If you are looking for a new and exciting career, transportation may be a good fit for your personality. Deciding if transportation is a good career path for you depends on what you are looking for and your understanding of what the industry entails.
Transportation is a means of delivering goods or products from the manufacturers to the consumers or customers. Almost all the trucks you see on the roads are tasked with transporting goods from one place to another. Other modes of transport happen on bodies of water by the use of boats and ships, and also by air.
Transportation is a promising career path that employs numerous people. In the United States alone,about 426,362 peoplework in the public transport industry.
Not to mention, transportation is a great career path that pays well. Some well-paying types of careers in transportation operations include truck driver trainers, delivery drivers, long-haul drivers, tanker drivers, and private fleet drivers.
In this article, I have compiled everything you need to know about pursuing a career in transport and logistics, such as a Marine transportation job, educational or advanced degree requirements, salary, etc.
Is Transportation A Good Career Path? An Overview
Transportation is a promising career. This is because there are so many transportation jobs in the United States and worldwide, which also pay well; most transportation jobs do not require a college diploma or formal education. Instead, careers in transportation require excellent time management, dedication, and hard work.
What Are Transportation And Logistics?
Transportation refers to the movement of goods or products from one place to another through air, water, or land. Logistics, on the other hand, refers to the management of the goods or products being transported to ensure that the products move seamlessly from one point to another or to the end-user.
Transportation and logistics are essential in the transportation industry because without planning by the logistics personnel on how to transport or receive goods, it may not be possible to receive or transport goods in an organized and timely manner.
Stages Of Logistics And Transportation
Logistics and transportation are the mainstays of the supply chain, which are essential in ensuring a complete cycle from when the product is received all the way to the end-user through different distribution channels. Some of the key stages of logistics and transportation include:
Sourcing is part of inbound logistics whereby the products or goods are identified and the potential suppliers evaluated until the products are received from the distributor, producer, or supplier.
In the transportation systems, transportation is part of outbound logistics that deliver goods from the producer, supplier, or distributor to the individual locations or customers, whether by land, water, or air.
Truck driving is a means of transportation where goods are transported by road from one place to another, with the use of trucks.
Distribution is the last stage of the transportation process where the goods are made available to the end-user or consumer. The transporter, an essential job function in this case, makes sure that the goods reach the consumer or client from the manufacturer on agreed dates or timelines.
What Are The Careers Types In The Transportation Career Path?
The transportation sector is packed with a wide range of careers that make the transport industry complete. Some of them are truck drivers, epic roles for water transportation workers, transportation analysts, logistics personnel, inventory managers, supply chain manager, and transportation planner. The others include:
Freight And Material Movement
Freight and material movement refer to the movement of products or goods from one point to another, i.e., manufacturers, to the distribution channels. This type of transportation is done by any form of transportation, including trucks or lorries, airplanes, ships, or trains.
Distribution And Warehouse Operations
This career involves working in a warehouse or distribution center. It entails handling and storage of goods and also transportation planning, among other jobs related to distribution and warehouse operations. There are plenty of entry-level jobs in this career field.
For example, you can begin your career by using heavy equipment such as a forklift, and with exemplary leadership skills, you can advance your way up to a distribution manager.
Traffic Transportation And Travel Logistics
Traffic transportation and travel logistics are excellent occupations that manage and formulate policies and plans to ensure the safe movement of people and goods from one place to another.
Air transportation is the movement of freight and people from one destination to the other via airplanes, gliders, helicopters, and hot air balloons. Careers in Air transportation are primarily for pilots and other airline staff.
Pilots transport cargo and passengers, analyzing the flight weather conditions and plans and determining the safest routes. In addition, they are tasked with ensuring that the fuel is enough to reach the destination and inspecting the operation systems, among other roles.
As I have mentioned, there are different roles that a pilot plays apart from flying the plane. These include planning and logistics that involves calculating fuel, inspecting navigation equipment, planning the routes, and analyzing weather and flight plans, among other common skills.
Statistics show Pilots earn a decent salary range of about$130,440 annually.
