Bureau of Labor Statistics

Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

Employment of transportation and material moving occupations is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations, adding 634,300 new jobs. Material moving workers are expected to be needed to move materials in nearly all sectors of the economy. Additionally, the economy depends on truck drivers to transport freight and keep supply chains moving.

The median annual wage for transportation and material moving occupations was $31,600 in May 2017, below the median for all occupations of $37,690.

  Occupation Job Summary Entry-Level Education 2017 MEDIAN PAY
Airline and commercial pilots

Airline and Commercial Pilots

Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft.

See How to Become One $111,930
Air traffic controllers

Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of aircraft to maintain safe distances between them.

Associate's degree $124,540
Bus drivers

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers transport people between various places—including work, school, and shopping centers—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 $33,010
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 $29,250
Flight attendants

Flight Attendants

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

High school diploma or equivalent $50,500
Laborers and material movers

Hand Laborers and Material Movers

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

No formal educational credential $25,870
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 $42,480
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 $34,830
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 $59,780
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Taxi Drivers, Ride-Hailing Drivers, and Chauffeurs

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

No formal educational credential $24,880
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 $55,590
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Transportation and Material Moving Occupations,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/home.htm (visited January 15, 2019).

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 13, 2018

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