Transportation Management Degree Program Information

Transportation management has different definitions depending on the actual degree a student pursues. Associate's or master's degree programs can help students find opportunities to explore topics such as purchasing, distribution, and business and management principles along with logistics, policy-making, and transportation funding.

Essential Information

Individuals who complete an Associate of Science in Logistics and Transportation Management program could become eligible to oversee the transportation of goods in the manufacturing industry. Individuals who complete a Master of Science in Transportation Management program often study the financial and practical elements that go into managing public forms of transportation, such as buses and trains.

  • Program Levels in Transportation Management: Associate's degrees, master's degrees
  • Program Length: Two years or less
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent; applicants into a master's program must have an undergraduate degree
  • Other Requirements: Thesis and non-thesis options are available for master's students

Associate's Degree Programs in Logistics and Transportation Management

Transportation management is just one component of the supply chain management and logistics field. An associate's degree program in transportation management can prepare individuals to oversee the transportation of materials, manufactured products, and inventory from warehouses to distribution centers. Students learn how to schedule trucks and trains, plan transportation routes, oversee physical distribution of goods, and manage a crew of workers.

The courses included within an associate's degree program in logistics and transportation management provide students with vocational skills they need to work in the field while providing them with a fundamental background in business and management principles. Specific courses are listed below:

  • Business principles
  • Transportation and distribution
  • Transportation management
  • Business logistics
  • Speech and communication
  • Purchasing

Master's Degree Programs in Transportation Management

Graduate degree programs in transportation management have little to do with the supply chain field and instead prepare individuals for positions designing, organizing, and supervising transportation systems. Students learn about the various components of the transportation industry in the United States. They also study the basics of management, policy-making, administration, and operations. A graduate degree in the field should prepare individuals to oversee the budget, planning, and regulation of public transportation systems, such as trains, buses, trams, subways, and planes. Most programs in the field accept students from a variety of undergraduate programs, including business or logistics.

Graduate programs in transportation management introduce students to transportation systems while at the same time teaching them how to operate and improve upon those systems. Specific courses include:

  • Transportation funding and finance
  • Policy creation
  • Transportation organizations management
  • Security issues in transportation
  • Strategic management principles
  • Labor relations

Popular Career Options

A graduate degree in transportation management can prepare students for careers in private organizations as well as local, state, and federal government agencies. Positions might include:

  • Supervisor of transportation operations
  • Transportation planner
  • Transportation security specialist
  • Transportation manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, there were 106,000 transportation, distribution and storage managers working in 2014, and these occupations will increase by 5% between 2012 and 2022. The BLS also reports in 2014 that these managers earned $85,400 as a median annual salary.

Continuing Education

Transportation and logistics managers are not required to gain certification, but they often choose to do so to prove their competence in the field. The American Society of Transportation and Logistics offers a certification program for aspiring professionals. Other organizations, such as the Association for Operations Management, offer similar certification options.

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