To become a pilot, you must be a college graduate qualified in fundamental mathematics and physics. These requirements may vary depending on whether you want to be an airline or a commercial pilot. You will need a university degree to become an airline pilot, but this varies depending on the airline.
Railroad transportation is a standard means of transporting goods or products over short or long distances using one or more locomotives that run on rails. Of course, one of the advantages of transporting goods by rail is that it is cost-effective.
Another advantage of railroad transport is that it is environmentally friendly and efficient.
When it comes to careers in railroad transport, this is a sector that has employed a lot of people. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States, railroad transportation groups employ about 175,000 people.
Train engineers are specialists who work on board the moving trains to help solve problems and ensure that the train is well-managed or appropriately serviced. In addition, train engineers’ other duties are monitoring the speed and battery, among other things, to ensure the efficient and smooth running of the train.
Train Engineers, also called locomotive engineers, are tasked with running the trains and ensuring they are safe and efficient. They also drive the trains from one station to the next and perform other engineering duties such as servicing the train’s components for smooth, safe, and efficient movement.
According to PayScale, the average salary range of a train engineer is $97,588 per year. However, the salary may depend on the company and the experience level, among other factors.
Minor requirements for a train engineer are a high school diploma and a company-sponsored training program, railroad operations certificate, or associate’s degree.
Marine transportation is transporting cargo from one continent to another or between countries. It involves both inland and oceanic waterways. Of course, some passengers also prefer using water means of transport to cut on the costs of travel since it is cheaper compared to air transport. Therefore, marine transportation careers pay very well, and the employment opportunities are endless.
A ship Captain’s duties include navigating the ship, handling cargo, and stowage, among other functions. They also ensure that the vessel complies with international and local laws, regulations, or state policies.
A ship captain earns a decent salary of about $96,347 a year.
A ship captain commands and navigates the ship in the water bodies, maintains the equipment, supervises the crew members, measures and records the waters’ depths, and resolves the problems that arise in the ship or with the customers, among other roles.
According to salary statistics, the median pay for the ship captains or cruise ship captains is $86,503 per year.
To become a ship captain, you must comply with the International Maritime Organization’s requirements that require a Bachelor of Science degree and some coursework in navigation, cargo management, and meteorology. In addition to an advanced level of education, you must pass the licensing exam offered by the U.S Coast Guard.
Public transport is a kind of transportation service that involves transporting passengers from one place to another through different modes of transport such as buses, light rails, subways, and ferries, among other means. Therefore, public transportation workers must have strong customer service skills since they work with the public on a daily basis.
A dispatcher’s responsibilities involve getting goods or passengers from one place to another through coordination. In addition, they act as a liaison between different people and departments.
A dispatcher’s roles and responsibilities include monitoring safety, maintaining communication to ensure that goods are dispatched by the vehicles available, scheduling transportation, and handling transportation problems or emergencies.
According to different salary statistics, the median salary of a dispatcher is about $38,010 per year. However, the salary can vary from employer to employer and will depend on experience and education.
To become a dispatcher, you do not need to have intensive training. You are good to go with at least a high school diploma or a GED. However, some companies may need some training in logistics, supply chain management, or a degree in transportation.
Commercial Airplane Pilot
These are professional pilots flying commercial planes from one destination to another. Their job is to ensure that the cargo or the passengers are safe and control the aircraft and the passengers. It is also important to note that all airline pilots are commercial pilots. However, not all commercial pilots are airline pilots.
Commercial pilots can fly for recreation, or they can even fly small planes and helicopters, but airline pilots fly for long distances, primarily for big airlines.
An airline pilot is tasked with numerous responsibilities, including making flight plans, checking the altitude, aircraft performance, and weather conditions, and making difficult decisions in emergencies.
Other tasks include making pre-flight checks and working with other airline staff to ensure that all the flight rules comply.
According to ATP Flight School, the median salary range of a commercial pilot is about $160,970 per year.
Being a commercial airline pilot requires some advanced education and certifications. Therefore, a degree is necessary, and this varies by airline. Still, some standard certifications include a commercial pilot certificate, and some airlines may require a college degree in aviation.
