Are you searching for an interesting and rewarding career?
It’s never too early to start mapping out your professional future. It can take time and dedication to become qualified and gain the skills for the job you want to do.
Transportation is a very diverse industry that includes roles such as truck driving, airplane pilot, and ship captain. There are also numerous supporting roles in this industry, including mechanics, logistics, safety inspectors, and regulators.
So, let’s find out, ‘is transportation a good career path?’
Reasons To Work In Transportation
This is one of the largest and most popular industries in the world. Although it can be tough at times, choosing a role in this industry can be very rewarding. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons this is a good industry to work in.
See the world
Many of the jobs in this industry allow you to travel the world while earning a salary. If the idea of discovering new cultures appeals to you, make sure you choose an international company to work for. Although you will still have to work hard, you will have leisure time to explore new places.
Most jobs in the transportation industry come with a higher-than-average salary and a great range of benefits. If you aren’t ready to go to college, you can secure an entry-level job. You will have the chance to gain experience and skills that will take your career to the next level. When you’re ready to earn a degree and certifications, you will have access to even higher-paying roles.
Opportunity for growth
Many organizations within the industry provide paid training opportunities so that you can advance. This allows you to develop leadership traits and learn new skills while earning a decent salary. It is often possible to advance from an entry-level role to a supervisor within a few years.
This industry is growing rapidly, and there is a high demand for people who are willing to work hard. If you take the time to develop specialist skills, you are likely to have a job for life. After gaining some additional work experience and getting certified, you can take your pick of companies.
Plenty of opportunities
One of the great things about this industry is that there are lots of different types of jobs. It is worth taking the time to work out your skills and interests. No matter what area you want to work in, you are sure to find a job that’s the perfect fit.
The real-life impact of your work
No matter which job you decide to apply for, the work you do in this industry can make a difference. The economy depends on the transportation of goods and people to survive. You will be directly responsible for making sure that goods or people arrive safely and on time.
Being a part of a team
You will often work closely with people from all walks of life. This industry will teach you the value of teamwork and working hard to achieve a common goal. You will also develop strong communication skills and the ability to assign tasks to people with the right skills.
Many jobs in this industry involve working non-traditional hours and shift patterns. This can be ideal for people who don’t like the idea of getting stuck in the daily grind. Along shifts can be long, and time off is also long to compensate for this. This allows you to arrange your time to enjoy a satisfying work-life balance.
Diversity of work
You are sure to find that there are new challenges every day when you work in this industry. You will often need to use your problem-solving skills to navigate challenges such as bad weather conditions. Constantly finding ways to overcome hurdles sharpens your skills and makes you a more valuable employee.
If you are passionate about this industry, you are sure to find your role to be very fulfilling. You will have the daily satisfaction of helping to keep things moving and using your skills to make a difference. In addition to the economic impact of this industry, you will help people get access to the goods they need.
No career path is without its challenges and drawbacks. It is important to carefully weigh up the pros and cons before selling on a career. Here are some of the potential downsides of working in the transportation industry.
Significant time away from home
Truck drivers and many other people who work in the transportation industry work long shifts. If you choose a role that involves travel, you may spend several days or weeks away from home. This can be challenging if you have a partner and children waiting for you at home. It is important to plan quality time with your loved ones during your breaks from work.
Most jobs in this industry require you to stand or sit for long periods. You need to be prepared to work long shifts and often have to be able to lift heavy objects. This can lead to back pain and other issues if you don’t take care of yourself properly.
Dangerous weather conditions
You will often be required to work in hazardous weather conditions such as heavy snowfall and storms. If you are driving, the roads may be slippery and covered with wet leaves or tree branches. This can cause accidents, and you have to be able to remain focused for long periods to avoid danger.
In addition to dangerous weather conditions, many roles also come with several other hazards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatality rate for people who work in the transport industry is especially high. While it is generally three times the national average, this rises to five times for truck drivers. It is important to understand the potential risks and be able to adapt to them to thrive in this industry.
Entry-Level Transportation Jobs
If you are ready to get your career started, there are numerous types of roles you can apply for. Many of these roles are perfect for people with little or no work experience. Here are some of the jobs you can do to gain the experience you need.
