West Virginia Freight Broker Training
If you’ve been considering a career as a freight broker, you might like to learn more about what they do and how to become one of these professionals. The information contained in this article should be a good starting point.
Freight brokers are integral to the export industry, as they connect manufacturers of goods with transportation agents and arrange the shipments. Once the connection is made, brokers will be involved with all aspects of the shipping, procuring permits, dealing with customs, arranging insurance, managing scheduling and even ensuring that goods are loaded in the proper order. One of the most attractive aspects of this career choice is the potential for at-home business ownership.
How Freight Brokers Become Licensed in West Virginia
Freight broker licenses are not managed at the state level, but are instead handled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In West Virginia, all freight brokers will need to procure both a USDOT number and a Motor Carrier (MC) number. These numbers will be applied for simultaneously for a fee of $300. Prerequisites include:
- A high school diploma or GED, followed by appropriate freight broker training
- A business name as well as a structure of process agents
Processing of the license application will take four to eight weeks and involves a background check. Once your USDOT and MC numbers are received, you will be able to begin working as a freight broker.
Programs for Training Freight Brokers in West Virginia
It is important for freight brokers to receive the proper training, as there are a lot of nuances to the business and many regulations that need to be followed. Although training can be obtained on the job, it may be advisable to seek a reputable training program. A good program will prepare students for business ownership along with the specifics of freight brokering. Business topics should include such things as management, accounting and marketing, while broker-specific topics should cover regulatory compliance, types of transportation, insurance needs, contracting and permits.
One such program, with offerings throughout the country was created by Ed2go in cooperation with Brooke Transportation Training Solutions. The program promises to provide students with a good foundation in freight brokering and business ownership. Graduates can also participate in weekly networking opportunities, which help match potential employers with trained individuals. The program is available at the following West Virginia locations:
- Bridge Valley Community and Technical College
- New River Community and Technical College
- Ohio University
- Big Sandy Community and Technical College
- West Virginia University at Parkersburg
- Washington State Community College
- Eastern Gateway Community College
- Community College of Beaver County
- West Virginia Northern Community College
Just insert your zip code to find freight broker/agent training near you.
Upon achieving graduation from a training program, it’s advisable to seek additional certification. Credentialing is a mark of professionalism for your business and serves to instil confidence in potential clients. The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) offers a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) designation, which is obtained by passing an examination. Membership with the TIA can also help your business take off, with various resources available to members.
Expected Earnings for Freight Brokers in West Virginia
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which tracks salary data for various professions, lists the average annual salary for freight brokers in West Virginia as $37,750. This number reflects data collected in 2018 and does not include commissions, which could make actual earnings significantly higher. There is also good potential for growth within the profession, as evidenced by the range in reported salaries, with those on the lower end of the scale bringing in $26,140 per year while top earners brought in $49,370. It is possible that the difference in this range represents not only experience but also business acuity.
What Should Freight Brokers Expect in West Virginia?
West Virginia was the 34th largest exporter of goods in the country in 2018, with exports totalling $8.2 billion, an increase of 46 percent from 2008. For a geographically small state, this represents 10.6 percent of the GDP for the year. In general, freight brokerages will be most successful in areas with a wealth of manufacturers in need of shipping.