This refers to the conveyance of passengers, but the passenger enjoys the autonomy of traveling alone as opposed to traveling with other passengers. In this case, you, as a passenger, can set your schedule and choose the vehicle you want.
In the logistics industry, a trucking dispatcher is an important position that involves scheduling deliveries and arranging the pickup of goods. Of course, this is an excellent logistics career that also pays well.
Trucking dispatchers perform many tasks involving the movement of goods from one place to another. This consists of arranging pickups of the consignment or parcels, scheduling truck drivers, setting routes, reviewing drivers’ logs, and keeping the shipment details, among other functions.
Statistics show that a trucking dispatcher earns a median salary of about $42,806 annually. It is, therefore, a great career opportunity that you can venture in if you are passionate about logistics jobs.
To become a trucking dispatcher, you need at least a high school diploma or just a GED. An associate’s degree or training in business, English, and Mathematics may give you first-hand knowledge of logistical issues in the transportation industry. However, there are no advanced certifications required to become a trucking dispatcher.
The job title of a delivery driver involves picking up goods from the warehouse or port and transporting them to their required destinations or the customer.
Delivery drivers’ job responsibilities may depend on the employer and the goods they transport. However, most delivery drivers work on flexible schedules as directed by the employer. Of course, you can also become a private delivery driver where you can pick items from the seller and deliver them to the buyer or customer.
Becoming a delivery driver is one of the jobs that you can also do part-time, after your studies, or during your free time. In addition, it requires you to have strong customer service skills and other essential skills.
The work of a delivery driver is just as the name puts it. This job’s Daily transportation activities entail loading goods, transporting them to the required destinations, and delivering the same goods to customers or clients.
In addition to that, the job entails reviewing client orders and checking to ensure that the goods packed are the right ones. Also, a delivery driver must ensure that the goods reach the client safely and on time.
Regarding compensation, a delivery driver earnsabout $37,050 a year. However, this can change from one employer to another and will also be based on the driving experience.
Becoming a delivery driver is not a complicated process. First, you must have a General Education Development (GED) or a high school diploma. However, a high school diploma depends on the employer since some employers need a valid driver’s license.
Material handlers are tasked with handling goods, verifying, and storing goods in a warehouse. They also ensure that the goods are safe, and in this role, you will work primarily in loading docks or warehouses. They are also called material movers.
To become a material handler, you may need some basic educational skills but also some physical capabilities to handle heavy loads. In addition, most employers dealing with large cargo or large amounts of goods may have machinery or equipment for lifting and storing goods.
The role of a material handler is dependent on the employer and the nature of the goods being handled. For instance, food and fragile items may need extra care to protect them from damage. In regards to that, a material handler does the following:
- Moving goods from one point to another.
- Loading and unloading goods or cargo within storage points.
- Picking and placing goods on delivery trucks.
- Taking goods from trucks and putting them at appropriate storage points.
- Administrative functions such as recording the inventory statuses.
- Ensuring that all the deliveries match the orders with all of the client’s requirements.
Of course, there are numerous tasks that a material handler can perform as assigned by the employer.
Most material handlers are paid a median wage of about $17.40 per hour. Therefore, the overall earnings per month or year may depend on the hours worked. However, according to Salary statistics, the median salary for material handlers is $33,850 annually.
The educational requirements of a material handler entirely depend on the employer. Some employers require a high school diploma, while others may require some primary education or General Education Development. However, what matters most in this job are the skills that include organizational skills, attention to detail, communication, consultative skills, analytical, and basic knowledge of inventory control, among other skills.
Reasons To Work In Transportation
The transportation industry is one of the most important sectors in the economy of every nation or state. Without transportation, there is no business. That is why it employs many people ranging from drivers to logistics personnel.
Working in the transportation industry or sector, whether public or private, is one of the means of earning some income and pursuing a great career of your passion. Therefore, some of the most important reasons to work in the transportation industry include the following:
Transportation is a high-demand and fast-growing industry. Therefore, you are guaranteed job security with experience in the transport industry and the shortage of personnel caused by the high-demand industry. This is especially true if you are well qualified in logistics and truck driving, among other areas.