This is an important role that covers a large number of different fields. You could choose to drive a school bus or a city bus on set routes. If you like the idea of seeing the country, working as a long-distance bus driver could be perfect for you.
Before you can start driving professionally, you will need to apply for a Commercial Driver’s License. You will need to complete a short course to prove that you have the advanced skills to drive safely. After completing the Commercial Driver’s License Program, you then need to pass a written test.
This involves delivering different types of goods within a particular area. This can include food, legal documents, parcels, or even precious gems. You need to have excellent time management skills and be trustworthy to secure work as a courier.
This mainly involves handling cargo and keeping certain parts of a ship clean and maintained. This job involves a lot of manual labor, and it is essential to be detail-oriented and willing to work hard. Deckhands are also assigned a wide range of other tasks and must be able to work well as a team.
This job allows you to spend time at sea on a ship. You can get started by working as a crew member on a yacht. If you decide that life at sea is for you, you can also join the United States Merchant Marines.
This is perfect for people who have a head for numbers and are detail-oriented. Marine Underwriters work for insurance companies and calculate risk when insuring boats and ships. This helps the insurance company determine how much to charge for different insurance policies.
Subway Train Operator
This involves driving a subway train on the same route each day. Although this job can be a bit monotonous, it is essential to remain focused at all times. You need to gain a license and have a deep working knowledge of trains. This will help you recognize potential issues with the train and on the track and avoid accidents.
This is perfect for people who enjoy driving and have excellent customer service skills. It mainly involves picking up customers from different destinations and taking them where they want to go. While driving through rush hour traffic can be challenging, you are often able to set your own schedule. If you are good at finding fairs and securing high tips from customers, you could earn around $35,000 per year.
Transportation Security Officer
This is an important role that involves detecting and responding to threats, emergencies, and disturbances. Transportation security officers usually work in transportation hubs like airports, bus terminals, and seaports. They are responsible for protecting the safety of passengers and making sure they are not carrying dangerous items. Other duties involve checking tickets and bags while providing excellent customer service.
This job involves making sure that goods reach their destinations safely and on time. You need to be able to track large shipments and make sure they are fulfilled correctly, and that all items are secure. This also involves updating databases with details on inventory, costs, and all other types of information. Logistics associates usually work in warehouses or shipping ports, and they need to have excellent attention to detail.
This can be an interesting and rewarding career for people who love to travel. Flight attendants need excellent customer service skills and a focus on passenger safety. The role mainly involves serving food and drinks to passengers and making sure they are comfortable.
It is possible to secure a flight attendant role after graduating from high school. Many airlines offer training programs where you will learn the flight protocols and safety regulations. If you excel in your training, you will likely be offered a job at the end of the training program.
The Highest-Paying Jobs
Once you have gained specialist skills and experience, you may be ready to advance. Most of the highest-paying jobs in the transportation industry require specialist training and a college degree. They also come with a high level of responsibility because mistakes or carelessness can be fatal.
If you have a head for heights and earn a pilot’s license, a career in the skies could be for you. This role basically puts you in charge of a plane, and the main duty is ensuring it arrives safely. You will usually work alongside another pilot and a first officer to transport passengers, mail, livestock, or raw materials.
You need to complete extensive specialist training to secure this role. It is essential to have detailed knowledge of air traffic regulations and ordinances. After completing the necessary training and gaining experience, you can secure a salary of at least $105,000 per year.
This is another great role for people who have a head for heights. The main duty of a helicopter pilot is flying cargo or passengers to different destinations. This is a very specialized job, and it requires extensive training to gain a helicopter pilot’s license. The average salary for this job is a little over $100,000 per year.
This revolves around troubleshooting and maintaining different types of aircraft. These can include commercial planes, crop dusters, and everything in between. It is essential to make sure the aircraft is properly maintained at all times and ready to fly. This is perfect for people who are good with their hands and are detail-oriented.
Supply Chain Analyst
If you are searching for a job that will exercise your brain and use your strong math skills, look no further. The main duty is monitoring the supply chain within an organization. This includes carefully monitoring the price and demand of supplies to secure the best price possible.
