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Careers in Transportation, Logistics, and Reverse Logistics Management


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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation and logistics management is the second largest employment sector in the United States. Transportation, logistics, and reverse logistics management are at the core of global supply chain management, encompassing manufacturing, distribution, retailing, recreation, and national security. Careers in transportation and logistics management offer exciting opportunities in a variety of transportation modes with private and public sector organizations whose success depends on the global fulfillment of customers’ requirements.

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Useful Skills within the Transportation and Logistics Field

Problem Solving - Identifying problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

System Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Career Options

To identify what education or training is typical for careers within the transportation and logistics management field, use the O*Net hyperlinks below and click on “Job Zone.” In addition, seek out the advice of fellow students and alumni working in the industry, using our mentoring program on The Quad (for current students and alumni only) or by speaking with a career coach.  

As with all majors, the education you receive serves as a foundation of knowledge that prepares you for what you may face in the professional world. This career field in particular will likely require additional education or experience.

Air Traffic Controllers
Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors
Airfield Operations Specialists
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians
Aviation Inspectors
Bridge and Lock Tenders
Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity
Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels
Commercial Pilots
Conveyor Operators and Tenders
Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators
First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers, and Material Movers, Hand
First-Line Supervisors of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle Operators
Flight Attendants
Freight and Cargo Inspectors
Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operators
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 
Hoist and Winch Operators
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 
Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers

Loading Machine Operators, Underground Mining
Locomotive Engineers 
Locomotive Firers
Machine Feeders and Offbearers
Material Moving Workers, All Other
Mates- Ship, Boat, and Barge
Motor Vehicle Operators, All Other
Motorboat Operators
Parking Lot Attendants
Pilots, Ship
Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers
Rail Transportation Workers, All Other
Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters 
Recycling Coordinators 
Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors 
Sailors and Marine Oilers
Ship and Boat Captains
Ship Engineers
Subway and Streetcar Operators
Traffic Technicians
Transportation Attendants, Except Flight Attendants
Transportation Inspectors
Transportation Vehicle, Equipment and Systems Inspectors, Except Aviation 
Transportation Workers, All Other

Getting Started: Internships

Gaining real life experience is an ideal way to start a new career. Below are a few examples of places that offer internships for both graduate and undergraduate transportation and logistics management students:

Hub Group

In addition to the organizations mentioned above, there are government organized internship programs which provide students or recent graduates the opportunity to gain real life experience. Many require students to maintain either a half-time or full-time student status. The best way to identify potential opportunities such as these is to contact branch offices directly, to search, or to look at the agencies' career portal.  Keep in mind these positions are not always posted online, so direct contact with the agency is key.


The Pathways Program is a federal initiative that offers internship programs for current students and training and career development opportunities for recent graduates. Recent graduates must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans, who, due to their military service obligation, will have up to six years to apply). The internship program for current students replaces the former Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)

The PMF is designed to attract to federal service outstanding men and women from a wide variety of academic disciplines who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. To be eligible for nomination, an individual must be a graduate student completing or expected to complete, during the current academic year, an advanced degree from a qualifying college or university. 

The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)

The WRP is coordinated by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense, and aims to provide summer work experience, and in some cases full-time employment, to college students with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies, each of whom makes a commitment to provide summer jobs and a staff recruiter. Each year, recruiters interview about 1,500 students with disabilities at college and university campuses across the nation, and develop a database listing the qualifications of each student.

Getting Hired: Government Agencies, Organizations and Search Engines

There are several government agencies and organizations that seek candidates with degrees in transportation and logistics management. The below list provides a few example places one might find employment using their degree.



Keeping Current: Publications and Professional Organizations
Conferences and Expositions
Get Connected: Social Media

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Cyberlogs: Transportation and Logistics Management Program Facebook, LinkedIn

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