Creates An Impact
Working in the transportation industry is a fulfilling career choice that creates an impact by ensuring that the goods are transported from one point to another smoothly, safely, and efficiently.
Apart from that, it also creates an economic impact, not just for the state but also for yourself. Of course, most of the transportation sector’s jobs pay well, impacting the lives of the people.
Plenty Of Opportunities
As I mentioned earlier, another guarantee in the transport sector is that it is a high-demand industry growing faster. As a result, this career path comes with numerous opportunities for employment, from entry-level positions to the most advanced professions, like a commercial airline pilot or a ship captain.
New Challenges Everyday
A career in the transportation industry is a challenging opportunity. You will come across problems that require you to solve and make decisions. However, these challenges can help sharpen your employment skills and also drive you to be creative and innovative in your line of work.
If you are passionate about the field of transportation, then this is one of the most fulfilling careers to have. Most logistics careers are just fulfilling, especially when you have the skills. It pays well, and most transportation jobs have flexible schedules where you can work on a part-time basis.
Develop New Skills
Of course, your skill set is not complete until you encounter some challenges or solve problems. The transport industry is where you meet all those challenges that require problem-solving, leadership skills, organizational skills, and more. Therefore, as you grow your career in the transportation industry, you also gain some important skills that will be helpful in the long run.
At this point, I can sum up everything with the assurance that transportation is not just a good career path but is also a great one. With plenty of fulfilling job opportunities, this sector employs many people and is an excellent option for people passionate about logistics and transport.
Overall, transportation is a great career path to consider. With a variety of options available and the opportunity for career advancement, it's a dynamic and exciting industry to work in.Is transportation a career or industry? ›
The Transportation Industry sector features three career pathways that provide opportunities from entry-level jobs requiring high school diplomas to progressive careers requiring advanced degrees, licenses, and certifications.Why do you want to work in transportation? ›
Work-life balance is achievable. Working in transportation is rewarding. Every day in logistics is fast-paced, new and exciting. Transportation professionals receive constant training and education.What career might you find in transportation operations? ›
- Bus driver.
- Subway operator.
- Van driver.
- Taxi driver.
- Route supervisor.
- Fleet manager.
Air Pollution: Transportation is a major contributor to air pollution. Cars, trucks, buses, planes, and ships emit greenhouse gasses, which are the leading cause of global warming. Vehicles also emit other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter, which can cause smog, acid rain, etc.Is transportation a risky industry? ›
The U.S. transportation industry is among the most risk-prone of all industries, requiring transportation companies to implement strong enterprise risk management strategies.What kind of demand is transportation? ›
Transportation can also be perceived as an induced (or latent) demand, representing a demand response to a price reduction. This is particularly the case when the addition of transport infrastructures results in traffic increases due to higher levels of accessibility.Is the transportation industry stressful? ›
Due to the fast-paced nature of the transportation industry, working in logistics can bring on more stress than the average profession.What level of industry is transportation? ›
Technically, transportation is a sub-group of the industrials sector according to the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). The transportation sector consists of several industries including air freight and logistics, airlines, marine, road and rail, and transportation infrastructure.Why is transportation good? ›
Public Transportation Reduces Air Pollution
Approximately 85% of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from transportation are due to day-to-day commutes. By leaving the car at home, a person can save up to 20 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every day.
What was the growth rate of the Transportation and Warehousing industry in the US in 2022? The market size of the Transportation and Warehousing industry increased 13.1% in 2022.Is logistics a stressful job? ›
Working in logistics is stressful. The supply chain doesn't take weekends or evenings off; vessels come in and out, trucks always drive, and rail cars arrive when they arrive. Despite the stress, it is an exciting profession; logistics professionals can move mountains.What is the best job in transportation? ›
The best-paying jobs in transportation are airline and commercial pilots, air traffic controllers, and highway engineers, all of which can command six-figure salaries. The highest-paying occupations for job seekers without degrees are locomotive engineers, railroad conductors and flight attendants.Which is the highest paying occupation in the transportation sector? ›
The single highest paying transportation jobs are commercial pilots, with a median national salary of $130,440.How do I get into the transport industry? ›
- Decide on a Specific Transport Niche. ...
