The Best-Paying Jobs in Transportation (With Salaries)
If you are interested in a career in the transportation field, there are many different options available to you. Each path has its own unique job duties and responsibilities, so it is important to research all of your possible options before making a decision.
This article provides information about transportation jobs, including what a truck driver does and the requirements for a Class 1 license. Additionally, it discusses whether this field is physically demanding and examines the best-paying jobs in transportation.
What is a transportation job?
Transportation jobs typically require someone who is systematic, objective, and direct. These jobs may be especially appealing to individuals who enjoy working with tools, machinery, and instruments. They often need to give directions to others and take responsibility for planning, coordinating, and deciding how they work together.
Transportation jobs usually require you to be self-directing and independent. Starting out in an entry-level position is common, but you may have the opportunity to advance your career if you show promise and work hard.
What does a truck driver do?
As a truck driver, you might transport goods and materials over long distances by operating and driving vehicles. These vehicles can be very large, weighing over 4500 kg, and are primarily tractor-trailer trucks, long-combination trucks, or straight-body trucks. You might plan trip logistics and obtain the required documentation to transport goods or cargo internationally. You also may work in the construction or mining industries on-site hauling loads of materials.
Truck drivers may inspect vehicle equipment, accessories, and systems to ensure cargo is secure and safe. They can communicate with dispatchers and other truck drivers by using onboard computers and communication devices.
- recording hours of service, fuel consumption, distance travelled and cargo information
- administering bills and maintaining logbooks, either manually or electronically
- performing emergency roadside repairs
- driving as a part of a two-person team or convoy
- transporting hazardous products or dangerous goods
What is a Class 1 license?
A Class 1 license allows you to work in a variety of transportation-related careers, as it gives you the right to drive most types of vehicles. In some provinces, an introductory training course may be required before you can take your road test.
If you are transporting hazardous or dangerous goods, you may need a certification such as the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) certification. You can check with your provincial licensing body to see what requirements must be met.
Is a job in transportation physically demanding?
Driving a truck is physical activity, often requiring the following physical capabilities:
- near and far vision, depth perception, and peripheral vision for driving vehicles
- colour discrimination for observing signals
- verbal interaction and hearing
- sitting for long periods of time
- strength and the ability to pull, push, lift, or move objects
The best-paying jobs in transportation
Here is a list of the best-paying jobs in transportation for you to consider if you are interested in pursuing a role in the transportation field:
1. Tractor-trailer truck driver
National average salary: $73,322 per year
Truck drivers who drive tractor-trailers often spend long hours on the road and must be able to focus intensely. Their job involves planning routes, obtaining certifications, inspecting their trucks, and abiding by safety regulations. They also aim to maintain clean driving records.
Truck drivers use various tools, including CB radios, computers on board their trucks, and other equipment to plan and communicate routes while driving.
2. Transport driver
National average salary: $48,360 per year
A transportation driver may operate and drive straight trucks on local short-haul routes, including interurban routes. They are responsible for ensuring the safety of their vehicle and cargo, as well as keeping an eye on the equipment’s operation.
Trucking companies may use transport drivers to move trailers around the company or to different locations.
3. Transportation coordinator
National average salary: $53,091 per year
The transportation coordinator is responsible for coordinating the flow of traffic in order to ensure efficient movement of goods and personnel. They may use computer software to help them design schedules or modify existing ones.
A coordinator might assign routes, schedule work shifts for other personnel, produce operating reports, and prepare user guides as part of their role in facilitating efficient travel.
4. Dump truck driver
National average salary: $57,458 per year
Dump truck drivers work on construction sites or other industrial sites to load, haul, and dump waste materials or products.
A dump truck driver might use onboard computers and communication devices to communicate with a dispatcher, customers, or other drivers while performing their typical duties. They may also record their service hours, fuel consumption, travel distance, and additional information about the cargo they are transporting.
5. Owner-operator driver
National average salary: $112,908 per year
As an owner-operator truck driver, you might be responsible for providing your truck or vehicle to perform regional and highway runs. These may require a sleeper cab in order to accommodate the overnight travel. Additionally, your vehicle may need a power takeoff (PTO) in order to take power from another source, such as the running engine
The salary you receive for your work will vary depending on the destination and type of material you haul, with local and regional shifts available, as well as cross-border work.
