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

Most consumers do not think about how items get to stores or vendors. Most of those items arrive with the help of at least one Freight Broker. They likely coordinated every move upon each shipment’s arrival in Wisconsin. Freight Brokers are responsible for all cargo and freight logistics, both incoming and outgoing. They facilitate a smooth process for manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses, as well as consumers. Working as a Freight Broker can be challenging, as they must always think on their feet and be ready to resolve any problems that arise.

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The abilities and strengths possessed by a Freight Broker are many! In addition to being excellent problem solvers, they work with the public, which means that they engage with many different personalities and need to do so without conflict. Freight Brokers must communicate clearly, manage their time well, be proficient in geography, and be good negotiators. Freight Brokers have impeccable attention to detail to ensure the accuracy of invoices and bills of lading. A career as a Freight Broker can be exciting, with each day different from the next.

Requirements to Become a Freight Broker in Wisconsin

Freight Brokers do not have to have any specific education. Still, most employers will require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED. The government has some requirements, 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.

On-the-job training is a possibility, but if you can take courses to get a head start, it shows initiative and will be attractive to prospective employers. It also means less work and resources will be expended training you.

Educational Programs Available in Wisconsin

There do not appear to be in-person learning options in Wisconsin. Still, there is an online Freight Broker training program available.

  • The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh offers a six-month training program. The curriculum is taught by experienced Freight Brokers and includes software, accounting, marketing, transportation law, and negotiation skills. Financial aid opportunities may be available.

Requirements for Licensing as a Freight Broker in Wisconsin

Freight Brokers do not need specific education, but there are licenses and insurance that every Freight Broker in Wisconsin must obtain. They must have a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Number, as well as an Operating Authority (MC) Number.

Moreover, they must apply for their Broker Authority License. There is a $300 application fee for this license, and the timeline for the registration process is 4-6 weeks. Other numbers used for specialized types of shipments, such as a Cargo Tank (CT) Number, are available from the FMCSA if needed.

To protect themselves against loss due to property damage or bodily injury, Freight Brokers must obtain an insurance surety bond in the amount of $75,000

Salary Expectations and Career Outlook

The growth for this career within Wisconsin is greater than the national average. The number of Freight Brokers in the state is expected to grow by 13 percent by 2028, while the national average is 10 percent. There were 1070 Freight Brokers in Wisconsin in 2018, which will increase by roughly 120 jobs per year.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth for this profession is expected to remain steady and the pay for Freight Brokers is greater in Wisconsin in line with the national average. The national average salary of a Freight Broker is $43,770 per year or $21.04 per hour. Wisconsin Freight Brokers were making an hourly average of $20.26 and an annual average of $42,140 in 2020, while the highest earners within the state made an average annual salary of $64,930.

Life as a Freight Broker in Wisconsin

Freight Brokers can be busy year-round, but certain times of the year often have significant demand increases. The peak shipping times are usually in the fall as businesses gear up for 4th quarter shipments. This is typically during Mid-August through October.

You can start out as a Freight Agent, which allows you to work for someone else as you learn, or you can enroll in one of the available online education programs to become a Freight Broker and set up your own business. From start to finish, your new business could be set up in less than a year’s time.

There are multiple options for someone wanting to begin their career as a Freight Broker. In Wisconsin, more job opportunities for Freight Brokers are available in cities near the coast, like Milwaukee, Osh Kosh and Fond du Lac. It is also possible to set up a successful home-based business as a Freight Broker.