The 20 Best Paying Jobs in Transportation [Updated 2022]

If you’re looking for a high-paying job in the transportation industry, you’re in luck.

We’ve compiled a list of the 20 best paying jobs in transportation, along with salary and outlook information.

Whether you’re interested in becoming a truck driver, aircraft mechanic, or railroad engineer, we have the information you need to make an informed decision about your career.

So read on to learn more about the highest-paying jobs in transportation!

1. Truck Drivers

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Truck drivers are the backbone of the American economy, transporting goods all across the country.

And while it may not be the most glamorous job, it is one of the most essential.

If you’re interested in becoming a truck driver, you’ll need to have a clean driving record and a valid commercial driver’s license.

The median salary for a truck driver is $43,680 per year, and the job outlook is positive, with a projected growth of 21% by 2026.


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2. Aircraft mechanics

Aircraft mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing aircraft.

It’s a highly skilled position that requires extensive training and experience.

The median salary for an aircraft mechanic is $64,070 per year, and the job outlook is positive, with a projected growth of 15% by 2026.

3. Railroad engineers

Railroad engineers are responsible for operating and maintaining railroad equipment.

It’s a highly skilled position that requires extensive training and experience.

The median salary for a railroad engineer is $73,490 per year, and the job outlook is positive, with a projected growth of 12% by 2026.

4. Air Traffic Controller

As an air traffic controller, you will be responsible for the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in the skies.

Your job will require split-second decision making and a cool head under pressure.

If you are interested in this career, you will need to complete a rigorous training program at an FAA-approved facility.

Air traffic controllers are some of the highest paid workers in the transportation industry, with a median salary of over $124,000 per year.

While the job is demanding, it can also be very rewarding.

If you are looking for a challenging and well-paying career in transportation, air traffic control may be the perfect option for you.


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5. Commercial Pilot

Commercial pilots fly for major airlines, cargo carriers, and private charter companies.

They transport people and goods across the country and around the world.

Commercial pilots typically need a bachelor’s degree in aviation or a related field and must have completed flight training from an accredited institution.

Many commercial pilots also have military flying experience.

The median annual salary for commercial pilots is $78,470.

Most commercial pilots start their careers as co-pilots and then work their way up to captain.

Captains typically have more experience and earn a higher salary than co-pilots.

The median annual salary for captains is $140,760.


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6. Railroad Worker

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Railroad workers are responsible for the maintenance and operation of the railway system.

They must be able to work long hours and be physically fit.

Railroad workers typically have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Some jobs may require certification from the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association.

7. Ferry Captain

Ferry captains are responsible for the operation and navigation of ferry boats.

They typically work in harbors and coastal areas, and their duties include loading and unloading passengers and cargo, inspecting the vessel before departure, maintaining a log book, and communicating with the shore.

Employment of ferry captains is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Ferry services are expected to increase as communities continue to seek alternatives to congested highways and airports.

8. Traffic Engineer

A traffic engineer is responsible for the planning, design, and operation of transportation systems.

They work to improve the efficiency of transportation networks and reduce the impact of transportation on the environment.

Traffic engineers typically earn a median salary of $84,810 per year.

The responsibilities of a traffic engineer include conducting studies to determine the best location for new roads and highways, designing traffic signals and pavement markings, and developing plans to reduce congestion.

Traffic engineers also create public education campaigns to promote safe driving habits.

Most traffic engineers have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field.

Some employers may require candidates to have a master’s degree.


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9. Transportation inspectors

These professionals are responsible for inspecting equipment and systems to ensure they meet safety standards.

In order to become a transportation inspector, you will need at least a high school diploma.

However, many employers prefer candidates who have completed some postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree or certificate program in transportation safety.

You will also need to have several years of experience working in the transportation industry.

If you’re looking for a stable career with good pay, becoming a transportation inspector is a great option.

With the right education and experience, you can make a very good living in this field.

10. Transportation planners

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Transportation planners typically need a bachelor’s degree in urban or regional planning, although some jobs may only require an associate’s degree.

Most entry-level transportation planner positions require a bachelor’s degree in urban or regional planning.

However, some jobs may only require an associate’s degree.

Transportation planners typically need strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

They must be able to communicate complex information clearly.

Most transportation planners work for local or state governments.

Some may work for private engineering firms or consulting companies.

Many larger metropolitan areas have their own transportation planning department.

These departments are responsible for developing long- and short-term plans for the city’s transportation needs.

They also oversee the construction of new roads and public transit systems.


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11. Public Transportation Manager

This job requires managing and coordinating the operations of a public transportation system.

A public transportation manager typically works for a government agency or a private company that provides public transportation services.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration, engineering, or a related field is typically required for this position.

Strong leadership, management, and communication skills are essential for this job.

The transportation industry offers a variety of well-paying career options.

From engineers to managers, there are many positions that offer competitive salaries.

If you’re looking for a high-paying career in transportation, consider one of the options on this list.

