In one respect, lumber brokers are like any other type of business people. They buy lumber from the mills at a low price and sell it to customers at a higher price. To become one, you'll need the skills required of any successful salesperson, along with an in-depth knowledge of the lumber industry. Seek out advice and training information from professional organizations, such as the National Hardwood Lumber Association.
To get started, you'll need at an associate's degree in business or the equivalent. Good computer and communication skills are a must, as is the ability to work under pressure. This isn't a job for the laid-back personality. Lumber is a commodity, with prices changing quickly. A broker's job is fast-paced and in constant flux. You might want to focus on one or more particular aspects of the business, such as home-building, retail dealers, industrial uses or commercial building projects.
Lumber Broker Options
You have several options for becoming a lumber broker. Seek employment with a current lumber business, start your own business or buy an existing lumber brokerage. If you decide to go into business for yourself, create a business plan and mission statement for your start-up. Find the right site for your business or franchise -- an area with good business prospects but relatively little competition.