Becoming a Freight Broker in West Virginia – Get Your License
Freight brokers are responsible for arranging the interstate and intrastate transportation of goods. Typically, a freight broker will be contacted by a manufacturer with a product that needs shipping and arrange the shipment through one or more shipping companies, whether by road, air or water. To work as a freight broker, you will need be skilled with negotiation and critical thinking. Successful freight brokers will also need to build relationships with clients and a network of shipping companies who can meet the needs of the various shipments with which they work.
Freight brokers need to have significant knowledge about the legal regulations for various types of shipments and what types of transportation will be appropriate for each one. They are involved in every facet of the shipping process, including scheduling loads and even arranging the order in which the loads are packed and unpacked. In addition, freight brokers often negotiate contracts, prepare invoices and shipping documents, and advise clients on estimated shipping costs and transportation methods.
Requirements for Freight Brokers in West Virginia
The minimal educational requirement for freight brokers is a high school diploma or equivalent. New and aspiring freight brokers will also need to apply for a Federal Motor Carrier (MC) number and a USDOT number. These can be obtained through theFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA). Applicants will need to follow several steps to complete the process. These include:
- Filling out an application through the FMCSA
- Obtaining insurance coverage for at least $75,000
- Naming designated process agents and filling out a BOC-3 form with their names (information on designated process agents can be found here)
The application process will cost $300 and take four to six weeks to complete.
Freight Broker Training in West Virginia
Many brokers in the business train on-the-job while working for another freight broker. However, if that doesn’t feel like the right move for you, there are training programs through which you can learn the business. In West Virginia, some options include:
- West Virginia University at Parkersburg with campuses in Ripley and Parkersburg, WV
- Bridge Valley Community and Technical College with campuses in South Charleston and Montgomery, WV
- West Virginia Northern Community College with campuses in Wheeling, Weirton and New Martinsville, WV
- New River Community and Technical College, with campuses in Lewiston, Beaver, Princeton and Summersville, WV
Salary Expectations and Growth Projections
TheBureau of Labor Statistics(BLS) collects wage data for various job classifications each year. In 2020, freight brokers reported an average annual wage of $37,720 in West Virginia, lagging behind the national average wage of $47,140 by nearly $10,000. Even the highest-paid freight brokers in the state made $51,100, which is still significantly lower than the nationwide high of $69,190. However, freight brokers who run a brokerage with several agents working for them may find additional opportunities for wealth as business owners.
Nationwide, the career is expected to see significant growth over the next several years, with Projections Central predicting a 7.5 percent increase in jobs between 2018 and 2028. That adds up to an additional 7,200 jobs every year. Currently, there are approximately 10,100 new job openings each year for freight brokers.
Jobs and Opportunities for Freight Brokers in West Virginia
West Virginia is among the states with the lowest employment rates and pay for freight brokers. However, that does not mean that are no opportunities in the state for freight brokers. Companies like Mylan Inc, Cordis, FHI, Macy’s and Michael’s hire freight brokers. In addition, there are always opportunities for those who wish to own and operate their own brokerage, especially around larger metropolitan areas. In either case, you will have the opportunity to tailor this career to fit your needs and lifestyle.