- Establish Your Preferred Business Model. ...
- Secure a Federal Tax ID Number. ...
- Apply for Licenses and Permits. ...
- Set a Budget and Financial Expectations. ...
- Make Purchases and Build Your Fleet.
Passenger vehicles are by far the most dangerous motorized transportation option compared. Over the last 10 years, passenger vehicle death rate per 100,000,000 passenger miles was over 20 times higher than for buses, 17 times higher than for passenger trains, and 595 times higher than for scheduled airlines.What are the common problems in transportation? ›
- Poor traffic predictions.
- Cost of fuel.
- Poor weather predictions.
- The cost of fleet maintenance.
- A lack of skilled drivers.
- Poor routing strategies.
Some of the top trucking issues include maintaining equipment, sourcing equipment due to production delays and supply chain disruptions, financial struggles due to rising operating costs and declining shipping rates, difficulty hiring and retaining drivers, and navigating new or changing regulations.What are other issues that transportation industry will face in the future? ›
- Meeting Customer Expectations. ...
- Difficulty in Cutting Transportation Costs. ...
- Complex Government Regulations. ...
- Inventory Visibility and Tracking. ...
- Driver Shortages. ...
- Unforeseen Delays in Transportation. ...
- Supply Chain Integration. ...
- Need for Sustainable Logistics Operations.
In 2021, depending on the measure used, each of these four industries could be ranked as most dangerous: Construction– experienced the most workplace deaths. Education and health services– experienced the most nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days away from work.
These include: abuse of safety standards (as in the case of ferry boats), improper maintenance (as in the case of aircraft, trucks and automobiles), use of personnel who are improperly qualified and/or working excessive hours (as in the case of pilots), price fixing (as with air passenger transport and cargo shipping ...What are the 3 most popular types of transportation? ›
Transport modes are the means supporting the mobility of passengers and freight. They are mobile transport assets and fall into three basic types; land (road, rail, pipelines), water (shipping), and air.What are the 4 types of transportation for industry? ›
Air, Road, Sea and Rail. These are the four major modes of transport (or types) in the logistics industry.What kinds of transports are the most popular nowadays? ›
1. Trains. The most used kind of transportation around the globe.What industry is the most stressful? ›
Research studies have shown that certain industries are more stressful to work in than others. A study published in the International Journal of Stress Management found that healthcare workers, social workers, and teachers experience higher levels of stress than workers in other professions.What is the unemployment rate for the transportation industry? ›
The unemployment rate in the U.S. transportation sector was 3.6% (not seasonally adjusted) in May 2023 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data recently updated on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Unemployment in Transportation dashboard.What is the fastest growing sector of transportation? ›
1. Airport operations – 53% growth. The industry: The airport operations industry (NAICS code: 48811) comprises businesses engaged in operating airports and providing support for airport operations, such as hangar rental companies, air traffic control services, baggage handling services, and cargo handling services.What percent of Americans work in transportation? ›
Transportation and transportation-related industries employ over 13.3 million people, accounting for 9.1 percent of workers in the United States. Employment in these industries rose steadily from 2011 to 2015 to 13.6 million, exceeding prerecession levels, then declined to 13.3 million in 2017.How many people are employed in transportation? ›
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has 15,000 employees.What are the five importance of transportation? ›
- Transportation facilitates the movement of goods and people.
- It promotes free flow of ideas from one country to another.
- It promotes imports and export trade.
- It also promotes international trade.
- It enhances the location of industries.
- It promotes tourism.
- It creates demand for goods.
Benefits of road transport (or trucking)
For short-distance deliveries, road transport is the most cost-efficient mean of transport. Road freight is relatively quick and has mostly regular time schedules in place. As it is well-regulated the expected transit times are quite predictable in road transport.
