Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

Transportation and material moving occupations group is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, adding 466,800 new jobs. An increased demand for shipping raw materials and finished products over highways, rail lines, and waterways should contribute to employment growth. However, technology and automation in warehousing enables better tracking and movement of items, which may supplant some functions of workers who move freight or stock.

The median annual wage for transportation and material moving occupations was $30,090 in May 2015, below the median for all occupations of $36,200.

  Occupation Job Summary Entry-Level Education 2014 MEDIAN PAY
Airline and commercial pilots

Airline and Commercial Pilots

Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft. Airline pilots fly for airlines that transport people and cargo on a fixed schedule. Commercial pilots fly aircraft for other purposes, such as charter flights, rescue operations, firefighting, aerial photography, and aerial application, also known as crop dusting.

See How to Become One $102,520
Air traffic controllers

Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to ensure that aircraft stay safe distances apart.

Associate's degree $122,950
Bus drivers

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers transport people between various places—including work, school, and shopping malls—and across state or national borders. Some drive regular routes, and others transport passengers on chartered trips or sightseeing tours.

High school diploma or equivalent $30,950
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers

Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area. They drive trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW)—the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—of 26,000 pounds or less. Most of the time, delivery truck drivers transport merchandise from a distribution center to businesses and households.

High school diploma or equivalent $27,760
Flight attendants

Flight Attendants

Flight attendants provide routine services and respond to emergencies to ensure the safety and comfort of airline passengers.

High school diploma or equivalent $44,860
Laborers and material movers

Hand Laborers and Material Movers

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Others feed or remove material to and from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.

No formal educational credential $24,090
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity—that is, the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—exceeding 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.

Postsecondary nondegree award $40,260
Material moving machine operators

Material Moving Machine Operators

Material moving machine operators use machinery to transport various objects. Some operators move construction materials around building sites or excavate earth from a mine. Others move goods around a warehouse or onto container ships.

See How to Become One $33,640
Train engineers and operators

Railroad Workers

Workers in railroad occupations ensure that passenger and freight trains run on time and travel safely. Some workers drive trains, some coordinate the activities of the trains, and others operate signals and switches in the rail yard.

High school diploma or equivalent $55,180
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs drive people to and from the places they need to go, such as airports, homes, shopping centers, and workplaces. They must know their way around a city to take passengers to their destinations.

No formal educational credential $23,510
Water transportation occupations

Water Transportation Workers

Water transportation workers operate and maintain vessels that take cargo and people over water. The vessels travel to and from foreign ports across the ocean and to domestic ports along the coasts, across the Great Lakes, and along the country’s many inland waterways.

See How to Become One $55,000

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015