Get Freight Broker Training in the State of Washington
If you’ve been considering a career as a freight broker, it might be helpful to know more about what they do and how to become one of these professionals. Freight brokers connect shippers with manufacturers and manage all aspects of the shipment. This includes scheduling delivery, dealing with permits and customs, calculating costs and even ensuring that goods are loaded in the proper order.
With a reported $78 billion in exports in 2018, Washington State was the fourth largest exporter in the country. In fact, exporting accounted for 13.8 percent of the state’s GDP in the same year. This is good news for those involved in Washington’s transportation industry, as there is a reasonable possibility of continuous business gains. Freight brokers in particular have the potential to start and maintain successful at-home enterprises.
Do Freight Brokers Need Licensing in Washington?
Although there is no state licensing for freight brokers, a license will be required through the federal government. In the United States, oversight is managed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Freight brokerages who handle interstate transportation will need to obtain both a USDOT number and Motor Carrier (MC) number prior to conducting business. Both licenses can be applied for simultaneously for a fee of $300. Those applying will need to meet the following guidelines:
- Possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent, followed by specific training in the field
- Have a business name and structure of agents who will act as freight brokers
Applications take four to eight weeks to process and will be dependent on a background check.
What Training Programs are Available for Freight Brokers in Washington?
It is possible to acquire on-the-job training; however, a reputable training program is recommended in order to gain in-depth knowledge of the profession. A good training program should cover some important points in its curriculum. These include basic business skills like marketing, accounting and invoicing, as well as industry-specific knowledge such as regulation compliance, insurance needs and contracting. Ed2go is one such program, with course offerings throughout the state. Partnering with local educational institutions, the program promises to prepare students to own and operate a freight brokerage upon graduation. Locations in Washington include:
- Olympic College
- South Seattle College
- Shoreline Community College
- Yakima Valley College
- Big Bend Community College
- Green River College
- Walla Walla Community College
- Blue Mountain Community College
- Lower Columbia College
- Clark College
- Mt. Hood community College
- Green River College
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Upon graduation, one might wish to seek voluntary certifications to help project an additional level of professionalism. One credential offered by the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is the Certified Transportation Broker (CTB), which can be obtained by passing an examination. The TIA also offers benefits for those willing to pay a membership fee. Benefits include the ability to network with peers as well as model contracts and a watchdog list of potentially fraudulent carriers.
What Should Freight Brokers in Washington Expect to Earn?
In good news for Washington freight brokers, the state is listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as the second highest-paying in the nation for this career. According to data collected by the BLS, annual freight broker salaries in Washington ranged from $32,760 to $83,230 in 2018, with the average falling in at $54,600. These numbers are well above the national average and allow for the possibility of a successfully growing business. Additionally, it is important to note that these numbers reflect only salaries and not commissions, which have the potential to make actual earnings much higher.
Working in Washington as a Freight Broker
When setting up a freight brokerage, location will be an important consideration. Your business will be more likely to thrive if it is located near a manufacturing hub. For this reason, brokerages often perform better in larger metropolitan areas such as Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma, Washington. However, freight brokers can be successful anywhere where there are goods to ship.
You can also find freight broker training in Oregon, Idaho and California.