Get Freight Broker Training in Illinois

Illinois is home to the third largest interstate highway system in the country, to five international airports and the third largest intermodal port in the world. 25% of all U.S freight traffic moves through Chicago. If you’d like to play a part in this colossal industry and perhaps build yourself a profitable home business, then becoming a freight broker or freight agent could the right move for you.

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As one of the United States’ top manufacturing states. With $99 billion of output in 2018, it’s the second largest in manufacturing machinery, and second also in plastics and rubber. As such, Illinois a huge exporter of goods. All these goods will find their way onto a truck at some point, and, more likely, multiple times. Each time a shipper needs to move goods, they will use a third-party logistics company such as a freight broker or agent to find the right truck to get that load to its destination.

Freight brokers match cargo loads with the motor carriers. These can be anything from multinational intermodal transportation companies, to nationwide trucking companies, to single owner operators.

Some freight brokers specialize in specific types of load, such as full truckload (FTL), less-than-truckload (LTL), or in goods requiring a specific form of transport such as perishable foodstuffs that need refrigerated transport. Others become specialists in intermodal transportation for loads that may need to be moved on more than one form of transport. In Illinois, that probably means them passing through the CenterPoint Intermodal Center in Joliet, IL.

For all this, freight brokers are best served by getting professional training, that will prepare them life as a key component in the transportation industry.

How to get a freight broker license in Illinois

To become a freight broker, you need to get a freight broker license. Freight agents do not require a license and work under the license a freight broker.

Freight brokers are federally licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The State of Illinois does not have a separate licensing procedure.

There are no education or training requirements, but you should have a high school diploma, GED or similar. The steps to obtaining your license are as follows:

  1. Register your business name and apply for a U.S. Department of Transport number (U.S DOT number).
  2. Submit an application for a Motor Carrier Authority (MC Authority) from the FMCSA. There is a $300 application fee, and the process takes four to six weeks.
  3. Insure your business for cargo and general liability risks. The FMCSA require that you have this insurance.
  4. The FMCSA also require that you take out a $75,000 surety bond. You can also put up a $75,000 trust fund, but this involves depositing the full principal amount, whereas the surety bond requires payment of an annual premium to a surety company. The surety company will also act on your behalf to mitigate claims. The cost of the premium will depend on your business’s credit rating.

Freight broker schools in Illinois

While there is no obligation to get training in freight brokering, this is a competitive business that requires knowledge of the law and the industry. A freight broker training program will prepare you for the day-to-day aspects of operating a freight brokerage, and help you sell and market your services.

Ed2go and Brooke Transportation Training Solutions have partnered with over 2,000 community and technical colleges across the U.S to offer a comprehensive freight broker/agent training course. This program of study is self-paced, taking approximately six-months, and led by instructors with a wealth of experience. In Illinois, this includes Morton College and Oakton Community College, Waubonsee Community College, Richland Community College and Heartland Community College.

To find a college offering this excellent training program near you, enter your zip code in the box below.

Search Freight Broker/Agent Training Programs

Get information on Freight Broker Courses by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Other alternatives to consider are the online programs offered by Freight Movers School, LLC and Load Training.

Certification for Freight Brokers

If you want to take your training to the next level, and demonstrate to your clients your professionalism, you should consider Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) program offered by the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). The combined study program and certification exam costs $1,050 for TIA Members and $1,325 for Non-Members.

How much do freight brokers make in Illinois?

According to, in January 2020, the average salary for a freight broker in Illinois is $64,082 per year, which is 11% above the national average. This rises to $68,322 per year, 19% above the national average, in Chicago. This is also were most job openings are to be found. Additionally, freight brokers make commissions on loads they broker. This averages in $28,400 per year, according to the same source.

Should you wish to set out on your own and start your own freight brokerage, you can expect to earn significantly more, with many experienced brokers making will into six figures annually.

Organizations you should know

Freight brokers and agents are organized and represented nationally by the TIA. Brokerage firms that want to give a good professional image and stay up to date with industry best practice and ethics should consider membership.

Trucking companies in Illinois are represented by the Illinois Trucking Association.

You can also find freight broker training in Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana.