How to Become a Freight Broker in Montana

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How to Become a Freight Broker in Montana

Those who enjoy collaboration and negotiation, plus enjoy the shipping and freight industry might choose to forge a career as a freight broker in Montana.

A freight broker helps facilitate and track shipments, meaning that they help shippers find appropriate carriers to transport their goods.

The broker may then track the shipments as well through their delivery to the intended recipient.

Freight Broker Duties in Montana

The duties of a freight broker do not differ in Montana from most other states.

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The position’s overarching responsibility is to find the right transportation service for the goods to ensure safe, efficient transportation.

Within that purview, the freight broker also has other responsibilities, including:

  • Marketing to attract new leads and prospects to develop sales
  • Finding safe and efficient freight service carriers,
  • Pricing negotiations,
  • Carrier contract negotiations,
  • Quoting shipping estimates for customers,
  • Carrier order scheduling,
  • Prepping carriers for shipments or loads,
  • Keeping records of relevant business activity,
  • Updating customers on shipping status,
  • Answering customer questions on shipment status and other issues,
  • Coordinating dispatchers, carriers, and shippers for load collection and drop-off.

How to Become a Freight Broker

While you only need a high school diploma or GED to start work as a freight broker in Montana, you will need the training to do the job.

The state of Montana does not have education requirements beyond the high school diploma, and you have a few options of how to learn the position.

You can do one of the following:

  • find an employer who will provide on-the-job training,
  • complete a short course,
  • complete a college program.

You might want to immediately complete a short course and get started with work immediately, but the employers out there might want an experienced and educated individual.

They would prefer the college courses.

If you know where you want to work, contact that employer and ask what they prefer.

This is the education track you should take.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Freight Broker

Neither the state of Montana nor the US, have freight broker regulations regarding training.

The only licensing rule is that the broker must earn either their GED or high school diploma and must obtain their Broker Authority license, also called a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license.

You may want to complete an internship to learn the ropes.

You can earn a certificate in the field.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) handles applications and licensing.

You will need to follow a simple process to obtain your license:

  • You must first register your company as a business if you plan to work for yourself.
  • Request and obtain your US Department of Transportation number.
  • Submit your application with your USDOT number on it and your $300 application fee. The FMCSA requires four to six weeks to process an application.
  • Obtain a surety bond of $75,000, a US legal requirement for all freight brokers.

You can also obtain the optional certification from the Transportation Intermediaries Association.

Successfully complete their exam to become a Certified Transportation Broker.

Many employers prefer to hire those with the certificate, so you may want to earn it anyway to make it easier to get a job.

Freight Broker Programs

In Montana, you can choose from a college or university program or an online training program.

Any of these programs can help you understand the freight industry and the trends ongoing in the industry.

Colleges typically offer their freight broker training as continuing education courses.

Once you have your essential training you might want to look for an advanced program after gaining some experience.

Here are your options in Montana:

  • Freight Broker Boot Camp: An online training program requiring just 30 days. Tuition costs $98 and provides the student with access for six months to training materials, workflow diagrams, methods of negotiation, financial strategies, etc.
  • Brooke Training: Choose from an in-person or online program. Your tuition could be free if you are a qualifying veteran of the US military. The freight broker program at Brooke offers ASIC and advanced training. The program also provides students with job placement assistance.
  • Freight Movers School (FMS): FMS offers both basic courses and advanced training. Those with no experience take the basic courses in freight brokerage. You can return to school after amassing some experience to complete the advanced sales coursework.


As a Freight Broker Agent, you will typically earn an average of $33,462.

The range of starting salaries spans from $31,441 and $35,517.

With experience, you can earn more than this – up to $62,000 annually.

Your salary depends on certifications, education, experience, other skills.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Billings $50,515
Missoula $43,596
Great Falls $45,732
Butte-Silver Bow $43,596
Bozeman $43,596
Helena $44,387
Kalispell $46,321
Havre $44,941
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County $43,596
Miles City $49,724

Regional Salary in Montana

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Billings, MT160$57,980$27.88$84,530$37,660
Missoula, MT70$56,720$27.27$75,850$42,990
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Cargo and Freight Agents, OCC Code 43-5011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you change the information on your license?

When you move offices or change your name due to marriage, divorce, or some other situation, you need to update the information with the licensing board of the FMCSA.

To do this, you must complete the appropriate update form.

You may want to add to your operating authority (expand your business with new, related services), you also need to file your application with the FMCSA.

To do this, you must complete form OP-1 and submit it to the FMSCA with $300 per license.

How often do you need to renew your license?

The FMCSA requires a biennial renewal of your license.

The deadline for renewing your license depends on your USDOT number.

You can update online or print out form MCS-150, complete it, and return it to the FMCSA via US Post.

How do you find clients if you want to establish your own business?

You should have some experience as a freight broker before working for yourself, or other experience in the freight industry.

You do not need to lure clients from other companies, but you do need to learn the basics of marketing.

You will need a website, marketing collateral, advertising, and public relations activities.

USA Freight Broker License by State

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