Employment of transportation and material moving occupations is projected to grow 4 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations, adding 483,100 new jobs. Material moving workers are expected to be needed to move materials in nearly all sectors of the economy. Additionally, the economy depends on truck drivers to transport freight and keep supply chains moving.
The median annual wage for transportation and material moving occupations is $32,730, below the median for all occupations of $38,640.
Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of aircraft to maintain safe distances between them.
Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft.
Bus drivers transport people between various places—including work, school, and shopping centers—and across state or national borders. Some drive regular routes, and others transport passengers on chartered trips or sightseeing tours.
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area. They drive trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW)—the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—of 26,000 pounds or less. Most of the time, delivery truck drivers transport merchandise from a distribution center to businesses and households.
Flight attendants provide routine services and respond to emergencies to ensure the safety and comfort of airline passengers while aboard planes.
Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Some of these workers may feed or remove material to and from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity—that is, the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—exceeding 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.
Material moving machine operators use machinery to transport various objects. Some operators move construction materials around building sites or excavate earth from a mine. Others move goods around a warehouse or onto container ships.
Workers in railroad occupations ensure that passenger and freight trains run on time and travel safely. Some workers drive trains, some coordinate the activities of the trains, and others operate signals and switches in the rail yard.
Taxi drivers, ride-hailing drivers, and chauffeurs transport people to and from the places they need to go, such as airports, homes, shopping centers, and workplaces. These drivers must know their way around a city to take passengers to their destinations.
Water transportation workers operate and maintain vessels that take cargo and people over water. The vessels travel to and from foreign ports across the ocean and to domestic ports along the coasts, across the Great Lakes, and along the country’s many inland waterways.
Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors supervise and coordinate the activities of ground crews in the loading, unloading, securing, and staging of aircraft cargo or baggage.
Airfield Operations Specialists ensure the safe takeoff and landing of commercial and military aircraft.
Ambulance Drivers and Attendants (Except Emergency Medical Technicians) drive ambulance or assist ambulance driver in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons.
Automotive and Watercraft Service Attendants service automobiles, buses, trucks, boats, and other automotive or marine vehicles with fuel, lubricants, and accessories.
Bridge and Lock Tenders operate and tend bridges, canal locks, and lighthouses to permit marine passage on inland waterways, near shores, and at danger points in waterway passages.
First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers, and Material Movers (Hand) directly supervise and coordinate the activities of helpers, laborers, or material movers.
First-Line Supervisors of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle Operators directly supervise and coordinate activities of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators and helpers.
Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operators operate steam, gas, electric motor, or internal combustion engine-driven compressors.
All material moving workers not listed separately.
Mine Shuttle Car Operators operate diesel or electric-powered shuttle cars in underground mines to transport materials from the working face to mine cars or conveyors.
All motor vehicle operators not listed separately.
Parking Lot Attendants park vehicles or issue tickets for customers in a parking lot or garage.
Pump Operators (Except Wellhead Pumpers) tend, control, or operate power-driven, stationary, or portable pumps and manifold systems to transfer gases, oil, other liquids, slurries, or powdered materials to and from various vessels and processes.
All rail transportation workers not listed separately.
Subway and Streetcar Operators operate and tend bridges, canal locks, and lighthouses to permit marine passage on inland waterways, near shores, and at danger points in waterway passages.
Tank Car, Truck, and Ship Loaders use material-moving equipment to load and unload chemicals and bulk solids, such as coal, sand, and grain, into or from tank cars, trucks, or ships.
Traffic Technicians work under the direction of a traffic engineer to conduct field studies determining volume and speed of traffic, effectiveness of signals, adequacy of lighting, and other factors that influence traffic conditions.
Transportation Attendants (Except Flight Attendants) provide services to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers aboard ships, buses, and trains or within the station or terminal.
Transportation Inspectors inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people.
All transportation workers not listed separately.
Wellhead Pumpers operate power pumps and auxiliary equipment to produce and maintain the flow of oil or gas from wells in oilfields.
Get the education and training you need for a career in Transportation and Material Moving.