What Do Transportation Jobs Pay?

Transportation jobs are essential to our economy and way of life, but what kind of wages do they pay? We took a closer look at different job roles in the air, on land, and in water, as well as other related positions that come with transportation-related work.

What Do Transportation Jobs Pay?
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With salary data from sources including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we found that many of these jobs are well-paying and provide career stability.

What Are Transportation Jobs?

Transportation jobs are responsible for getting people and goods from one place to another. These jobs involve the operation of vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and other modes of transportation.

Positions range from pilots and flight attendants to truck drivers, bus drivers, and train engineers. Other professions in the field include marine technicians, automotive mechanics, shipping clerks, dockworkers, and dispatchers.

As technology advances, there are now new roles, such as ride-sharing drivers and drone pilots.


Pilots transport people and cargo via aircraft, and this is a specialist job that commands some seriously impressive salaries, which can average around $147,220 a year.

According to experts, the top 10% of pilots in the country can earn more than $208,000 per year.

Truck Drivers

Truck drivers are responsible for delivering freight and other goods via truck and have an average salary of around $40,000, which can rise for owner-operators and those with more niche, specialist skills.

Marine Engineers

Marine engineers operate and maintain ships and other water vessels. The median annual salary for marine engineers is around $93,370, while those in the top 10% earn more than $131,000 annually.

Railway Professionals

Railway professionals operate trains and manage railway operations. The median annual salary for railway professionals is around $49,644. Those in the top 10% earned more than $123,000 per year.

This category also includes train drivers, who are responsible for transporting passengers and cargo via train. These individuals can earn anything from $40,000 per year upwards, depending on location.


Dispatchers coordinate the movement of people and goods by assigning transport jobs and maintaining records.

The median annual salary for dispatchers averages at around $41,430, and this is likely to rise as individual dispatchers are given greater responsibility for shipments.

Shipping Clerks

Shipping clerks oversee and coordinate the shipping of goods and can earn roughly $30,000-$40,000 per year depending on their experience and location – this can have a lot of responsibility depending on the nature of the goods being shipped.


Logistics professionals plan and coordinate the movement of goods, people, and services.

Average wages can start at around $45,000, and rise significantly depending on the scale and nature of the project, and the level of responsibility that is expected from the operator.

How Do I Get Started In A Transportation Job?

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Getting started with a career in transportation depends largely on the job that you intend to try for – some options, such as bus driver, require a commercial driver’s license (CDL), while others may have more in-depth requirements.

Many employers provide training and certification for their employees, so be sure to check with them for specific details. Additionally, you can look into local community colleges or other educational institutions that offer courses in transportation.

With the right qualifications, hard work, and dedication, you can make a successful career in the transportation industry.

What Skills Do I Need To Work In the Transportation Industry?

Wondering just what skills you will need to stand out in this industry? Some of the most important include:

Ability To Follow Instructions

One of the most important skills for working in the transportation industry is being able to understand, follow and adhere to instructions. This could include adhering to company policy and protocols, as well as following safety guidelines and regulations.

Good Communication Skills

It is also important that you have strong communication skills when working in this field. You will need the ability to effectively communicate with customers, co-workers, and supervisors alike.

Knowledge Of Transportation Industry

It is also important that you have a basic understanding of the transportation industry, such as how to operate different types of vehicles and equipment. Additionally, it helps to have a strong knowledge of safety protocols and regulations related to the field.

Attention To Detail

Finally, attention to detail is key when working in this industry. Being able to pay close attention to instructions and details is essential, as mistakes can be costly.

Benefits of A Job In The Transportation Industry

Working in the transportation industry offers a number of benefits, including:

Job Satisfaction

One of the main benefits of working in this field is the job satisfaction that comes with helping to transport goods, people, and services from one place to another (see also “How Much Do Garbage Men Make?“).

Variety Of Opportunities

Additionally, there are a wide variety of different opportunities within the transportation industry, meaning that you can find something that suits your skills and interests.

Job Security

A major advantage of this industry is that jobs tend to be relatively stable and offer job security. Additionally, with the right qualifications and experience, you can easily find higher-paying jobs.

Option To Work In Any Location

Finally, working in the transportation industry gives you the option to work in any location. You can take jobs from state to state, or even internationally – this is ideal if you are looking for flexibility in terms of where you work.

Final Thoughts

Transportation jobs can be a great career choice for those looking for job stability, satisfaction, and the chance to work in any location.

You’ll need to have a strong understanding of the industry and its regulations, as well as excellent communication and attention-to-detail skills. With the right qualifications and experience, you can make a successful career in this field.

Jason Sullivan
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