Get Freight Broker Training in Montana
If you’re looking to start a business with a lot of room for growth, you might consider training to become a freight broker. Freight brokers are a critical link in the transportation chain that keeps goods and products flowing from manufacturers to your local stores. They coordinate shipping schedules for their clients and hire local carriers to transport these goods to their destinations. Freight brokers are highly trained and use their skills to ensure deliveries are made on schedule and transported in a safe and legal manner.
Freight brokers play an important role in the economy of Montana, which is heavily dependent on the state’s mining, manufacturing and agricultural industries. In 2018, Montana exported more than 1.6 billion worth of goods to the world market, which was 3.4 percent of the state’s GDP. While the majority of these products are shipped north to Canada, a substantial portion are also sent to Asia and throughout Europe. Freight brokers in Montana are responsible for shipping a wide variety of goods, from raw ore and minerals to electronics and food products.
Licensing Requirements for Freight Brokers
Like many states, Montana does not oversee the licensing process for freight brokers. Instead, they rely on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to regulate it for them. Before you can start working as a freight broker, you’ll have to receive training and complete your registration with the FMCSA. You’ll need to be at least 18 and have your high school diploma or GED before you can begin this process.
Once you have completed training, you can start your application for licensing with the FMCSA. The steps may vary if you plan to start your own brokerage rather than apply as an employee of a larger company. You’ll have to outline your business model and corporate structure as part of your application. Once you’ve identified your company or employer, you’ll need to apply for a USDOT number and Motor Carrier (MC) number and pay a $300 fee. Then you’ll need to submit proof of your liability and carrier insurance and have a $75,000 surety bond. It usually takes between four and six weeks to complete the process and receive your license, and then you can begin to work as a freight broker.
Training as a Freight Broker in Montana
You can train on the job or as an apprentice for an experienced broker, but it may be easier to master the skills you’ll need if you take a course at a local community college or trade school instead.
Freight brokers should have a solid foundation in business management, bookkeeping and marketing. They also need to understand how to invoice clients, write contracts, and work with freight agents and cargo handlers. Their detailed knowledge of shipping regulations and the legal requirements for moving hazardous materials is critically important in Montana, since the state ships so many chemical and mineral products.
One option for further education as a freight broker is this comprehensive program developed by Ed2go in conjunction with Brooke Transportation Training Solutions. This online program is given through your local college and overseen by their professors. You’ll benefit from taking a nationally recognized course while still receiving personal attention from your professors. Even better, the six-month course can be completed around your regular schedule and without having to relocate. When you’ve finished the program, your certificate of completion is issued in the name of your school, so you’ll be able to take advantage of the local connections you’ve made.
Schools in Montana that offer this program include:
- Montana Women’s Business Center in Bozeman
- University of Montana-Western in Dillon
- Miles Community College in Miles City
To find a school offering this quality freight broker/agent course near you, enter your zip code in the box below.
Further Certifications for Freight Brokers
Once you have completed your training and gained experience working as a freight broker, you might consider investing in further certification through the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).
They offer an advanced program for freight brokers that may increase your credibility with clients and help you maximize your income. Their Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) award is the highest offered in the industry and will help you stand out among your competitors. Once you sign up for the online course and pass the examination, you’ll be a CTB for the rest of your career.
Salary Expectations of Freight Brokers in Montana
Is freight brokering a lucrative position in Montana? It can be a little challenging to compare the numbers across states, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compiles the information for cargo and freight brokers together.
According to the BLS, in 2018 freight brokers in Montana reported an annual median income of $46,230, which is in line with the national average of $46,070 for this field. There were slightly over 200 people working in the industry as well. These numbers do not include any commissions earned by the freight brokers, which can substantially increase their annual income.
Given that the median income in Montana was $55,328, and the state reported a population of just over 1 million people in 2018, freight brokering offers a lot of potential for growth. There is a definite demand for this service, and as you gain experience you will likely see your income increase as well.
What it’s Like to Work as a Freight Broker
Freight brokers in Montana can be found working for industries across the state. They play a key role in the manufacturing sector and helped facilitate transportation for more than $1.2 billion worth of locally made products in 2018 alone. There are also freight brokers who work with cattle ranchers, farmers and mining companies. The majority of brokers are located in Great Falls, Billings and Missoula, although smaller firms often get started in less concentrated areas of the state.