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Career and Education Opportunities for Freight Representatives in Charleston, West Virginia

If you want to be a freight representative, the Charleston, West Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 150 people work as freight representatives in West Virginia. This is expected to grow by 14% to about 170 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for freight representatives are expected to grow by about 23.9%. Freight representatives generally 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 $11 per hour or $24,080 yearly on average in West Virginia. 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 West Virginia and better than general Dispatching and Logistics category earnings nationally.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as a freight representative. 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 Charleston 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

Fayette Institute of Technology - Oak Hill, WV

Fayette Institute of Technology, 300 West Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901. Fayette Institute of Technology is a small school located in Oak Hill, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 24 students. Fayette Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.