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.
- 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.
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.”
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
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:
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 ways to identify potential opportunities such as these is to contact branch offices directly, to search USAJobs.gov, or to look at the agencies’ career portals. Keep in mind that 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, 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)
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)
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.
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.
Involvement in professional organizations is a great way to stay up to date on new technology, tools, and best practices in your field. Professional organizations are also a great networking opportunity. Below are a few professional organizations and publications you may be interested in within the transportation and logistics field.
- American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)
- American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL)
- The Association for Operations Management (APICS)
- Intelligence Transportation Society of America (ITSA)
- International Air Cargo Association (IACA)
- International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA)
- International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA)
- National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA)
- National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA)
- National Industrial Transportation League (NITL)
- Transportation Research Board (TRB)