Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

Transportation and material moving occupations group is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, adding 466,800 new jobs. An increased demand for shipping raw materials and finished products over highways, rail lines, and waterways should contribute to employment growth. However, technology and automation in warehousing enables better tracking and movement of items, which may supplant some functions of workers who move freight or stock.

The median annual wage for transportation and material moving occupations was $30,090 in May 2015, below the median for all occupations of $36,200.

Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to ensure that aircraft stay safe distances apart.

Airline and Commercial Pilots

Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft. Airline pilots fly for airlines that transport people and cargo on a fixed schedule. Commercial pilots fly aircraft for other purposes, such as charter flights, rescue operations, firefighting, aerial photography, and aerial application, also known as crop dusting.

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers transport people between various places—including work, school, and shopping malls—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

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

Flight attendants provide routine services and respond to emergencies to ensure the safety and comfort of airline passengers.

Hand Laborers and Material Movers

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Others 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

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

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.

Railroad Workers

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 and Chauffeurs

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs drive people to and from the places they need to go, such as airports, homes, shopping centers, and workplaces. They must know their way around a city to take passengers to their destinations.

Water Transportation Workers

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.

Additional Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors

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

Airfield Operations Specialists ensure the safe takeoff and landing of commercial and military aircraft.

Ambulance Drivers and Attendants (Except Emergency Medical Technicians)

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

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

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)

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

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

Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operators operate steam, gas, electric motor, or internal combustion engine-driven compressors.

Material Moving Workers (all other)

All material moving workers not listed separately.

Mine Shuttle Car Operators

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.

Motor Vehicle Operators (all other)

All motor vehicle operators not listed separately.

Parking Lot Attendants

Parking Lot Attendants park vehicles or issue tickets for customers in a parking lot or garage.

Pump Operators

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.

Rail Transportation Workers (all other)

All rail transportation workers not listed separately.

Subway and Streetcar Operators

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

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

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

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

Transportation Inspectors inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people.

Transportation Workers (all other)

All transportation workers not listed separately.

Wellhead Pumpers

Wellhead Pumpers operate power pumps and auxiliary equipment to produce and maintain the flow of oil or gas from wells in oilfields.

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