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Career and Education Opportunities for Freight Representatives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for freight representatives in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. The national trend for freight representatives sees this job pool growing by about 23.9% over the next eight years. In general, freight representatives expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks.

Freight representatives earn approximately $18 per hour or $38,600 yearly on average in Iowa. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,270 per year. Earnings for freight representatives are better than earnings in the general category of Dispatching and Logistics in Iowa and better than general Dispatching and Logistics category earnings nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can study to be a freight representative, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Cedar Rapids area. The most common level of education for freight representatives is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a freight representative if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Freight Representative

Freight Representative video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, freight representatives expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. They also take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform.

Every day, freight representatives are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for freight representatives to notify consignees or customers of the arrival of freight or baggage, and manage delivery. They are often called upon to advise clients on transportation and payment methods. They also negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies. They are sometimes expected to pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers and hammers. Somewhat less frequently, freight representatives are also expected to direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshalling areas, and help load and unload goods safely.

Freight representatives sometimes are asked to send samples of products to quality control units for inspection. They also have to be able to keep archives of all goods shipped and stored and assemble containers and crates used to transport items such as machines or vehicles. And finally, they sometimes have to retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as needed.

Like many other jobs, freight representatives must be thorough and dependable and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Mail Carrier and Clerk. Sort mail for delivery. Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot.
  • Shipping and Receiving Clerk. Verify and keep records on incoming and outgoing shipments. Prepare items for shipment. Duties include assembling, addressing, and shipping merchandise or material; receiving, unpacking, verifying and recording incoming merchandise or material; and arranging for the transportation of products.
  • Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Freight Representative Training

Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus, 3165 Edgewood Parkway SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus is a small university located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 594 students. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated two students in 2008.


Professional Designation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management : Due to an overwhelming request for an entry level industry certification, the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L) now offers the Professional Designation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (PLS) to professionals seeking an understanding of the key strategies for improving customer service and increasing the efficiency of their logistics and supply chain operations.

For more information, see the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, Inc. website.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.