Are you interested in driving vehicles and transporting material goods or people? Do you want to drive large construction vehicles or small commercial trucks? A major in ground transportation may be a good fit for you. This wide-reaching field can lead to a number of different career options.
The transportation field offers careers in busing and public transportation, commercial trucking and heavy machine operation. You could be anything from a long distance truck driver to working heavy machines on a construction site.
Approximately 10 million people work in the ground transportation industry, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many transportation-related careers will see average growth over the next ten years.
When it comes to education, the required skills and education will vary with position, but for most heavy vehicles you will need a commercial driver's license. If you will be transporting hazardous materials, a Hazmat certification will also be needed. Vocational schools offering degrees in ground transportation will teach you about transportation-related rules and regulations, machine operation and safety. They may also receive instruction in basic land surveying techniques and how to work from plans and marking stakes. More advanced degrees will delve into the areas of supply chains and logistics.
Besides educational requirements, you will also need a number of other skills to ensure public safety.
You will need to be in good health and free of conditions that could cause you to lose consciousness or other impairment. You must also have good hand-eye coordination and decent eyesight and hearing - all important traits for working in transportation.
If you plan to work in the public arena, you will also want to have good customer service and interpersonal skills.
Across all industries, ground transportation workers can earn an average salary of just over $37,000 per year. As this is such a wide field, individual jobs may vary in annual salary. For example, public bus drivers can expect a median salary of $32,000 while tractor-trailer drivers will see a salary closer to $44,000 per year. Heavy machine operators can expect to earn on average just under $42,000 per year. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Your salary will depend on the education you've received, the number of years of experience and the type of work you are doing.