Training as a Freight Broker in Washington D.C.
Have you been wondering about a career as freight broker? If so, perhaps you would like to know more about what freight brokers do and how to become one of these professionals. For all the information you need to get started on this career track, keep reading below.
Freight brokers are responsible for managing shipments. They are the intermediaries who connect shippers and manufacturers with transportation companies and ensure all aspects of a shipment are carried out properly. This can include dealing with permits and regulations, calculating clearances, scheduling, and even ensuring goods are loaded in the proper order. This career choice has the potential to be lucrative, with many freight brokers owning a business and working from home.
Freight Brokers and Licensing
Licensing for freight brokers is handled through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a federal agency under the United States Department of Transportation. Prior to working as a freight broker, you will be required to obtain both a Motor Carrier (MC) number and a USDOT number. The numbers can be applied for simultaneously through the following procedure:
- All applicants will need to have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent, along with the appropriate training for freight brokers.
- The application will need to be completed online and submitted with a fee of $300.
- Before applying, you will need to have a business name and structure of agents in the company.
- All applicants will be required to pass a background check.
Applications will take anywhere from four to eight weeks to process. A freight broker may not begin working until both numbers are obtained.
Freight Broker Training in the District of Columbia
Education for freight brokers can take the form of on-the-job training or a reputable training program. With either option, it will be important to ensure you have obtained an in-depth knowledge of the field prior to working independently, as those in the profession carry a lot of responsibility. Those looking to start their own freight brokerage will also need to obtain knowledge in the basics of business management such as accounting, marketing and leadership skills. Training should also include topics that are specific to the field. Brokers will need a basic understanding of the myriad transportation options, their pros and cons and the specific needs of various loads. They will also be required to have a working knowledge of the laws and regulations that shipping companies need to adhere to, the insurance needs of the business and how to deal with permits.
One program offering extensive training is Ed2go. Education through the organization is made accessible through extensive partnerships with local educational institutions. The program is written by freight brokerage specialists and offers graduates opportunities for networking with potential employers and mentors. A few possible locations for training near the District of Columbia include:
- University of the District of Columbia Community College
- George Mason University
- Community College of Baltimore County
- Hartford Community College
- Germana Community College
- Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
To find one of these programs near you, enter your zip code in the box below.
In order to excel in the field, it’s advisable to seek additional credentialing. Achieving certification is a great way to show one’s expertise and professionalism to potential clients and employers. Additionally, membership in a professional organization can provide access to the resources needed to help your business succeed. Credentialing can be sought through the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). Their Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) designation is earned by passing an examination. The cost for testing is $375 for members and $525 for non-members.
Earnings for D.C. Freight Brokers
Nationwide, freight brokers reported an average annual income of $46,070 in 2018, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the same year, top earners in the field reported salaries of $66,920. It is important to note that salary data does not reflect commissions, which could greatly increase these numbers.
Expectations for Freight Brokers in Washington D.C.
Freight brokerages depend on the needs of manufacturers for shipping. Generally speaking, freight brokers have more potential for business in larger metropolitan areas, with higher numbers of manufacturers. However, it will be important for anyone seeking an opportunity to do business to research the market potential of the area in which they wish to become established.