Career Tips

Various Career Opportunities in the Transportation Sector

The transportation industry has one of the largest employment of labours anywhere in the world.

It involves the movement of freight, and people from one place to another, and in the process, provides thousands of jobs and career opportunities through shipping, trucking, and moving materials to commercial airlines and oceangoing vessels.

The transportation industry is open to all and it doesn’t require extensive training or degrees before anyone can qualify.

If moving people or goods interests you, then you should consider working in the transportation sector. Because it is one of the lucrative industries with job satisfaction and high incomes.

High Paying Jobs in the Transportation Industry (that Directly Involve Moving Freight or People)

The most in-demand jobs in the transportation industry are those that directly involve moving people or freight from one place to the other. 

They pay very well and there are endless opportunities for both young and old who have no degree or certifications. In fact, many graduates today are going into the transportation business.

However, as in-demand and high paying these jobs are, it is important to know that these jobs in the transportation industry do require workers to spend an extended time away from home.

While most people don’t find that a problem at all, dealing with the sedentary nature of the business gives many people concern. But with a good work-life balance system, you can easily overcome any health problems by exercising regularly.

1. Delivery Driver

Delivery drivers operate with small panel trucks or vans to a large van. Their day to day activities involves delivering products or packages directly to customers at the specified location. The demand for delivery drivers or riders is on the rise. Since the pandemic, a large number of people now prefer to order goods online from businesses that sell online items with physical stores such as furniture or appliance stores.

Parcel delivery service companies like FedEx or United Parcel Service (UPS) also employ delivery drivers to help them in their logistics business by delivering packages for their clients.

Unlike the truck drivers who drive a long-distance, delivery drivers work in a local area within a certain radius of the location where they are employed, rather than driving long distances. 

While a truck driver will wait for his truck to be loaded by employed labours, the delivery drivers are responsible for the loading and unloading of the packages at the destination point.

The average delivery driver’s salary is around $39,000 per year. Although drivers working with top companies can earn significantly higher.

Is transportation a good career path? The average delivery driver's salary is around $39,000 per year. Although drivers working with top companies can earn significantly higher.

2. Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarding companies do not directly move things themselves but instead serve as intermediaries between clients with cargo that needs to be moved and carriers who provide transportation services. 

A freight forwarder is a logistics professional who uses their knowledge of transportation tactics and organizational skills to:

  • coordinate the movement of goods from manufacturers to retail locations, company storage facilities or directly to customers.
  • Prepare all documents necessary for importing or exporting goods.
  • Select transportation providers to move the goods to their destination.
  • Negotiate freight charges on behalf of their clients.

This means a Freight Forwarder should have some of the following characteristics:

  • Free Cargo Quotes. A majority of the customers start with the price when they look for a shipping service. …
  • Adept Documentation Process. …
  • Various Shipping Options. …
  • Good Packing Service. …
  • Customer Service. …
  • Reputable Recognition.

The average pay for a freight forwarder is around $53,000 per year.

Is transportation a good career path? The average pay for a freight forwarder is around $53,000 per year.

3. Commercial Airplane Pilot

Apart from the Pilots who fly passengers on a regular basis, there are many commercial pilots working in the transportation industry who fly cargo planes that solely deal with moving goods as part of the supply chain. Like the truck drivers, commercial pilots play a vital role in the transportation industry and as such companies like UPS, Amazon and FedEx have over the years managed to add fleets of cargo planes as part of their supply chain system. 

So, Commercial (cargo) pilots are in high demand and to work as a pilot, you must first obtain a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial pilot’s license (CPL). If you are interested to pursue a career in the transportation industry, all you have to do is to go through the training, pass a medical exam and log significant flight time. The median pay for commercial aeroplane pilots is over $110,000 per year.

4. Truck Driver

Truck drivers transport goods between manufacturers, through various distribution centres, warehouses, stores, and other destinations. They sometimes collect goods directly from waterfront ports or intermodal rail yards to the destination point, which depending on the distance, can take several hours to days on the road.

Demand is high for truck drivers and to qualify;

  • you must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). 
  • A degree is not required; experience is key to getting jobs in the transport industry. 
  • The transportation industry’s job description can include: Transporting finished goods and raw materials over land to and from manufacturing plants or retail and distribution centres. Inspecting vehicles for mechanical items and safety issues and performing preventative maintenance. Planning routes and meeting delivery schedules.
  • The average pay for truck drivers is around $59,000 per year, though owner-operators (drivers who own their own trucks) usually earn more.
Is transportation a good career path? The average pay for truck drivers is around $59,000 per year, though owner-operators (drivers who own their own trucks) usually earn more.