6. Van driver
National average salary: $83,756 per year
A van driver may transport newspapers, bakery and dairy products, and other items by driving cars, vans, or light trucks. They might load and unload the cargo and provide customer service by establishing routes and delivering goods or selling products along the way.
Van drivers often work with freight and cargo, assembling, installing, or setting up the goods they transport. They also may scan and sort the freight or cargo before and after their trip.
8. Tow truck driver
National average salary: $56,282 per year
Tow truck drivers typically have similar responsibilities to local and short-haul transport truck drivers. They operate primarily straight trucks, transporting goods and materials on local routes and short interurban areas. Depending on the job, a tow truck driver might also be responsible for scheduling their routes to meet cargo loading and unloading schedules.
The drivers and truck crew regularly inspect the cargo and vehicle for any issues. If there are any problems, they will address them before and after the trip.
9. Bus driver
National average salary: $46,060 per year
Bus drivers are responsible for transporting passengers along a route and may also operate subway and other transit vehicles. Urban transit systems, transportation authorities, private companies, and school boards often use bus drivers to take passengers to local destinations.
A bus driver may communicate with dispatch and other drivers, speak with passengers, collect fares, check bus passes, and issue and validate transfers for passengers.
Salaries vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate’s experience, academic background, and location. For example, Indeed reports that salaries for software engineers in Chicago range from $96,000 to $130,000.
10. Logistic Professionals
Logistic professionals can earn a range of salaries, from $61,340 per year to $231,343 annually.
The Logistics Vice President is responsible for leading the logistics team and making major decisions regarding company logistics. They are in charge of developing strategies to improve the efficiency of the company’s supply chain and ensuring that all orders are fulfilled in a timely, accurate manner.
The Logistics Vice President is responsible for overseeing the budget for the logistics department and ensuring that all operations run smoothly.
A pilot is someone who works in the aviation industry and is qualified to fly an airplane. There are many opportunities in the public and private sectors, as well as in educational settings to become a pilot trainer.
Pilots may be responsible for carrying people, military personnel, private goods, commercial cargo, or other forms of freight depending on the area of aviation they operate in.
Some other responsibilities of a pilot include:
- Conducting pre and post-flight inspections of the aircraft.
- Choosing effective and safe flying routes.
- Identifying potential threats.
- Maintaining accurate records for compliance-related reasons.
- Communicating with the necessary persons and agencies.
- Ensuring the comfort and safety of the crew, passengers, and aircraft.
The median salary of an airline pilot is $139,000 a year.
12. Air Traffic Control
The air traffic controller issues permissions for aircraft to safely take off or land from control towers, approach control facilities, or route centers.
The controllers work to keep airplanes as far apart from each other as possible so that they can all fly safely. If necessary, they can adjust the flight paths to keep everyone safe.
The median salary of an air traffic controller is close to $130,000.
13. Highway Engineers
A high-way engineer oversees a project’s budgeting, estimating, planning, and execution. This involves tasks such as conducting site surveys, creating design requirements, organizing delivery packages, and much more. Because of this variety in the job and the excitement it brings daily , a high-way engineer is in high demand.
Engineers are responsible for altering roads if necessary, and must also examine present traffic patterns to estimate the project’s expenses.
The median salary of highway engineers is slightly more than $100,000.
14. Railroad Engineer
A railroad engineer is responsible for the safe operation of a train and its crew. They must ensure that the train arrives at its destination on time, and that it does not cause any damage along the way.
As a railroad engineer, you will be responsible for the safe operation of a train and its crew. You must ensure that the train runs on time and in accordance with safety standards.
As a railroad engineer, your job is to oversee the safe operation of a train and its crew. You must make sure that the train arrives at its destination on time and without any accidents. To do this, you will need to possess strong leadership skills as well as knowledge of the rail system.
The average salary of a Railroad Engineer is $94,310 in the US.
15. Marine Engineer
A marine engineer is a professional who has expertise in designing, constructing, testing and fixing ships, boats, underwater vehicles and offshore platforms. They frequently collaborate closely with naval architects to make everything from small yachts and fishing boats to submarines and aircraft carriers.
