Cargo and freight agents
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Overview
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Expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. Take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform. Prepare and examine bills of lading to determine shipping charges and tariffs.
Titles for this career often contain these words
FreightExportAgentManagerClerkCoordinatorOceanImportOperationsTransportationForwarderServiceSpecialistLogisticsAirCargoTrafficShippingCustomerRampAssistantRouterPlannerHeadRepresentativeRouteAccountDepartmentDispatchBrokerReceiverShipperDispatcherIntermodalInternationalLeadManTechnicianBookingContainerDeliverySupervisorDirectorSurfaceDocumentationDomesticDropShipmentFleetBookerProductGSACustomsClearingIndependentInterstateLoadBothRelationIntermediaryOperationRelocationProcessorSpecialServicesSolutionsYardmasterCrewDispatching
Education
Only 24% of cargo and freight agents have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by cargo and freight agents
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
This is near the middle of all careeers' percentages of bachelor's holders.
Employment
Workforce size
Cargo and freight agents, with 95,500 workers, form a larger workforce than 64% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for cargo and freight agents are expected to grow by 8%, and should have about 10,100 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Cargo and freight agents are more likely to be automated than 98% of other careers.
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Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 58% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for cargo and freight agents. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most cargo and freight agents.
This job's median $43KAll jobs' median $39K$44K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 32% of cargo and freight agents -- that's a smaller percentage than 53% of other jobs.
Gender of cargo and freight agents
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. Women cargo and freight agents actually earned more than men -- a very rare occurance among careers!
Race/Origin
About 25% of cargo and freight agents are minority, and 20% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of cargo and freight agents
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (20%)
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Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Cargo and Freight Agents per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
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Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 61% of cargo and freight agents, and 68% have company-sponsored health insurance (16% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for cargo and freight agents
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
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Injury and Illness
About 445 cargo and freight agents become injured or ill for every 10,000 workers, making this job more dangerous than 98% of other careers. The most common specific illnesses or injuries are detailed following.
Sprains, strains, tears
Bruises and contusions
Fractures
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of cargo and freight agents who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (92%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (60%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (50%)
  • Consequence of Error (35%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (33%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do cargo and freight agents earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for cargo and freight agents, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for cargo and freight agents compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for cargo and freight agents (BLS Salary Data)
$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all cargo and freight agents, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for cargo and freight agents compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for cargo and freight agents (ACS Salary Data)
$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where cargo and freight agents work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Cargo and freight agents (ACS)
Private for-profit (90.2%)
Private not-for-profit (0.6%)
Local government (0.5%)
State government (0.5%)
Federal government (5.6%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.2%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.3%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of cargo and freight agents by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$40K$41K$32K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of cargo and freight agents by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$43K$56K$31K$43K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for cargo and freight agents

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? This first chart suggests how much this job rewards experience with increased salaries.

Now let's dive a little deeper. Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$35K$50K$51K$51K$33K$52K$45K$27K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
01K2K3KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Cargo and freight agents and gender

With 32% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 53% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
32%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Cargo and freight agents
Men (68%)
Women (32%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

Although nationally the median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 21%, in cargo and freight agents, the median salary for women is 4% higher than the median salary for men. There are only 19 other jobs in which the median women's salary exceeds the median men's salary. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$40K$39K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of cargo and freight agents

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a higher percentage of minority cargo and freight agents than for 74% of other careers. This career hires a larger percentage of foreign-born workers than most other careers.

Race/origin of cargo and freight agents
White (71% )
Black (12% )
Asian (7% )
Other (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (1% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
25%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
20%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for cargo and freight agents by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$37K$38K$40K$42K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KOtherMultiracialWhiteAsianBlack
Distribution: Salaries for cargo and freight agents by nativity
$34K$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Part-time/Full-time
Cargo and freight agents and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 10% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 52% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
10%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for full-time workers.

$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by cargo and freight agents

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cargo and freight agents typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as cargo and freight agents as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for cargo and freight agents.

Education attained by cargo and freight agents
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for cargo and freight agents? Below we see the distribution of cargo and freight agents salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as cargo and freight agents, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$33K$37K$37K$43K$43K$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KNone (5%)High School (27%)Some College (35%)Associate's Degree (9%)Bachelor's Degree (21%)Master's Degree (2%)
Certificate/Associate's degree pathways
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for cargo and freight agents

What jobs will most cargo and freight agents hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of cargo and freight agents reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Cargo and freight agentsShipping, receiving, and traffic clerksHand laborers and freight, stock, and material moversDriver/sales workers and truck driversAccountants and auditorsReservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerksBusiness operations specialistsGeneral and operations managersElementary and middle school teachersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesSupervisors of transportation and material moving workersMedical assistantsCustomer service representativesBaggage porters, bellhops, and conciergesManagers (specialized areas)LogisticiansIndustrial truck and tractor operators
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for cargo and freight agents

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 8 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as cargo and freight agents as well as 1% of respondents after working as cargo and freight agents. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for cargo and freight agents: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as cargo and freight agents? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of cargo and freight agents surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for cargo and freight agents
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 58% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for cargo and freight agents. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $43KAll jobs' median $39K$45K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for cargo and freight agents are anticipated to grow by 8% over the next decade; only 24% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for cargo and freight agents is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030020,00040,00060,00080,000100,000120,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most cargo and freight agents? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as cargo and freight agents. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Cargo and Freight Agents per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.51.01.52.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where cargo and freight agents earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for cargo and freight agents compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for cargo and freight agents.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Cargo and Freight Agents (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which cargo and freight agents earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Cargo and freight agents (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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