5. Train Engineer

Trains play an important role in the transportation industry. They drive trains that transport passengers or freight, monitor a variety of instruments during trips to ensure safe operations; inspecting the train during journeys, which helps to ensure that everything is functioning as it should. They are also responsible for making adjustments as instructed to do so by dispatchers or based on weather conditions or other factors, such as freight type or weight.

To qualify for a Train engineering position, candidates must be at least 21 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED and must have sharp vision, excellent hearing and good hand-eye coordination. The candidate must also have an understanding of mechanics and possess a high level of physical stamina.

Like many other jobs in the transportation industry, Train engineers do not need a college degree to work as a train engineer, but an engineer certification through the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The average pay for train engineers is around $70,000 per year.

6. Ship Captain

Captaining a ship means you are the highest-ranking officer on seagoing cargo vessels, containing tug boats, or towboats, including passenger vessels such as cruise ships. Ship captains are responsible for the safe landing of their cargo and/or passengers and the crew on board 

Working as a U.S. ship captain, you must be licensed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) before you can be allowed to operate any vessel. There is not a specific degree requirement. On average, ship captains earn more than $94,000 per year.

Is transportation a good career path?

7. Trucking Dispatcher

Truck dispatchers coordinate and manage the schedules of truck drivers to ensure products and goods are picked up and delivered in a timely manner. They receive calls for truck services and contact their fleet of truck drivers to arrange the pickups and deliveries.

A Dispatchers responsibilities include:

  • receiving emergency and non-emergency calls,
  • monitoring driver logs,
  • keeping records,
  • addressing problems, and 
  • dispatching appropriate team members. 
  • Their duties can also include monitoring weather reports or notifying authorities if necessary plus, other administrative functions such as timesheets and other paperwork.

The average pay for trucking dispatchers is around $51,662 per year.

Is transportation a good career path? The average pay for trucking dispatchers is around $51,662 per year.

8. Railroad Yardmasters

Railroad yardmasters are responsible for overseeing railyard operations. Their main duty includes:

  • supervising the railyard workers (such as brake, switch, and signal operators),
  • coordinating the connection and disconnection of train cars,
  • ensure that each train is carrying the correct cargo before it leaves the yard.

Railroad yardmasters do not require a degree, but a significant experience in a railyard operation is needed.

The average pay for a railroad yardmaster is around $65,000 per year.

9. Longshore Workers

Longshore workers, who are sometimes referred to as stevedores or dock workers, do the difficult and physically demanding labour of loading and unloading cargo from ships that are docked in port. Longshore workers are a highly skilled line of work that involves careful balancing and weight management within ship holds. Their role at the fulcrum of cargo transportation between land and sea gives longshore workers a crucial position in global and national economies. Longshore workers have to be very mindful of working safely in a fast-paced dock environment and must be alert to any potentially hazardous materials that may be present in some of the shipping containers they are tasked with moving.

The average hourly pay for longshore workers is around $27 per hour.

10. Warehouse Workers are responsible for:

  • Ensuring cleanliness, tidiness and safety of the work environment.
  • Loading and unloading delivery vehicles.
  • Accepting delivery of inventory.
  • Counting and confirming inventory.
  • Inspecting inventory for damage and faults.
  • Communicating errors to relevant parties.
  • Marking and labelling stock.
  • Storing inventory inaccessible manner.
  • Loading and wrapping stock on pallets.
  • Building loads with forklift and electronic pallet jack.

The average pay for warehouse workers is $53,927 per year.

Various career opportunities in the transportation sector - ng job alerts

Is Transportation a Good Career Path?

Certainly yes! The transportation industry is an exciting industry for young professionals who want to grow their skills and earn sustainable incomes. With so many types of jobs in this field, chances are that you can find an opportunity:

  • Therefore, if you are passionate about travelling and seeing the world? Consider working as a ship captain or airline pilot.
  • Love driving but want to be home every night? Choose a local-only truck driving job
  • You can also choose the warehouse jobs where you can drive a forklift.

Bonus: Profitable Transportation Business Ideas:

1. App-Based Taxi Services like Uber

2. Car Shuttle Service

3. Outstation Car Rentals

4. Courier Service

5. Truck Transportation Service

6. Passenger Bus Service

7. Medical Emergency Transportation

8. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

9. Bicycle Rental Services

10. Livestock Transportation Business

11. Packers and Movers Business

12. Travel Agency

13. Air Ambulance

14. School Bus/Taxi for Kids

15. E-Rickshaw Service

16. Bike Rental Service

17. Milk Carrier Transportation

18. Grocery Transportation

19. Airport Transport Services

20. Shipping and Small Boat Services

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Oladoyin Falana

Oladoyin Falana, a graduate of OAU, is an SEO Specialist, and IT business developer. He is the owner and content editor of, a platform that focuses on providing information on career, recruitment updates, exams, and admission updates, including general (How-to) information.
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