There is also a logistical side to this role that is equally important. You would need to make sure that the organization has enough stock stored at all times. You would also plan for potential problems and work hard on promoting efficiency.
This is also known as a civil engineer and involves working on structures like bridges and roadways. It is essential to have a strong working knowledge of different types of materials and their capabilities. You also need to understand the climate and geological features of the area you are working in.
The main focus is overseeing the building of roads and bridges. It is important to make sure that they are built properly and that the construction plans are followed closely. You will also calculate how long these structures will last and when repairs will need to be made.
You need to have strong leadership skills, excellent attention to detail, and nerves of steel to do this job. The main responsibility is ensuring that traffic within a particular area can flow freely. It would be best if you were comfortable making important decisions that affect the lives of large groups of people.
This often takes place in major cities where traffic flows are heaviest. You will spend time studying traffic statistics and determining where new roads need to be constructed. The role also involves studying the interval of traffic lights and determining if adjustments are needed.
Air Traffic Controller
This is another role that involves a high level of responsibility and expertise. Air Traffic Controllers monitor all forms of air traffic within an airport and communicate with pilots. It is essential to create landing and takeoff schedules for pilots so that they don’t collide.
You need to be able to speak with authority and remain in constant contact with pilots in your area. You need to be able to remain calm under pressure and come up with quick solutions for potential problems. This includes helping to guide planes in the case of a mechanic or medical emergency.
This mainly involves working on the construction and maintenance of airplanes. Airplane Engineers need to be experts in aerodynamics and materials and stay up to date on the latest technology. This is a very detail-oriented role that involves a lot of planning and attention to detail.
Airworthiness Safety Inspector
Each aircraft has to be thoroughly checked for airworthiness before being cleared for takeoff. This involves making sure the aircraft has been properly maintained and is functioning correctly. While the average salary is $55,000 per year, you can specialize in a particular area and earn much more.
This involves making sure trains operate smoothly at all times. Train engineers oversee all types of operations and need to have detailed knowledge of trains. They have to calculate the weight of freight and the capability of the train and tracks to ensure smooth transportation.
Who This Industry Is Most Suitable For?
You need to have certain personality traits and skills to thrive in this industry. Although there are several roles to choose from, many involve similar skill sets. Here are the attributes you need to thrive in this industry.
You love working with machines
There are lots of engineering and mechanical roles within this industry. Even roles that don’t involve directly operating machines are tied to machine operation. If you have a natural affinity for machines and make them run smoothly, you are sure to find a rewarding position.
You are detail-oriented
Even the smallest details can be vitally important in this industry. Overlooking a loose screw or missing a step from the checklist can cause loss of lives or cargo. You need to be able to focus for hours at a time and be skilled at spotting errors and resolving issues.
You love to travel
Many roles in this industry involve travel and spending long periods on the road or at sea. You could also choose to be a pilot or flight attendant and spend your time in the skies. If you are genuinely passionate about travel, working in this industry can be very rewarding.
You value safety
Most roles come with strict safety rules and regulations. If you find these rules restrictive, you will not go far in this industry. You need to understand the importance of safety and be focused on maintaining it at all times.
You are good at following instructions
Most roles have a set of protocols and instructions that you need to follow to the letter. Although you can still think outside the box, you need to be comfortable doing what you’re told. Failing to follow instructions properly can put the lives of people at risk.
You are not afraid of working hard
Most roles in this industry can be physically and mentally demanding. If you are ready for this challenge, you could excel in this industry. The rewards are a high salary and an excellent range of other benefits.
You thrive under pressure
You will often need to be able to think on your feet and adapt to different situations. If you enjoy challenges, this can make life more interesting and drive you to succeed. However, you need to be able to manage stress well and take the time to unwind between shifts.
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Working in the transportation industry can be great for people who like to travel. There are numerous jobs available for people with all types of skills and abilities. Most roles teach you transferable skills that can be applied to a wide range of other jobs.
There is a large number of entry-level jobs in this industry for high school graduates. You can often receive on-the-job training, which will help you advance. Gaining specialist certifications and a college degree can give you access to a role that pays more than $100,000 annually.
All the best in your new travel adventures!