How to Become a Freight Broker in Texas

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How to Become a Freight Broker in TexasFreight brokers are in demand.

How do you get started on this job that earns up to $100,000 a year?

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) improved opportunities for the American trucking industry.

Interstate 35 (I-35) is the primary artery connecting Canada to Mexico.

Many days it is bumper to bumper with trucks from Dallas-Fort Worth to Laredo.

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The Port of Houston is the largest port in the US.

In 2021, more than 51.9 total revenue tonnage came through the Houston Shipping Channel.

Freight brokers play the connecting role in this transportation mega land.

Freight Broker Duties in Texas

Freight brokers play an indispensable role in keeping the supply chain moving.

As a freight broker in Texas, you will be responsible for organizing and supervising the transport of cargo from one point to another.

This includes doing tons of paperwork, checking that shipments meet all regulations, coordinating contracts between suppliers and buyers, negotiating rates, and keeping open lines of communication.

Freight brokers are crucial to the economy, and they are paid well.

As a freight broker serving the Texan market, you might specialize by product.

For example, petrochemical refineries are a huge industry that requires expertise in transporting hazardous materials.

There is an ongoing need for shipping agricultural goods from the American heartland down to Mexico, then returning with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Another way to specialize is by type of transportation.

A freight broker in Texas might coordinate cargo shipments traveling by air, water, rail, or road.

Or you might embrace the challenge of coordinating multiple shipping methods to keep costs low and competitive.

Another huge need is resolving backlogged shipments.

Resolving the mess caused by the pandemic will take years to fix – and you could be part of that.

If you speak another language – or want to learn one – there are promising opportunities for freight brokers specializing in international trade and customs regulations.

A majority of the shipping cargo passing through the Port of Houston is coming or going to another country.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Freight Broker in Texas

Each state has its own licensing requirements.

In order to get started in Texas, you will need both certification and a surety bond.

The Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires brokers registering for the first time to apply with the Unified Registration System (URS).

After FMCSA processes your registration, you will receive a unique MC number.

You can find out if you need a USDOT number with the interactive questions here.

The next requirement in Texas is to obtain proof of insurance coverage.

You will need a Surety Bond (Form BMC-84) or Trust Fund Agreement (Form BMC-85) for $75,000.

Next, you will need a Designation of Process Agent form.

Send these forms and the $300 application processing fee to the Texas Department of Transportation.

You can do it all online.

If you need help or have questions, you can call the FMCSA Information Line at (800) 832-5660 or chat with an agent.

The application process takes 6-8 weeks.

Freight Broker Programs in Texas

Texas does not require you to take any special courses to become a freight broker, but you will need certain skills to be successful.

I recommend a short, online course to learn the basics of negotiating, arranging freight transportation, and doing the right paperwork.

Computer skills will help you track shipments and monitor their status.

You can also get these skills inexpensively at a community school.

But I would look into the Texas Small Business Development Centers.

The Texas government has set up small business centers all over the state.

Most of the training is free to any resident starting a small business.

They offer several services, ranging from setting up a legal business to matching you up with a mentor.

If I lived in Texas, I would definitely look into it.

And, of course, you will need people skills.

When supply chains get backed up, everyone hurts.

As a freight broker in Texas, you can be the hero that frees a frozen shipment of Fancy Feast so that every kitty gets his dinner.


Beginning salaries freight brokers in Texas range from $31,000 to $35,000.

As you can experience, you can rapidly increase your pay.

Employers look for business and logistics education, certifications, computer skills, and a network of connections in the industry.

You will also earn more in a city with several freight brokers like Houston or Dallas.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Houston $54,066
Dallas $52,405
San Antonio $51,292
Austin $51,877
El Paso $46,137
Fort Worth $51,398
Arlington $51,313
Corpus Christi $49,509
Plano $52,180
Garland $52,292

Regional Salary in Texas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Amarillo, TX40$47,570$22.87$65,040$30,160
Austin-Round Rock, TX340$43,440$20.88$61,230$30,200
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX40$51,460$24.74$71,200$36,040
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX130$38,080$18.31$57,760$23,590
Corpus Christi, TX50$48,670$23.4$61,560$33,490
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX3,610$44,200$21.25$62,990$31,520
El Paso, TX410$39,460$18.97$60,760$23,030
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX3,540$44,130$21.22$62,880$31,140
Laredo, TX880$36,440$17.52$53,840$23,400
Lubbock, TX30$51,170$24.6$71,820$24,960
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX190$38,050$18.29$50,950$27,730
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX360$44,620$21.45$70,610$28,530
* 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

Do I need to graduate from a professional training program to become a freight broker in Texas?


Texas does not require any formal training to get your license.

But, training, formal or informal, in business, logistics, customs, and computer skills will help you do the job better.

How long does it take to get licensed as a freight broker in Texas?

The Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) says it takes 6-8 weeks to process registration for a Texas freight broker license.

Is Texas a popular state for freight brokers to be working in?


Texas is a huge state, and as such, there are a lot of people and ground to cover.

This leads to a lot of shipments, logistics, and such…

In short?

Freight brokers are in HUGE demand in Texas.

USA Freight Broker License by State

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