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Transportation Management Degree Program Information

There are both associate's and master's degree programs that cover topics related to transportation management. Explore the similarities and differences between these programs.

Essential Information

Individuals who complete an Associate of Science in Logistics and Transportation Management 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.


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. Usually, they take no more than two years to complete.

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 of these two-year programs 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 (www.bls.gov), there were 109,210 transportation, distribution and storage managers working in 2015, and these occupations will increase by 2% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS also reports in 2015 that these managers earned $86,630 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.

While associate's degree programs in logistics and transportation management focus specifically on the role of transportation within the supply chain, master's degrees programs are designed to train future leaders in the field, so they focus on broader administrative and policy-related topics.

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