Freight broker jobs require strong research, planning, and organizational skills, as well as a charismatic and friendly personality. Although most brokers are over the age of 18 and run their own businesses, there may be some freight broker roles available for underage applicants.
How Old Do You Need to Be to Become a Freight Broker?
Since becoming a freight broker requires experience and knowledge about the freight shipping, trucking, and transportation industry, most brokers are well over the age of 18.
However, some shipping companies might prefer to hire an in-house freight broker to find and negotiate carrier contracts. An underage applicant might qualify for this job, depending on the company’s policies.
What Do Freight Brokers Do?
Freight brokers are the go-betweens for shipping and transport companies. Duties for a broker or freight agent usually include:
- Finding product loads for carrier clients
- Determining a shipper client’s transport needs
- Negotiating contracts, prices, and payments between shippers and carriers
- Planning transportation routes for product shipments
- Tracking shipments to ensure they arrive on time and undamaged
- Keeping thorough, accurate records for each shipment
Qualifications for Freight Brokers
In addition to having a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, most freight brokers need some level of industry experience. For example, many freight agents and brokers start out as CDL drivers or dispatchers for trucking companies.
Independent freight brokers also need official licenses from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), though requirements may differ for shipping company employees.
Education for Freight Brokers
You might consider enrolling in a freight broker trade school program to gain the industry knowledge you need for this job. Getting a degree in logistics or business could also be a good idea for those pursuing this career path.
Freight Broker Certification
Completing a training program and taking an exam to become a certified transportation broker (CTB) is also an option for aspiring freight brokers. A CTB credential is a well-paying certification that can qualify you to work with well-known logistics, shipping, and trucking companies.
How Long Does it Take?
If you choose to develop your freight broker skills through on-the-job training, it could take one to three years to learn how to do the job independently. Meanwhile, a trade school program might take one to six months to complete.
Earning a logistics or business degree, on the other hand, may involve two to four years of specialized study and experience.
Underage Freight Broker Training
Although freight brokers are usually 18 or older, younger hopefuls can start down this career path by learning about the transportation and freight shipping industry.
Consider getting an entry-level job at a trucking company or becoming a dispatcher for employers like UPS, FedEx, DHL, Amazon, or your local post office.