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Is Transportation a Good Career Path?

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So, is transportation a good career path? An essential part of transportation is transferring goods and people from one location to another. Many employment and career paths are available in transportation, from shipping, trucking, and transporting products to commercial aircraft and oceangoing boats. A job in the transportation industry is an excellent option if you’d want to play some part in transporting people or commodities. Some need to travel and operate cars, while others work from home.

In this article, we’ll talk about the transportation industry.

So, let’s get right into it!

Is Transportation Services a Good Career Path?

Yes.

If you are someone who takes pleasure in traveling and is good at doing so, a career in transportation may be an excellent option for you. Workers in the transportation industry include those employed by airlines, as well as drivers and truck drivers. Transporting goods from one site to another is the responsibility of those who operate motor vehicles. In addition, they could be responsible for loading or unloading goods from airplanes or ships.

Workers in the transportation industry need to be able to listen to and process instructions, do physically demanding tasks, and work for extended periods. For the employees to see and hear the warning signs, they need healthy vision and hearing.

They have many duties while they are behind the wheel of a vehicle or supervising others who are behind the wheel. Hence, those in the transportation industry need to have great communication skills. Because the employees’ activities have the potential to do damage to others, they have to behave responsibly and pay attention at all times. This is especially important when operating motor vehicles or working on airplanes.

What Jobs Are Available in the Transportation Industry?

What Jobs Are Available in the Transportation Industry?
What Jobs Are Available in the Transportation Industry?

The positions in the transportation business that are directly involved in transporting people or freight from one location to another are the ones that are in the most demand.

They pay extremely well, and many chances are open to people of any age who do not have a degree or certification in the relevant field. In addition, a significant number of today’s graduates are entering the field of transportation.

These professions are in great demand and pay well. However, it is essential to be aware that professionals in the transportation business must spend significant amounts of time away from their homes to do their duties.

Although the vast majority of individuals do not find this to be problematic, many people are concerned about the sedentary nature of the company. However, suppose you maintain a healthy work-life balance and a consistent exercise routine. In that case, you will have no trouble overcoming any health issues. Here are some of the jobs available in the transportation industry:

Delivery Driver

Delivery Driver
Delivery Driver

The vehicles that delivery drivers use may range from panel trucks and vans to larger vans. Their typical operations include delivering items or deliveries to clients directly at their chosen place daily. The number of jobs available for delivery drivers and riders continues to increase.

Since the epidemic, a significant percentage of individuals now place their product orders online with companies with physical storefronts and offer the same products as they do online, such as retailers selling furniture or appliances.

Firms that specialize in delivering goods, such as FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS), also use delivery drivers to assist them in the operation of their logistics businesses by delivering packages to the customers of such companies.

Truck drivers often travel great distances during their employment. However, delivery drivers typically operate within a limited geographic region within a specified radius of the site where they were hired.

While a truck driver waits for hired laborers to load his vehicle, delivery drivers are responsible for loading and unloading items at the destination. For example, a truck driver must wait for his truck to be loaded before continuing on his route.

The annual wage for a delivery driver is often close to $39,000 on average. Despite this, truck drivers who work for reputable organizations have the potential to make much more.

Freight Forwarder

Freight Forwarder
Freight Forwarder

Companies that specialize in freight forwarding do not engage in the act of moving items themselves. Rather, they act as mediators between customers with cargo that needs transportation and carriers offering transportation services.

A freight forwarder is a specialist in the logistics industry who applies their expertise in transportation strategies and organizational abilities to the following tasks:

  • They must coordinate the transportation of commodities from their point of manufacturing to retail outlets, business storage facilities, or straight to consumers.
  • Prepare to import or export items by preparing the required documentation.
  • Determine which shipping companies will be responsible for getting the products to their final destination.
  • Carry out negotiations with the freight companies on behalf of their customers.

This indicates that a freight forwarder needs to possess at least some of the following qualities:

  • Free Estimates on Your Cargo. When looking for a shipping service, the vast majority of clients begin by comparing costs between different companies.
  • Procedure for Accurate Documentation.
  • Available Shipping Options.
  • Excellent Packaging Service.
  • Service to Customers.
  • Acknowledgment of Reputation

An annual salary of around $53,000 is typical for those working in the freight forwarding industry.

