Becoming a Freight Broker in Tennessee – Get Your License

Suppose you are interested in working in the transportation industry and want a job that is high in demand. In that case, you should consider working as a freight broker. Freight brokers are responsible for making sure that cargo gets adequately shipped and on time. Merchants who want to import products contact freight brokers, and freight brokers try to find a carrier that meets the shipper’s requirements and needs. Some things that freight brokers have to consider when looking for carriers include the shipper’s expected timeline versus when the carrier can deliver and the shipper’s budget.

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A career as a freight broker can be demanding and much work. It can also be a rewarding career, and if you go into business for yourself, you can set your own schedule and build up your own clientele. Here are some qualities you must possess if you are interested in working as a freight broker:

  • Great communication skills
  • Ability to negotiate prices
  • Ability to understand and meet client needs
  • Manages time efficiently
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills
  • Ability to stay calm under pressure

Freight Broker License and Certifications in Tennessee

Like most states, Tennessee doesn’t require freight brokers to hold a state-specific license. They do, however, need to meet the guidelines laid out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You must complete the following steps to register as a freight broker:

  • Apply for a USDOT number through the Unified Registration System (URS)
  • Get a surety bond for $75,000 or more
  • Appoint a registered process agent
  • Pay the $300 application fee

Certification is not mandatory for this profession either. Still, it can help you learn the necessary skills and prove your competency as a freight broker. The most generally accepted certification for freight brokers in the United States is the Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) credential offered through the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).

Freight Broker Training Programs in Tennessee

As a freight broker, you have the option of working for a brokerage company or independently. The minimum education requirement for either is a high school diploma or GED. However, attending a freight broker training program can prove highly beneficial whichever path you choose. A training program can prepare you for your responsibilities as a freight broker and help you learn shipping processes and more. Most freight broker training programs are online to be accessed pretty much anywhere in the state. Here are a couple of options available to you in Tennessee:

All three schools mentioned above offer a freight broker training program that can be completed online. They consist of 180-course hours that can be completed over six months. The cost of the program is $1,895.

Career Outlook and Salary of Freight Brokers

More than 95,000 individuals are working as freight brokers in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over 1,900 of those are in the state of Tennessee. The average hourly wage for freight brokers in Tennessee is $21.63, or $44,990 annually. The highest earners in the state can potentially make as much as $66,740 annually. reports that in the period between 2018 and 2028, freight broker jobs across the U.S. are expected to see a 7.5 percent increase, with over 10,000 new jobs opening up annually. In Tennessee, freight broker job growth is slightly lower than the national rate at 4 percent. This is still promising change, with an average of 100 new jobs available annually in the state.

Working as a Freight Broker in Tennessee

Qualified freight brokers are in high demand throughout the country and Tennessee. Jobs are more likely to be available in areas where transportation is busiest, which usually means higher populated areas. In Tennessee, this includes the cities of Nashville, Memphis, Chatanooga and Knoxville. You can choose to find work with an established brokerage agency, or you can go into business for yourself. No matter which pathway you prefer, you can complete a training program and get to work in this exciting career field in less than a year.