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

If you’re looking for a new career but don’t want to spend years in college, consider becoming a freight broker. In Texas, you don’t need any specific education to get into the industry. You only need to be willing to learn the business. Freight brokers are organized, detail-oriented, and good communicators. If this sounds like you, now is a great time to get started.

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What is the Job of a Freight Broker in Texas?

Freight brokers are masters of logistics. They act like intermediaries, connecting people and companies with goods to ship with the carriers who can do the job. They plan and keep track of all the details, including the pick-up and drop-off route, budget, and payment.

Many freight brokers strike out on their own, starting small businesses and setting their own work hours and rates. You can also work for a freight broker or logistics company if you prefer employment to entrepreneurship.

In either type of position, as a freight broker, you can expect to have many duties on the job:

  • You will take orders from shippers and take note of all their details, needs, special requests, and budget.
  • You then match that shipper with a carrier that can meet their needs and budget.
  • In order to make a good match, brokers keep an active database with detailed information on carriers.
  • You will negotiate a price, agree to terms, and oversee the entire process of shipping the goods from start to finish.
  • Shippers also expect to hear from their freight brokers about the progress of the shipment.
  • You will also need to problem solve on the fly if things don’t go according to plan.
  • Finally, as a broker, you’ll take payment and make sure all invoices are complete at the conclusion of a shipment.

What You Need to Become a Freight Broker

Like other states, Texas does not set educational or licensing requirements for freight brokers. To begin working, you must be licensed through the federal government, but you do not need a degree or any other academic credential.

These are the steps you must take to begin working as a freight broker:

  1. Apply to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for a U.S. Department of Transportation number. This is free.
  2. Purchase a Trust Fund Agreement or Surety Bond for at least $75,000.
  3. Designate a process agent for your business by completing FMCSA form BOC-3.
  4. Complete the application to the FMCSA along with a $300 fee. It may take four to six weeks to get your license.

If you plan to start a freight brokering business, you may want to register it with a specific legal entity through the state of Texas. A popular option for small business owners is a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This type of company limits your liability if a client sues.

Texas Freight Broker Training Programs

Getting a license to work as a freight broker doesn’t require a college education. However, it is helpful to know the basics before you begin. Some schools offer a freight broker course to get you started and to help you get licensed.

  • Texas Tech University. This school offers an online freight broker/agent training program. You’ll learn about the industry, how to succeed as a freight broker, and how to get licensed.
  • Central Texas College. You can enroll in a similar program at Centra Texas. It is also online and provides everything you need to get started.
  • Brooke Training. If you prefer an in-person experience, Brooke, based in Dallas-Fort Worth, offers regular seminars. Over the course of a few days, you’ll get all the information needed to get started. Brooke also offers advanced courses.

After completing an educational program, you may want to become a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) through the Transportation Intermediaries Association. This credential is widely recognized and demonstrates your competency and professionalism to potential clients.

Outlook and Salaries for Freight Brokers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a 10% annual growth for freight broker jobs. This is as fast as average job growth and means there is room for more in the industry. As of May 2020, approximately 95,600 people in the U.S. worked as freight brokers and earned a median salary of $43,770 per year.

Texas has the second-highest number of freight brokers after California. In 2020, there were 9,530 freight brokers in the state, according to the BLS. The mean annual salary for freight brokers in Texas was between $43,300 and $45,190 in 2020.

Finding Work as a Freight Broker in Texas

Freight brokering offers much flexibility. Motivated individuals can earn a good living by starting their own freight brokerage. You can work this way independently or eventually hire other brokers. You can also find positions at existing companies throughout the state, especially in larger cities like Dallas and Houston.