Becoming a Freight Broker in Oklahoma – Get Your License
Freight Brokers are responsible for cargo and freight logistics, both incoming and outgoing. They facilitate smooth processes for manufacturers, retailers, businesses and consumers. When a shipment arrives in Oklahoma by airplane, freight, truck or boat, a Freight Broker coordinates its distribution throughout the state. This position keeps you on your toes and requires exceptional communication skills to avoid conflict.
To be a successful Freight Broker, you must have the following skills:
- Be a people person and have the emotional intelligence to work with different personalities
- Possess excellent communication skills
- Be excellent at time management
- Have proficiency in geography and understand weather patterns
- A firm grasp of transportation law
- Negotiation skills
- Attention to detail
Working as a Freight Broker is not always a simple affair – but it’s sure to keep you on your toes because every day is different.
Requirements to Become a Freight Broker in Oklahoma
Freight Broker positions do not have to have any special education requirements. Still, most employers will require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalency exam. However, the government has some conditions, which include registration with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) to obtain a Broker Authority License and government-issued numbers that identify each Freight Broker. The application fee for the Broker Authority License is $300 with a four to six-week processing time.
While training on the job is possible, taking courses shows initiative and allows you to learn the business basics. Applicants with previous knowledge of the industry tend to be viewed more favorably by prospective employers.
Educational Programs Available in Oklahoma
There do not appear to be in-person learning options in Oklahoma, but online opportunities exist.
- Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City offers a six-month training program. Their curriculum is robust and covers marketing, setting up an office, transportation law, software, negotiation skills, and other topics needed to be a successful Freight Broker. The program is designed to be started at any time and completed within six months. Financial aid opportunities may be available.
Requirements for Licensing to Become a Freight Broker in Oklahoma
Specific coursework is not required, but there are licenses and insurance that every Freight Broker in Oklahoma needs to obtain. They must have a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Number and an Operating Authority (MC) Number. They are government-issued numbers that identify each Freight Broker. They must register with the FMCSA to obtain these numbers, as well as apply for their Broker Authority License. The application fee for the license is $300 with a 4 to 6-week processing time. Other numbers for specialized types of shipments, such as a Cargo Tank (CT) Number, are available from the FMCSA as well if needed.
An insurance surety bond must be obtained in the amount of $75,000. The bond protects Freight Brokers against loss for property damage or bodily injury.
Salary Expectations and Career Outlook
The growth for this career within Oklahoma is a bit more than the national average. The number of Freight Brokers in the state is expected to grow by 12 percent by 2028, while the national average is 10 percent. There were 660 Freight Brokers in Oklahoma in 2018, which will increase by roughly 60 jobs per year.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average salary for this career is $43,770 per year. Oklahoma Freight Brokers were making an hourly average of $19.83 and an annual average of $41,240 in 2020, while the highest earners within the state made an average annual salary of $54,010. The growth for this profession is expected to remain steady, but the pay for Freight Brokers in Oklahoma is a bit below the national average.
Working as a Freight Broker in Oklahoma
Freight Brokers can be busy year-round, but the fall can bring significant demand increases. Mid-August through October is typically busier. They are peak shipping times with many businesses preparing for the holidays and the end of the year.
There are multiple options for someone wanting to start this unique and exciting career. If you would prefer to start working right away, a job as a Freight Agent allows you to start with a brokerage as you learn, or you can enroll in an online education program to become a Freight Broker and set up your own business. From beginning to end, the process allows for your business to be up and running in under a year.
In Oklahoma, more job opportunities for Freight Brokers are found near busier cities like Oklahoma City and Tulsa, but it is also possible to set up a home-based business as a Freight Broker, which allows for a better work/life balance.