Transportation moves people and goods to different neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries; and it allows people in those various places to trade and do business together.What is the future for transportation? ›
Future transportation technology will be electrified, carbon-neutral, autonomous and smart. Over the next decade, commuter trends and innovations will center efficiency.What are the 3 greatest future trends in transportation? ›
The transportation sector is a perfect example of an industry grappling with rapid changes in technology and customer expectations. In particular, these changes are being driven by three major trends: electrification, automation, and servitization.What is the largest transportation company in the US? ›
- UPS Inc. Founded: 1907. Revenue: 97.3 billion USD (2021) ...
- FedEx Corp. Founded: 1971. ...
- XPO Logistics. Founded: 1989. ...
- J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. ...
- Knight-Swift Transport Services. Founded: 1990. ...
- YRC Worldwide. Founded: 1929. ...
- Schneider. Founded: 1976. ...
- Landstar Systems. Founded: 1968.
The best Logistics jobs can pay up to $326,500 per year.
Logistics managers oversee aspects of the supply chain while analysts evaluate the quickest and most cost-efficient methods of delivery.
Critical thinking, planning ahead, and problem-solving are all key here; from creating contingency plans to being able to identify problematic areas before they arise.Do people in logistics make good money? ›
Logisticians made a median salary of $77,030 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $98,680 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $59,740.How much money can you make transport? ›
|Annual Salary||Hourly Wage|
- Start an auto transportation company. ...
- Start a taxi cab business. ...
- Start a shipping business. ...
- Start a moving company. ...
- Become a travel agent. ...
- Start a vehicle towing service. ...
- Start a grocery transportation business. ...
- Start a bicycle company.
- Delivery driver. National average salary : $16.85 per hour. ...
- Snowplow operator. National average salary: $18.89 per hour. ...
- Private fleet driver. National average salary: $1,210 per week. ...
- Tanker driver. ...
- Long-haul driver. ...
- Truck driver trainer. ...
- Owner-operator driver.
|Job Title||Annual Salary||Monthly Pay|
|Work From Home Transit Wireless||$59,471||$4,955|
The average net profit margin of a trucking company averages between 2.5% and 6%. That means it can be a profitable business and an industry that you can make a decent living from, provided you get into the trucking business with your eyes wide open.What is a career in transportation? ›
Transportation careers such as pilot, air traffic controller and postal worker require extensive, specialized training. The transportation industry also includes clerical and management jobs. Typically, a transportation manager oversees all transportation services for a company.How do I get clients for my transportation business? ›
- Add common search terms.
- Claim your listings. Your email marketing.
- Ask for referrals and reviews.
- Create a newsletter. Social media strategies.
- Start or polish up your Facebook Business page.
- Invest in Facebook ads.
The growth of the transportation industry is driven by several factors, including population growth, urbanization, and economic development. As more people move to cities and engage in international trade, the demand for transportation services is expected to continue to grow.Is transportation a demand? ›
Transportation can also be perceived as an induced (or latent) demand, representing a demand response to a price reduction.How much income should go to transportation? ›
Calculate your take-home income. This is how much you earn after taxes. In general, experts recommend spending 10%–15% of your income on transportation, including car payment, insurance, and fuel. For example, if your take-home pay is $4,000 per month, then you should spend $400 to $600 on transportation.What is the future of transportation? ›
E-hailing rides, car sharing schemes, electric vehicles (EVs), electric scooters, drones and even autonomous buses are already here. Delivery by drone is one of the immediate next advances, intended to reduce delivery van congestion and pollution while allowing us to keep the convenience of home delivery.Is transportation a growing industry? ›
What was the growth rate of the Transportation and Warehousing industry in the US in 2022? The market size of the Transportation and Warehousing industry increased 13.1% in 2022.
Hyperloops, supersonic jets and electric aircraft: Here's what transport could look like by 2050. E-bikes, scooters and now even cargo bikes are also helping travelers, commuters, and delivery drivers cover shorter distances in urban areas without needing a fossil fuel-powered vehicle.