12. Train Operator

Most train operators work for passenger railroads, but some may operate freight trains as well.

They are responsible for the safe operation of the train, and must adhere to strict schedules.

Train operators typically earn an hourly wage, and those with more experience may earn higher wages.

13. Locomotive Engineer

The transportation industry is a huge employer, with nearly 5 million jobs in the United States.

One of the most exciting jobs in transportation is locomotive engineer.

These professionals drive trains and work on tracks, overseeing the safe transport of passengers, freight, and hazardous materials.

Locomotive engineers drive trains along tracks for both freight and passenger service.

They are responsible for ensuring that their trains are running on time by monitoring track signals and communicating with other train operators.

They also have to ensure that their trains meet safety regulations and make sure that they follow all federal laws regarding railroad operations.

In addition to driving trains, locomotive engineers may also be responsible for inspecting equipment and working on railroad infrastructure such as bridges and tunnels.

If an emergency occurs on board their train, locomotive engineers must notify dispatch immediately so that help can be sent as soon as possible.

14. Flight Attendants

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Many people dream of becoming a flight attendant.

The job is glamorous and has a lot of perks, including travel, free meals and even free tickets.

But before you apply for your first job as a flight attendant, there are some things you’ll want to know about this career.

Flight attendants work on aircrafts as well as in airports.

They help passengers board, deplane and disembark the aircraft.

They also serve food and beverages to passengers during the flight.

Flight attendants are responsible for ensuring passenger safety during emergencies and unexpected events.

They must be able to evacuate passengers from an aircraft quickly and safely if needed.


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15. Ship Captain

A ship captain is responsible for overseeing the safe operation of a vessel on water or in air.

They must ensure that all safety regulations are followed and make sure that they have enough supplies on board to last until they reach their destination.

They also need to make sure they have enough fuel and food for their passengers and crew as well as keeping track of how much cargo has been loaded onto the vessel so it doesn’t exceed its capacity.

16. Transit and Railroad Police

Transit police officers are responsible for enforcing laws on public transportation systems.

They can be found on buses, subways, light rail trains and more.

These officers may perform routine patrols or respond to incidents such as thefts or assaults.

Railroad police officers patrol railroad property such as right-of-way areas, rail yards and bridges.

Their duties include investigating accidents and criminal activity involving trains or facilities owned by the railroad company.

17. Civil Engineers

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Civil engineers are the ultimate transportation professionals.

They’re responsible for designing, building and maintaining every mode of transportation in the U.S., including highways, bridges, tunnels, airports and rail systems.

Civil engineers also work with architects to create buildings that are safe and functional.

Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or related field from an ABET accredited college or university.

After that, they may need to pass a state licensing exam before they can work as civil engineers.

Civil engineers who want to work for government agencies must also pass a background check and drug test.


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18. Railway Service Engineer

A railway service engineer is responsible for inspecting railway vehicles and ensuring they are safe to operate on the tracks.

They must inspect each vehicle before it goes out on the track to make sure everything is working correctly and that there are no problems with the wheels or axles.

They also perform routine maintenance and repairs on vehicles that break down while they’re out on their routes.

Railway service engineers work closely with other team members from other departments such as operations and maintenance to ensure all aspects of the railroad run smoothly so that trains can continue moving safely along their tracks without any issues arising.

19. Freight and Cargo Inspectors

Freight and Cargo Inspectors inspect freight or cargo to ensure it is safe to travel.

They are also responsible for examining freight records, instructions and bills of lading.

Freight inspectors make sure that freight is properly loaded onto vehicles and that it is properly covered with tarps or netting.

They also examine the condition of the vehicle to ensure it is safe for transportation.

The main responsibility of a freight inspector is safety, which includes inspecting all aspects of shipping, including loading and unloading.

Freight and Cargo Inspectors must have knowledge in different types of goods being shipped as well as their origin and destination.

An associate degree or certificate from an accredited college program may be required for this position.

They may be required to work indoors or outdoors depending on the weather conditions at the time.

Work environments may include warehouses, loading docks or manufacturing facilities where they can work around heavy machinery such as forklifts and pallet jacks.

20. Ship Engineers

Ship engineers are responsible for the operation and maintenance of ships and other marine vessels.

They are also in charge of ensuring that the crew has what they need to complete their jobs, such as food, water, and supplies.

Ship engineers can work on many different types of ships including cruise ships, tankers, container ships, and more.

A bachelor’s degree in engineering is required to become a ship engineer.

You can find programs at community colleges or vocational schools that offer this degree.

After graduating with your degree, you’ll need to pass an exam from the United States Coast Guard before working as a ship engineer.

Bottom Line

The transportation industry offers a wide variety of high-paying jobs.

If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, consider one of the many options in transportation.

With the right training and experience, you can land a well-paying job in this growing industry.

This concludes our list of the best paying jobs in transportation.

We hope you found this information helpful in your career decision-making process. Thanks for reading!

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