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 23% of cargo and freight agents have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by cargo and freight agents
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional 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 63% 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.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for cargo and freight agents compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most cargo and freight agents earn.
$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Gender
Women account for 32% of cargo and freight agents -- that's a smaller percentage than 55% 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 22% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of cargo and freight agents
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (22%)
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. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
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:
Salary and diversity
What do cargo and freight agents earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for cargo and freight agents (BLS Salary Data)
$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for cargo and freight agents (ACS Salary Data)
$39K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$39K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Cargo and Freight Agents: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $42KAll jobs' median $45K$46K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire cargo and freight agents.
Employers of Cargo and Freight Agents (ACS)
Private for-profit (91.0%)
Private not-for-profit (0.8%)
Local government (0.6%)
State government (0.4%)
Federal government (4.5%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.3%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.4%)
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.
$39K$40K$28K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Local 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.
$44K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

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? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to 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?

Salary distribution
$49K$34K$33K$51K$52K$43K$51K$40K$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
01K2K3K4K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Cargo and freight agents and gender

With 32% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 55% 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 19%, in cargo and freight agents, the median salary for women is 3% higher than the median salary for men.

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

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of cargo and freight agents

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a higher percentage of minority cargo and freight agents than for 69% 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 (70% )
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
22%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.

$33K$35K$40K$41K$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KPacific IslanderMultiracialWhiteAsianBlack
Distribution: Salaries for cargo and freight agents by nativity
$35K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

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 9% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 58% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
9%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

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time cargo and freight agents is shown following.

$14K$39K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
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.

Education attained by cargo and freight agents
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
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.

$39K$37K$41K$43K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KHigh School (27%)Some College (36%)Associate's/Cert. (10%)Bachelor's Degree (20%)Master's Degree (2%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Switching Careers
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 Inventory ClerksLogisticiansLaborers and Freight, Stock, and By-Hand Material MoversDriver/sales workers and truck driversAccountants and AuditorsReservation/Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel ClerksGeneral and Operations ManagersAir traffic controllers and airfield operations specialistsElementary and Middle School School TeachersSpecialized appearance workers, including nail and skincareSpecialized Transportation WorkersWholesale and Manufacturing Sales RepresentativesFirst-Line Supervisors of Personal Care and Service WorkersMedical assistants and other healthcare support occupationsCustomer Service RepresentativesBaggage porters, bellhops, and conciergesSpecialized Managers
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 9 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.

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.

Variation by state
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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0.00.51.01.52.02.5
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
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$20K$40K$60K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

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?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests with
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