Some freight brokers work for larger companies, while others start their own small businesses to work with clients. To be good in this role, you must be detail-oriented, highly organized, and able to communicate effectively.

What Do You Need to Work as a Freight Broker in Ohio?

There are no formal education, training, or licensing requirements specific to working as a freight broker in Ohio. All freight brokers working in any state must be licensed through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The first step in getting licensed is to apply for a U.S. Department of Transportation number. You will also need to show proof of a Surety Bond or Trust Fund Agreement worth at least $75,000.

When you have these in hand, you can fill out the FMCSA form for designating a process agent. This can be you or someone else. You will also need to pay a license fee of $300. It will then take a few weeks to get your license.

If you’re planning to work for yourself, consider choosing a legal framework for your business, such as a limited liability company. This structure limits your personal liability for what can be costly situations in shipping cargo.

Ohio Training Programs for Freight Brokers

You do not need a formal education to begin working as a freight broker, but it’s a good way to get started. The right program will teach you the basics of working in the industry and improve your odds of getting a job or starting a successful business.

  • Miami University. Miami University offers a 100% online course in freight brokering. It includes 180 hours and takes about six months to complete. The program will teach you how to work as a broker and help you get licensed.
  • Cleveland State University. This program is also offered online and gives students six months to complete the lessons. Learn from experienced brokers and work toward your license.

With a certificate or course under your belt, consider getting the Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) credential from the Transportation Intermediaries Association. This shows potential clients that you understand the industry.

Career Outlook and Salaries

Career growth is about average for freight brokers. Jobs are increasing at a rate of 10% across the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The May 2020 employment for freight brokers was 95,000. In Ohio, there were between 2,360 and 13,100 brokers at that time.

Salary varies significantly in freight brokering. It depends on whether you work for a company or for yourself. If you are self-employed, you set your rates and determine how much you work. The national median salary for freight brokers in 2020 was $43,770. In Ohio, the average salary ranges from $43,300 to $45,190 per year.

Starting a Career as a Freight Broker in Ohio

Once you have a license, you can begin working in Ohio as a freight broker. As a self-employed broker, you can work from anywhere. You can also find many employment opportunities throughout the state. Here are some recent examples from

  • Truck broker/logistics, Central Marketing Associates, Delaware
  • Freight broker, Kenan Advantage Group, North Canton
  • Senior Freight Broker Agent, New Wave International Cargo, Inc., Cincinnati
  • Independent Freight Broker Agent, Ohio Freight Systems, Cleveland

These are just some of the many opportunities for licensed freight brokers in Ohio. Complete your education and get licensed to join this exciting industry.