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Transportation Specialist: Duties, Outlook and Requirements

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

Transportation specialists can find work in a variety of industries and are responsible for the drivers, machines, planning, and transport processes in their work place. This career is very dependent on the national economy so competition for jobs can be intense. A degree in transportation or a similar field may be useful.

Essential Information

Transportation specialists coordinate and oversee the processes involved with the passage of materials, goods, products, or people. They must ensure safety throughout these passages. Therefore, they may work across a variety of industries, overseeing these drivers and the transportation process in general. A bachelor's or master's degree in transportation or a related field is often required for this career.

Required Education Varies; a bachelor's or master's degree in transportation or related field may be beneficial
Other Requirements Previous management or transportation supervision experience preferred
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 3% for first-line supervisors of transportation machine and vehicle operators
Median Salary (2015)* $55,860 annually for first-line supervisors of transportation machine and vehicle operators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties of a Transportation Specialist

Transportation specialists exist in many industries, including public service, healthcare, foodservice, commercial, government, and many other settings. They are responsible for overseeing and coordinating the safe passage of goods, products, materials, or people.

Transportation specialists at the operations level may be required to administer customer service, especially if the position involves transporting or working with the public. They must be able to communicate effectively with a variety of people, especially in times of emergency. Also, transportation specialists may be required to perform routine mechanical checks on their vehicles in order to ensure that materials may be transported effectively.

Administrative transportation specialists are responsible for coordinating schedules and performing technical reviews, while also handling project management, field supervision, and transportation planning. They are responsible for the planning, operating, and managing of transportation on a larger management scale. They must also review employee records to determine overall transportation efficiency.

Career Outlook

Prospective transportation specialists should understand that this career is susceptible to the state of the national economy. However, the transportation industry creates jobs and mobilizes the nation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for first-line supervisors of transportation machine and vehicle operators in May 2015 was $55,860 (www.bls.gov). The BLS has also projected that the employment of such supervisors could grow by 3% between 2014 and 2024.

Job Requirements

Regardless of the means of transportation they oversee, specialists in this field must adhere to local laws and ensure that the vehicles under their supervision are properly licensed. A transportation specialist is often required to have previous management or transportation supervision experience. In addition to having experience in the field, a bachelor's degree or master's degree in transportation or a related field can increase job prospects and career experience.

Transportation specialists can be responsible for moving a variety of subjects, such as people, products, or animals. No matter their sector, they must manage all the legal aspects of transportation, their staff, their equipment, and transport schedules. Management experience is helpful and a degree in or related to transportation can help job prospects in this field where jobs are growing at a slower than average rate.


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