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Transportation Managers
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Description: what do they do?
Plan, direct, or coordinate the transportation operations within an organization or the activities of organizations that provide transportation services.
Also known as:
Train Operations Manager, Global Transportation Manager, Fleet Manager, Director of Operations, Trainmaster, Traffic Manager, Freight Coordinator, Transportation Supervisor, Transportation Manager, Transportation Director

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: In the transportation industry, managers are responsible for the movement of people and goods over distances, whether by air, rail, ocean, or highway. They, and their staff, are responsible for launching and tracking the transport vehicles across the globe, and may even manage vehicle storage facilities from airports to truck warehouses. These managers invest much of their time keeping tabs on operations to make sure they comply with all types of policy and procedure, from safety rules to union contracts and government regulations. Transportation managers are in close communication with those involved in the transportation process; they need to keep up-to-the-minute tabs on the location of goods. Accuracy, time pressure and dealing with conflict or troubleshooting are normal parts of the job. Having the flexibility to move from being strong leaders who see the big picture, to planning the details, is a hallmark of the job. Entering the field usually requires a bachelor's degree in a business field. Knowledge of supply chain management, or contract negotiation, is helpful. Some jobs only require relevant work experience in the business, or the type of product they need to move.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
N/A
2016 Employment
N/A
2026 Employment
N/A
Percent change
N/A
Annual projected job openings
United States
131,300
2018 Employment
138,700
2028 Employment
6%
Percent change
11,400
Annual projected job openings
You’re seeing projected employment information for Transportation, storage, and distribution managers because we don’t have information for Transportation Managers.
N/A: We do not have employment projections in this state for this occupation.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers* in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
* You’re seeing wages for Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers because we don’t have information for Transportation Managers.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUSUnited States
10%N/A$56,050
25%N/A$72,340
MedianN/A$94,730
75%N/A$123,550
90%N/A$158,370


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
You’re seeing education information for Transportation, storage, and distribution managers because we don’t have information for Transportation Managers. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained
You’re seeing education information for Transportation, storage, and distribution managers because we don’t have information for Transportation Managers. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Supervise employees.
  • Direct organizational operations, projects, or services.
  • Monitor activities of individuals to ensure safety or compliance with rules.
  • Liaise between departments or other groups to improve function or communication.
  • Implement organizational process or policy changes.
  • Schedule product or material transportation.
  • Manage organizational or project budgets.
  • Communicate organizational policies and procedures.
  • Advise others on business or operational matters.
  • Investigate industrial or transportation accidents.
  • Analyze financial records to improve efficiency.
  • Analyze financial records to improve budgeting or planning.
  • Develop operating strategies, plans, or procedures.
  • Develop organizational policies or programs.
  • Implement transportation changes to reduce environmental impact.
  • Develop operating strategies, plans, or procedures for green or sustainable operations.
  • Develop safety standards, policies, or procedures.
  • Prepare forms or applications.
  • Negotiate sales or lease agreements for products or services.
  • Approve expenditures.
  • Train employees on environmental awareness, conservation, or safety topics.
  • Conduct employee training programs.
  • Evaluate potential of products, technologies, or resources.
  • Identify opportunities for green initiatives.
  • Advise others on legal or regulatory compliance matters.
  • Manage control system activities in organizations.
  • Negotiate labor disputes.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • 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.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.
  • Negotiation - Bringing people together to solve differences.
  • Persuasion - Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Fluency of Ideas - Coming up with lots of ideas.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Plan, organize, or manage the work of subordinate staff to ensure that the work is accomplished in a manner consistent with organizational requirements.
  • Direct activities related to dispatching, routing, or tracking transportation vehicles, such as aircraft or railroad cars.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that staff members comply with administrative policies and procedures, safety rules, union contracts, environmental policies, or government regulations.
  • Serve as contact persons for all workers within assigned territories.
  • Implement schedule or policy changes for transportation services.
  • Monitor spending to ensure that expenses are consistent with approved budgets.
  • Promote safe work activities by conducting safety audits, attending company safety meetings, or meeting with individual staff members.
  • Prepare management recommendations, such as proposed fee and tariff increases or schedule changes.
  • Conduct investigations in cooperation with government agencies to determine causes of transportation accidents, coordinate cleanup activities, or improve safety procedures.
  • Direct or coordinate the activities of operations department to obtain use of equipment, facilities, or human resources.
  • Analyze expenditures and other financial information to develop plans, policies, or budgets for increasing profits or improving services.
  • Collaborate with other managers or staff members to formulate and implement policies, procedures, goals, or objectives.
  • Plan or implement energy saving changes to transportation services, such as reducing routes, optimizing capacities, employing alternate modes of transportation, or minimizing idling.
  • Direct staff performing repairs and maintenance to equipment, vehicles, or facilities.
  • Set operations policies and standards, including determining safety procedures for the handling of dangerous goods.
  • Develop criteria, application instructions, procedural manuals, or contracts for federal or state public transportation programs.
  • Develop or implement plans to improve transportation services control from regional to national or global load control center operations.
  • Direct central load control centers to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of transportation services.
  • Supervise clerks assigning tariff classifications or preparing billing.
  • Negotiate, authorize, or monitor fulfillment of contracts with equipment or materials suppliers.
  • Conduct employee training sessions on subjects such as hazardous material handling, employee orientation, quality improvement, or computer use.
  • Recommend or authorize capital expenditures for acquisition of new equipment or property to increase efficiency and services of operations department.
  • Evaluate transportation vehicles or auxiliary equipment for purchase by considering factors, such as fuel economy or aerodynamics.
  • Identify or select transportation and communications system technologies to reduce costs or environmental impacts.
  • Provide administrative or technical assistance to those receiving transportation-related grants.
  • Direct procurement processes including equipment research and testing, vendor contracts, or requisitions approval.
  • Participate in union contract negotiations or grievance settlements.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.