Salaries for Transportation Professionals

Transportation careers keep things moving. Whether it's moving people, cargo, the mail, or even energy, jobs in logistics, shipping, and transport are responsible for turning the wheels of the economy. Find out the average job salaries for professionals in careers involved in the dynamic transportation, shipping, and logistics industries.

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians

Operate, install, calibrate, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems, consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment, which are used to launch, track,...
Most have a master's degree

Air Traffic Controllers

Control air traffic on and within vicinity of airport and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers according to established procedures and policies. Authorize, regulate, and control...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors

Supervise and coordinate the activities of ground crew in the loading, unloading, securing, and staging of aircraft cargo or baggage. May determine the quantity and orientation of cargo and compute aircraft center of...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.
Most have a vocational certificate

Airfield Operations Specialists

Ensure the safe takeoff and landing of commercial and military aircraft. Duties include coordination between air-traffic control and maintenance personnel; dispatching; using airfield landing and navigational aids;...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport Pilot certificate and rating for...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians

Drive ambulance or assist ambulance driver in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons. Assist in lifting patients.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Automotive Body and Related Repairers

Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers

Replace or repair broken windshields and window glass in motor vehicles.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Automotive Master Mechanics

Repair automobiles, trucks, buses, and other vehicles. Master mechanics repair virtually any part on the vehicle or specialize in the transmission system.
Most have a vocational certificate

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul automotive vehicles.

Automotive Specialty Technicians

Repair only one system or component on a vehicle, such as brakes, suspension, or radiator.
Most have a vocational certificate

Aviation Inspectors

Inspect aircraft, maintenance procedures, air navigational aids, air traffic controls, and communications equipment to ensure conformance with Federal safety regulations.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Avionics Technicians

Install, inspect, test, adjust, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, navigation, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree

Bicycle Repairers

Repair and service bicycles.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Billing and Posting Clerks

Compile, compute, and record billing, accounting, statistical, and other numerical data for billing purposes. Prepare billing invoices for services rendered or for delivery or shipment of goods.

Bridge and Lock Tenders

Operate and tend bridges, canal locks, and lighthouses to permit marine passage on inland waterways, near shores, and at danger points in waterway passages. May supervise such operations. Includes drawbridge operators,...
Most have less than a high school diploma

Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engines. Includes mechanics working primarily with automobile or marine diesel engines.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Bus Drivers, School or Special Client

Transport students or special clients, such as the elderly or persons with disabilities. Ensure adherence to safety rules. May assist passengers in boarding or exiting.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity

Drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage. May assist passengers with baggage. May collect fares or tickets.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels

Command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, such as tugboats and ferryboats. Required to hold license issued by U.S. Coast Guard.

Cargo and Freight Agents

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...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment

Wash or otherwise clean vehicles, machinery, and other equipment. Use such materials as water, cleaning agents, brushes, cloths, and hoses.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Commercial Pilots

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-winged aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and...
Most have a vocational certificate

Customs Brokers

Prepare customs documentation and ensure that shipments meet all applicable laws to facilitate the import and export of goods. Determine and track duties and taxes payable and process payments on behalf of client. Sign...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Dispatchers, Except Police, Fire, and Ambulance

Schedule and dispatch workers, work crews, equipment, or service vehicles for conveyance of materials, freight, or passengers, or for normal installation, service, or emergency repairs rendered outside the place of...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment

Install, adjust, or maintain mobile electronics communication equipment, including sound, sonar, security, navigation, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other mobile equipment.
Most have a vocational certificate

Electronic Equipment Installers and Repairers, Motor Vehicles

Install, diagnose, or repair communications, sound, security, or navigation equipment in motor vehicles.
Most have a vocational certificate

First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers, and Material Movers, Hand

Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of helpers, laborers, or material movers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

First-Line Supervisors of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle Operators

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators and helpers.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Freight and Cargo Inspectors

Inspect the handling, storage, and stowing of freight and cargoes.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Freight Forwarders

Research rates, routings, or modes of transport for shipment of products. Maintain awareness of regulations affecting the international movement of cargo. Make arrangements for additional services, such as storage or...

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers' license.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Industrial Safety and Health Engineers

Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand

Manually move freight, stock, or other materials or perform other general labor. Includes all manual laborers not elsewhere classified.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers

Drive a light vehicle, such as a truck or van, with a capacity of less than 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), primarily to deliver or pick up merchandise or to deliver packages. May load and unload vehicle.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Locomotive Engineers

Drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas-turbine-electric locomotives to transport passengers or freight. Interpret train orders, electronic or manual signals, and railroad rules and regulations.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Locomotive Firers

Monitor locomotive instruments and watch for dragging equipment, obstacles on rights-of-way, and train signals during run. Watch for and relay traffic signals from yard workers to yard engineer in railroad yard.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Logisticians

