Transportation Analyst: Job Description, Duties and Outlook

Oct 07, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a transportation analyst. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about the job description, job duties and employment outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

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Transport analysts use collected data to influence future project decisions and planning. They also work with current projects to evaluate their efficiency and social impact. These professionals are usually in project management roles, so experience and a college degree preparing them for this position is needed.

Essential Information

Transportation analysis is devoted to improving transportation safety and efficiency while reducing costs and minimizing environmental impact. To get started in the field, students might need to complete a degree program covering topics such as highway design, railroads, data analysis, and urban planning.

Required Education Post-secondary degree program in a relevant field
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 26% for operations research analysts
Average Salary (2018)* $88,350 for operations research analysts

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Transportation Analyst Job Description

Transportation analysts might work for a lab, private company, consulting firm, or government office. In general, analysts use mathematical modeling to interpret information and help make decisions about future projects. In the field of transportation, analysts work with data pertaining to traffic flow, crash statistics, highway infrastructure, and air quality, among other topics.

Transportation analysts need superior organization, communication, and computer skills, as well as an attention to detail. Some combination of a college degree and work experience is usually required. A background in math or computer programming is often helpful. One can complete postsecondary degrees in fields such as transportation and civil engineering.

Duties and Responsibilities

Transportation analysts at a private company might interact with customers as well as identify ways to save money in the company's supply and transportation network. Analysts working for a state or federal department usually develop analysis methods and interpret transportation statistics for a given region. Analysis might focus on a particular aspect of transportation such as freight shipping or the effectiveness of current transportation security methods.

Transportation analysts also evaluate current projects - such as repaving highways - to determine their impact on social, environmental, and economic factors. Analysts might devise more efficient systems and methods of transportation and use GPS and traffic modeling programs to predict future transportation needs. They commonly work in project management positions.

Career Outlook

Information specific to transportation analysts is not currently available. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of all operations research analysts - a closely related career - was expected to grow 26% in the 2018-2028 decade (www.bls.gov). With advances in technology, more organizations should be able to afford hiring analysts, and they may wish to do so to maximize their efficiency in the growing global marketplace. Job prospects will be strongest for analysts with an advanced degree.

Salary Information

The BLS published in May 2018 that the average annual salary earned among operations research analysts was $88,350. Data from the BLS shows individuals employed by the federal government made an average of $116,020 in 2018, while those working as technical or scientific consultants averaged salaries of $88,700 annually.

Transportation analysts can work in the government and private sector. They assess, lead, and evaluate transportation related projects. A degree in a relevant field can help prepare these analysts with experience in transportation data interpretation, infrastructure planning, and the many skills needed in this fast-growing field.

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