Commercial Airplane Pilot

Commercial Airplane Pilot
Commercial Airplane Pilot

Numerous commercial pilots work in the transportation sector, and some fly cargo aircraft are used only for the transportation of products as a component of the supply chain. These pilots are distinct from the pilots who routinely carry people.

Commercial pilots, like truck drivers, play an important role in transportation. As a result, firms like UPS, Amazon, and FedEx have, over the years, integrated cargo aircraft fleets into their supply chain systems.

Therefore, there is a great need for commercial (cargo) pilots. To work as a pilot, you must first get a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (CPL). For example, suppose you are interested in pursuing a career in the transportation business. In that case, you must complete the necessary training, demonstrate that you are in good health, and accumulate a large amount of flying time.

Over 110,000 dollars is the annual salary serving commercial pilots as the industry standard.

Truck Driver

Truck Driver
Truck Driver

Drivers of trucks are responsible for transporting items between factories and to and from various distribution centers, warehouses, retailers, and other locations. Sometimes, they will collect the goods directly from the waterfront ports or intermodal rail yards and bring them to the destination. Depending on the distance, this could take anywhere from several hours to several days on the road.

The demand for truck drivers and those qualified to be one is high. Hence, you must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

A degree is not necessary to gain a career in the transportation business; nevertheless, experience is necessary.

The following are the responsibilities of a truck driver: 

  • Land transportation of completed products and raw materials to and from production facilities or retail and distribution centers. This includes both directions.
  • Checking trucks for technical problems and hazards and doing preventive maintenance on such vehicles. 
  • Establishing delivery timetables and planning travel routes.

The annual salary for truck drivers is around $59,000; however, owner-operators, drivers who own their vehicles, often make more than the average.

Train Engineer

Train Engineer
Train Engineer

Within the realm of transportation, trains constitute an essential component. They operate trains that carry people or cargo and monitor a range of instruments while the train is in motion to guarantee safe operations. Also, they check the train while it is in motion, which helps to verify that everything is operating as it should. They are also responsible for making modifications whenever dispatchers give them instructions.

To be eligible for a career as a Train engineer, applicants must be at least 21 years old and possess a high school diploma or a GED. Also, they must have clear eyesight, great hearing, and strong hand-eye coordination. In addition, candidates must be able to pass a vision test. Also, the applicant must have a solid comprehension of mechanics and an exceptionally high degree of physical stamina.

Train engineers, like many other positions in the transportation business, do not need a college degree to work as train engineers. Nonetheless, they must have an engineer certification via the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The annual salary for railway engineers is typically in the neighborhood of $70,000.

Ship Captain

Ship Captain
Ship Captain

Being the ship’s captain implies that you are the highest-ranking officer on any seagoing cargo vessel, including tug boats, towboats, and passenger vessels like cruise ships. This includes towboats and tug boats. Ship captains are accountable for the safe arrival of their goods or passengers and the crew members on board.

When employed in the United States maritime industry as a ship captain, you must get a license from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) before being permitted to operate any vessel. There is no stipulated minimum level of education required. More than $94,000 is the annual salary expected of ship captains.

Trucking Dispatcher

Trucking Dispatcher
Trucking Dispatcher

Truck dispatchers are responsible for coordinating and managing the work schedules of truck drivers to guarantee the timely collection and delivery of items and supplies. When they get requests for truck services, they coordinate pickups and deliveries with their team of truck drivers by contacting their fleet of drivers.

The following are some of the tasks of a Dispatcher:

  • The job profile includes taking calls, checking driver logs, maintaining records, managing issues, and sending out the right team members.
  • Keeping an eye on weather reports
  • Contacting the appropriate authorities when it’s essential
  • Doing other administrative tasks like filling out timesheets and other paperwork.

The annual salary for trucking dispatchers is typically around $51,662 on average.

Railroad Yardmasters

Railroad Yardmasters
Railroad Yardmasters

Yardmasters of railroads are the individuals in charge of managing the operations of railyards. Their primary responsibilities consist of:

  • Ensuring that each train is carrying the appropriate cargo before it leaves the yard
  • Supervising the workers in the railyard
  • Coordinating the connecting and disconnecting of train cars
  • Supervising the connection and disconnection of train cars.

The position of railroad yardmaster does not need a degree but rather a large amount of experience in running a railyard.