Analyze and coordinate the logistical functions of a firm or organization. Responsible for the entire life cycle of a product, including acquisition, distribution, internal allocation, delivery, and final disposal of...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Logistics Analysts

Analyze product delivery or supply chain processes to identify or recommend changes. May manage route activity including invoicing, electronic bills, and shipment tracing.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Mates- Ship, Boat, and Barge

Supervise or coordinate activities of crew aboard ships, boats, barges, or dredges.
Most have a vocational certificate

Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul mobile mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic equipment, such as cranes, bulldozers, graders, and conveyors, used in construction, logging, and surface mining.
Most have a vocational certificate

Motorboat Mechanics and Service Technicians

Repair and adjust electrical and mechanical equipment of inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.
Most have a vocational certificate

Motorboat Operators

Operate small motor-driven boats. May assist in navigational activities.
Most have a vocational certificate

Motorcycle Mechanics

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, dirt bikes, or similar motorized vehicles.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Packers and Packagers, Hand

Pack or package by hand a wide variety of products and materials.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Pilots, Ship

Command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, straits, or sounds, or on rivers, lakes, or bays. Must be licensed by U.S. Coast Guard with limitations indicating class and tonnage of vessels for which...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Rail Car Repairers

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul railroad rolling stock, mine cars, or mass transit rail cars.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers

Drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators

Lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators

Operate railroad track switches. Couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Signal engineers by hand or flagging. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters

Coordinate activities of switch-engine crew within railroad yard, industrial plant, or similar location. Conductors coordinate activities of train crew on passenger or freight trains. Yardmasters review train schedules...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Recreational Vehicle Service Technicians

Diagnose, inspect, adjust, repair, or overhaul recreational vehicles including travel trailers. May specialize in maintaining gas, electrical, hydraulic, plumbing, or chassis/towing systems as well as repairing...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Sailors and Marine Oilers

Stand watch to look for obstructions in path of vessel, measure water depth, turn wheel on bridge, or use emergency equipment as directed by captain, mate, or pilot. Break out, rig, overhaul, and store cargo-handling...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Ship and Boat Captains

Command vessels in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, or coastal waters.
Most have a vocational certificate

Ship Engineers

Supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.
Most have a vocational certificate

Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks

Verify and maintain records on incoming and outgoing shipments. Prepare items for shipment. Duties include assembling, addressing, stamping, and shipping merchandise or material; receiving, unpacking, verifying and...
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Signal and Track Switch Repairers

Install, inspect, test, maintain, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, signal equipment, track switches, section lines, or intercommunications systems within a railroad system.
Most have an associate's or 2-year degree

Storage and Distribution Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate the storage or distribution operations within an organization or the activities of organizations that are engaged in storing or distributing materials or products.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Subway and Streetcar Operators

Operate subway or elevated suburban trains with no separate locomotive, or electric-powered streetcar, to transport passengers. May handle fares.
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Supply Chain Managers

Direct or coordinate production, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, or financial forecasting services or activities to limit costs and improve accuracy, customer service, or safety. Examine existing procedures or...
Most have a bachelor's degree

Tank Car, Truck, and Ship Loaders

Load and unload chemicals and bulk solids, such as coal, sand, and grain into or from tank cars, trucks, or ships using material moving equipment. May perform a variety of other tasks relating to shipment of products....
Most have a high school diploma or GED

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs

Drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers. May occasionally carry cargo. Includes hearse drivers.
Most have less than a high school diploma

Tire Repairers and Changers

Repair and replace tires.
Most have some college

Traffic Technicians

Conduct field studies to determine traffic volume, speed, effectiveness of signals, adequacy of lighting, and other factors influencing traffic conditions, under direction of traffic engineer.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Transportation Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate the transportation operations within an organization or the activities of organizations that provide transportation services.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Transportation Planners

Prepare studies for proposed transportation projects. Gather, compile, and analyze data. Study the use and operation of transportation systems. Develop transportation models or simulations.
Most have a bachelor's degree

Transportation Vehicle, Equipment and Systems Inspectors, Except Aviation

Inspect and monitor transportation equipment, vehicles, or systems to ensure compliance with regulations and safety standards.
Most have a vocational certificate
The transportation sector includes all transport of materials, goods, and freight by air, rail, truck, and shipping. This industry also includes the coordination of pipeline transportation, warehousing inventory, and the postal service. The industry has been under some pressure due to economic slowdown, but overall unemployment for the sector remains better than average (7.2% as of 3/2012.) Layoff events have recently been falling, and the outlook for the industry appears to be improving.

In much of the transportation industry, union membership is quite strong relative to other sectors. Union membership has an average weekly salary of $963, while non-union members earn $726 on average. Some common jobs in the industry include Pilots and airline personnel, Bus Drivers, Railroad conductors and workers, Sailors and marine workers, and truck drivers. Compensation and salary has been rising, with total hourly compensation including benefits rising to $33.44 on average. Trends of globalization and increased consumer activity should fuel the continued growth of the transportation careers.
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