How Much Does a Freight Broker Make?

Updated July 21, 2022

Items are shipped and delivered in several ways. Whether someone is buying a classic truck, party goods or dried food items, the arrival of a purchased item is often dependent on freight brokers who coordinate the details of the shipping process. In this article, we discuss the career of a freight broker in the transportation industry and outline which states pay the highest annual salary, as well as address the most frequently asked questions about this type of profession.

How much do freight brokers make?

The national average salary for a freight broker in the United States is $62,105 per year, with an average additional compensation of $28,000 per year for commissions. Many factors influence the salary of a freight broker, especially location. Those employed in larger cities typically earn more than those employed in rural areas. Freight brokers with a good reputation and years of experience can also earn more than novice brokers.

Job outlook

Freight brokers play an instrumental role in the shipping industry. They ensure that a variety of goods move across the U.S. from one location to another, without complication. Demand for freight brokers continues to increase as the industry evolves. Starting a freight brokerage business or maintaining a current one appears to have a positive job outlook for this career.

Related: The Essential Job Search Guide

Freight broker salaries by state

Some states pay better than others when it comes to a career in freight brokerage. Here are the average freight broker salaries by state, according to Indeed and the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Alabama: $51,330 per year

  • Alaska: $39,620 per year

  • Arizona: $43,420 per year

  • Arkansas: $71,220 per year

  • California: $45,830 per year

  • Colorado: $47,350 per year

  • Connecticut: N/A

  • Delaware: $42,790 per year

  • Florida: $62,515 per year

  • Georgia: $63,896 per year

  • Hawaii: $39,920 per year

  • Idaho: $49,710 per year

  • Illinois: $66,448 per year

  • Indiana: $43,210 per year

  • Iowa: $60,744 per year

  • Kansas: $75,686 per year

  • Kentucky: $42,390 per year

  • Louisiana: $42,950 per year

  • Maine: $49,190 per year

  • Maryland: $42,820 per year

  • Massachusetts: $44,840 per year

  • Michigan: $45,460 per year

  • Minnesota: $50,120 per year

  • Mississippi: $43,340 per year

  • Missouri: $47,000 per year

  • Montana: $46,230 per year

  • Nebraska: $52,610 per year

  • Nevada: $41,400 per year

  • New Hampshire: $50,220 per year

  • New Jersey: $56,470 per year

  • New Mexico: $49,740 per year

  • New York: $45,310 per year

  • North Carolina: $45,060 per year

  • North Dakota: $41,100 per year

  • Ohio: $62,268 per year

  • Oklahoma: $46,040 per year

  • Oregon: $53,400 per year

  • Pennsylvania: $46,150 per year

  • Rhode Island: N/A

  • South Carolina: $44,170 per year

  • South Dakota: $52,230 per year

  • Tennessee: $43,530 per year

  • Texas: $61,921 per year

  • Utah: $65,250 per year

  • Vermont: $38,040 per year

  • Virginia: $48,660 per year

  • Washington: $54,600 per year

  • West Virginia: $37,750 per year

  • Wisconsin: $39,710 per year

  • Wyoming: $44,340 per year

How to earn more as a freight broker

Several factors can help increase a freight broker's income. Because location heavily influences salary, freight brokers may want to move to an area that pays better on average. As shown above, freight brokers in Kansas make nearly $15,000 more per year on average than those who work in Iowa. Commission-based services also provide additional income as well. Freight brokers looking to increase their salary may also consider a career as a freight broker agent or try operating their own freight broker company.

Related: 3 Habits That Could Increase Your Chances of Getting the Job

Related jobs

There are many related roles to freight brokerage that may interest someone seeking a career in the transportation industry. Here are a few examples of job listings currently available on Indeed:

  1. Freight broker agent

  2. Dispatcher

  3. Freight consultant

  4. Logistics coordinator

  5. Broker's assistant

  6. Customs broker

  7. Truck driver

Frequently asked questions

What education do I need to become a freight broker?

While many jobs for freight brokers only require a high school diploma, many job listings desire applicants with a bachelor's degree in logistics or supply chain management. Completing an internship program in the freight brokerage industry can further provide real-world experience that stands out on a resume. Becoming a certified freight broker is another way to highlight your qualifications. To earn this certification, one must pass a four-hour exam offered by the Transportation Intermediaries Association.

How much does it cost to start a freight brokerage business?

All freight brokers must possess a $75,000 brokerage bond to obtain a brokerage license, including auto transport brokers who specialize in hauling vehicles. This does not include building and administrative fees or any office supplies.

What are the main responsibilities of a freight broker?

While freight brokers have many responsibilities that help provide a positive experience for all involved, their top priority involves arranging the transportation and tracking of loads being hauled by freight carriers. They also research trucking companies to verify that they are reliable and deliver on time. This helps shippers work with top quality carriers. Additionally, they coordinate the timing of available loads so motor carriers are in and out on time. Communication is key for a freight broker to operate a successful business.

How do freight brokers earn an income?

The job of a freight broker is to oversee the move of freight for an amount less than a customer pays for shipping. Freight brokers earn a profit from the difference of this amount, called the spread. When their clients pay them a certain amount to find a carrier to haul a load of another amount, they receive that difference.

What is the difference between an auto transport broker and a freight broker?

General freight brokers get paid per load, which generally amounts to around 25 to 35% of the load, though this amount can be even higher depending on the broker. Auto transport brokers receive their fees based on the number of cars hauled. They impose a moving fee of anywhere from $150 to $300, though the real factor in pricing depends on the transportation mileage and other details of the move. Auto transport brokers don't need an additional license beyond that of a freight broker but will need to understand how pricing in the auto industry works.

Can freight brokers set their own rates?

Freight brokers do set their own rates. To ensure they receive a worthwhile profit while offering an appealing price to their customers, they'll want to do a fair amount of research before setting their prices. They may choose to adjust them according to certain experiences and fluctuations in the economy. Freight brokers should strive to achieve positive profit and successful freight moves.

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