An annual salary of around $65,000 is typical for a person holding the position of railroad yardmaster.

Longshore Workers

Longshore Workers
Longshore Workers

Longshore workers, also known as stevedores and dock workers, are responsible for the laborious and strenuous task of loading and unloading goods from ships parked at the port. This job requires a great deal of physical effort. The job of a longshore worker requires a high level of ability since it requires constant attention to balance and the control of weight inside ship holds.

Longshore workers have an important position in the international and domestic economy due to their employment as the pivot point at which companies transport cargo between land and sea. Longshore workers are responsible for transporting potentially dangerous goods that manufacturers may include in some of the cargo containers entrusted with moving. Thus, they must always keep safety at the forefront of their minds when working in the high-stress atmosphere of a busy dock.

On average, longshore workers make around $27 per hour as an hourly wage for their employment.

Warehouse workers

Warehouse workers
Warehouse workers

They are accountable for:

  • Ensuring that the working environment is safe, clean, and well-organized
  • Putting things into and taking things out of delivery vans
  • Taking delivery of the stock and accepting it
  • Counting items in inventory and making sure they are correct
  • Checking the inventory for any signs of damage or defects
  • Mistake reporting and communication with the appropriate parties
  • Marking and labeling stock
  • Keeping the inventory at an available location
  • Putting inventory on pallets and packaging it up
  • Putting together cargo with a forklift and an automated pallet jack

The annual salary for warehouse employees is typically about $53,927 on average.

What Do Transportation Jobs Pay?

What Do Transportation Jobs Pay?
What Do Transportation Jobs Pay?

You have the potential to earn anywhere from $25,000 to $75,000 annually if you work in the transportation industry.

In May of 2022, the median annual pay for all employees in the transportation industry was $52,340, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the United States of America. The lowest 10 percent got an annual income of less than $27,570, while those in the highest 10 percent received a yearly income of more than $76,980. The income range for the middle fifty percent of the population was between $40,760 and $67,850 annually.

In addition, according to the BLS, the highest-earning 20 percent of transportation professionals earned at least $69,630 in the year 2020. The lowest 10 percent of earnings take home an annual income of less than $33,440.

According to PayScale’s Income Survey, carried out in 2022, the average annual salary for a transportation planner is around $51,000. They get a bonus that is approximately equivalent to five percent of their base salary on average.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Working in the Transportation Industry?

What Are the Pros and Cons of Working in the Transportation Industry?
What Are the Pros and Cons of Working in the Transportation Industry?

The transportation industry is thriving and offers a wide variety of benefits to its participants. Employment opportunities in the transportation sector are accessible in almost all of the nation’s cities and towns. The organizations that provide these services always look for fresh workers to fill open positions. Those who want to build a career out of working in the transportation business have access to a fantastic long-term income source because of the employment available in this sector.

Pros

Working in the transportation industry comes with various cons, including those related to:

Variety: Employment opportunities in the transportation sector are diverse, ranging from driving a truck to working in an airport control tower, providing workers with various career paths to pursue. Because there are many different work opportunities available in each industry, one has a wide range of career paths from which to choose.

Job Security: The United States Department of Labor forecasts that employment possibilities within the transportation industry will expand by 21 percent by 2022. This level of job security is higher than that of the vast majority of other sectors.

Career Progression: Opportunities for career advancement are available at all employment levels within the sector. Individuals not in management positions may improve their careers by participating in on-the-job training courses and certifications offered by professional affiliations such as the American Trucking Association (ATA).

Cons

Here are some of the cons of working in the transport business:

  • The transportation market is always changing.
  • The transportation industry is a highly competitive one.
  • There is a degree of income volatility in some positions.
  • External variables may impact the success
  • A greater-than-usual rate of employee turnover
  • It might not be easy to live up to the expectations of customers.

Final Words – Is Transportation a Good Career Path?

To be successful in the transportation sector, one must have a high level of expertise, knowledge, and attention to detail. This area has several lucrative career paths and numerous entry-level positions for people who don’t wish to climb the corporate ladder.

A career in transportation is a rewarding one. Since transportation is extensively regulated, you may have a favorable response since keeping up with all the current trends and facts is tough. This work might be a good match for you, though, provided you’re persistent and keep up with current events.

Written by:
Editor-in-Chief and lead author at WhyDo

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