Marine engineers are in high demand in the energy sector for their expertise and experience with vessels and fuel handling. They also play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of ships and crews, as well as maintaining records.
The median pay for a marine engineer is more than $93,000.
16. Warehouse Manager
The management of activities in storage facilities rests with warehouse managers. They oversee a team, hire new employees, give them tasks, and evaluate their progress.
A warehouse manager oversees the receipt, storage, and distribution of supplies, commodities, records, or other items. The manager also monitors compliance with health and safety guidelines and assigns tasks to a team.
The store manager must keep track of inventory, sales, fast-moving products, and security measures while ensuring a risk-free environment. They are also responsible for responding to requests for the retrieval of goods.
The median salary of a warehouse manager is more than $91,000 a year.
17. Locomotive Engineer
Train engineers are responsible for operating locomotives that can transport passengers or cargo. They stay in communication with other train crew members, and make sure they are following safety regulations.
The average base salary of $74,502.
18. Flight Attendant
Commercial airline flight attendants provide a wide range of services to passengers, from ensuring that they are comfortable during the flight to helping with pre-flight briefings. In addition, they are responsible for upholding safety protocols and looking after passengers who have special needs.
The job entails unpredictable hours, including nights and weekends, as well as traveling to remote locations. This can often necessitate spending the night in a far-off city.
The median salary of a flight attendant is more than $70,000. (Other Sources)
19. Train Conductor
A train conductor is a person who oversees the operations of a train, making sure that passengers are safe and that cargo is transported properly.
The train conductor is responsible for ensuring the safety of everyone on board the train. They also check tickets, inform passengers about upcoming halts, and look out for any potential track issues.
The median salary for train conductors is greater than $64,000.
20. Water Transportation Workers
Workers in the maritime transportation industry manage and operate ships that are not used for military purposes. Their job entails ensuring passenger and cargo safety.
Shipping companies employ a variety of workers to transport their products. These workers can be found on deep-sea container ships that transport manufactured products, bulk carriers that transport iron ore, coal, and other heavy items, tankers that transport gasoline and other liquids, or other shipping companies.
Water transportation workers include captains, mates, pilots, sailors, ship engineers, marine boilers and motorboat drivers.
They have a median salary of greater than $62,000.
The dispatchers who work in the service sectors, such as emergency, courier, and taxi, are responsible for fulfilling requests. They first receive them by phone and then speak with the mobile units that they work with.
A dispatcher can progress to a senior job with education and experience. This includes answering queries in a collected, personable, and professional way.
Since this is a highly time-sensitive job, the Emergency Phone Operator must be able to identify and prioritize emergency calls quickly.
He must be able to pass on the relevant information clearly and concisely, as well as have records of all calls.
A dispatcher’s median salary is around $47,000 a year. (Other Sources)
22. Crane Operator
Operators of tower or bridge cranes are responsible for moving large loads of building materials to inaccessible places. They work with other workers to make sure the job is done safely.
The construction company ensures that all loads are correctly balanced and within the specified weight capacity for the operational conditions. They also make sure that the process is carried out in compliance with safety standards.
The median salary of crane operators is between $38,000 -$45,000 a year. (Other Sources)
23. Transportation Coordinator
When coordinating transportation, transportation planners will often look at schedule requests, cargo, distances and other crucial data. They can use software to create new timetables or make changes to current ones.
By scheduling special events, busiest traffic times, and construction, the organization may highlight how effective its routes are for saving time and money.
The average salary of a transportation coordinator is greater than $43,000.
A Chauffeurs are people who offer private driving services, typically for both professional and social occasions. They could do contract work for a company, a family, or an individual.
A chauffeur typically works on ad hoc or temporary contracts for various clients. Unless they are hired on a retainer by a client who may have a flexible schedule, chauffeurs are typically reserved for specific journeys. A chauffeur’s main tasks include performing periodic maintenance on their car to ensure it is safe and roadworthy, changing tires, checking oil levels, etc., as well as mapping out the most efficient routes and taking care of the luggage when traveling.
The median salary of a chauffeur is between $30,000 – $35,000. (Other Sources)
25. Cab Drivers
Cab drivers take customers from their starting point to their final destination in a taxi, typically in return for payment. For peak or off-peak operating hours, separate fixed rates are used to determine fares.
