How to Become a Freight Broker in Washington – Get Your License
Are you interested in a career with a good salary and a steady growth rate? You might want to consider working as a freight broker in Washington. Freight brokerage is an exciting and flexible career in the shipping industry. You can either work independently or for a brokerage agency. Keep reading to find out the steps you need to take to become a freight broker in Washington.
What are the Responsibilities of a Freight Broker?
A freight broker connects shippers who ship goods with carriers to transport them. A freight broker handles all the details of these shipments. To work in this field, you must be organized, manage time well, have an eye for detail, communicate and work well with others, and solve problems. Duties of a freight broker include:
- Create a carrier database
- Plan shipments from start to finish
- Communicate with clients to find out their needs
- Match clients with the appropriate carriers
- Find loads to fill carriers
- Track shipments
- Recieve shipping updates from carriers and keep clients notified
- Handle any problems that may occur during the shipping process
- Negotiate prices
- Send bills and take payments
How Do I Become a Freight Broker in Washington?
Washington does not have any specific statewide guidelines for freight brokers. However, this industry is regulated at a federal level by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA). To register as a freight broker through the FMSCA, you must:
- Get a U.S. Department of Transportation number through the FMSCA
- Purchase a surety bond of $75,000 or more
- Complete a BOC-3 form to designate a process agent
- Pay the $300 fee
If you start your own brokerage agency, you must register it with the state. You can do this by registering your agency as a limited liability company or LLC. After you do these things, you should receive your freight broker license in four to six weeks.
You may also want to consider certification. The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) offers a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) option. Certification is not required, but it will show future employers and clients that you have put in the time and effort to learn more about the industry. The course can be completed in about 80-180 hours, and the cost is $675 for TIA members and $800 for non-members.
Educational Programs in Washington
The minimum education required to work as a freight broker is a high school diploma or equivalent. Completing a post-secondary educational program is optional, but it will help you learn the basics of the freight brokering industry. Here are some of the freight broker training programs available in Washington:
- Pierce College – Pierce College has an online freight broker program. The curriculum includes The Basics of Freight Brokering, Sales and Profitability and Transportation Law. The course can be completed in six months.
- Ed2Go – Ed2Go is an educational resource program that partners with Brooke Transportation and several colleges in the United States to offer several online continuing education courses, including freight brokering. Since the program is entirely online, you can take it through any school in your state that offers it. The 180-hour course is written by the freight broker industry professionals and takes six months to complete.
Career Outlook and Salaries for Freight Brokers
Strong growth is predicted for freight broker jobs. Jobs are growing at a rate of 7.5 percent annually across the United States. In Washington, growth is predicted to be almost twice the national rate at 14.9 percent. Approximately 290 jobs a year are expected to become available in the state between now and 2028.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the annual median salary for freight brokers national is $43,770. How much you make as a freight broker depends on several factors, including location and how you work. You can set your rates and pick your clients if you work independently. If a brokerage agency employs you, you are more likely to have a steady income. In Washington, the median annual salary for freight brokers is $47,410. The highest earners in the state can expect to make as much as $75,630 annually.
Working as a Freight Broker in Washington
Freight brokers can start their own business or look for jobs with existing freight brokerage companies. Since a freight broker’s job is done by phone and online, freight brokers can work almost anywhere. However, you may be more likely to find a job in states’ manufacturing and transportation hubs. In Washington, this includes the cities of Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma. In just a few short months, you can complete your training, get your license and be ready to work as a freight broker anywhere in Washington.