Someone who is good with people is likely to be successful as a taxi driver because it requires an outgoing attitude. Taxi drivers can be employed on a temporary basis or on a long-term contract, depending on the company.
A cab driver must obey traffic rules and know the shortest and most efficient routes to each destination. Additionally, he should help passengers with their luggage and be available to assist anyone who needs it.
The median salary of a cab driver is more than $37,000 per year. (Other Sources)
26. Van Driver
Van drivers can transport a variety of goods, such as packages, newspapers, bakery products, and dairy items. They can also transport other goods while operating vans and light trucks. By planning routes and delivering items or accepting payments along the way, van drivers may load and unload cargo and provide customer service.
They are responsible for scanning and sorting freight or cargo, as well as building, installing, or putting up the items they supply.
A van driver’s work includes scheduled deliveries and inspecting their vehicle before and after the journey.
A van driver makes close to $35,000 on average.
27. Commercial Pilots
Median National Salary: $130,440
Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in transportation, engineering or business
Number of Jobs: 113,900
Job Growth 2020 – 2030: +13% (above average)
Commercial pilots fly for major airlines, air freight companies, and private employers. They may fly commercial airliners, private planes, and even helicopters depending on the job. Schedules are often variable which means there can be long hours or overnight layovers.
Pilot pay levels vary depending on whether a pilot is a lead pilot, copilot, or flight engineer. In addition to education requirements and flight training with an independent FAA certified instructor or school, pilots often have military experience and are required to undergo on-the-job training specified by government regulations.
28. Air Traffic Controller
Median National Salary: $130,420
Education Required: Associates degree
Number of Jobs: 24,500
Job Growth 2020 – 2030: 4% (below average)
Air traffic controllers work to keep planes safe by coordinating their movements in airports and the sky above them. Their job is to make sure planes stay away from each other so that no accidents happen.
Air traffic controllers work in control towers, route centers, and approach control facilities. They rotate shifts to avoid fatigue. In order to be a controller, you must have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (ATCI), as well as satisfactory completion of exams and courses through the Federal Aviation Administration academy.
29. Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Salaried Truck Drivers
Median National Salary: $47,130
Education Required: Postsecondary non-degree award
Number of Jobs: 1,951,600
Job Growth 2020 – 2030: 6% (about average)
Truck drivers are responsible for the transportation of goods across the country. They often work long hours and enjoy a lifestyle that is as much about their job as it is about their family.
Employers generally require drivers to have a high school diploma or equivalent, but they are also expected to take specialized training courses that cover highway and street maneuvers as well as federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving. These courses usually last between three and six months, and are taken at a community college.
What transportation jobs pay the most?
9 Highest Paying Trucking JobsIce Road Drivers. … Oversized Load. Salary: $71,442 per year. … Specialty Vehicle Haulers. Salary: $82,099. … Team Drivers. Salary: $96,573. … Private Fleet. Salary: $95,999 – $110,000 per year. … Mining Industry Drivers. Salary: $58,862. … Liquids / Tanker. Salary: $88,024. … Hazmat Drivers. Salary: $65,466.9 Highest Paying Trucking Salaries of 2022 – CloudTruckswww.cloudtrucks.com › blog-post › highest-paying-trucking-salariesAbout Featured Snippets
Who is the highest paying trucking company?
10 Best Paying Trucking CompaniesAnnual Salary1.Sysco$87,2042.Walmart$86,0003.Epes Transport$83,9214.Acme Truck Line$82,89210 Best Paying Trucking Companies – Inbound Logisticswww.inboundlogistics.com › articles › 10-best-paying-trucking-companiesAbout Featured Snippets
Is transportation services a good career path?
So, Is transportation a good career path? Yes, indeed. Especially if one is looking for entry into a sector that does not have too many educational requirementsIs Transportation A Good Career Path? An Overview. – Totempooltotempool.com › BlogAbout Featured Snippets
How much do Colorado truckers make?
The average salary for a truck driver is $73,352 per year in Colorado. 11.9k salaries reported, updated at Au.Aug 6, 2022Truck Driver salary in Colorado – Indeedwww.indeed.com › Home › Career Explorer › Truck Driver › SalariesAbout Featured Snippets