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Types of Transportation Jobs

Many people equate transportation jobs with those that involve driving, whether it's a taxi or bus driver traveling locally or a truck driver hauling goods across country. However, transportation jobs also include those that don't require you to get behind the wheel.

For travel to be possible, transportation planners must first identify problems with current systems, or identify potential future needs, and design plans accordingly. For example, heavy traffic patterns might require adding an additional lane to a main street. Once approved, construction plans are given to transportation engineers, who manage streets, highways, ports, harbors, mass transit systems and similar projects. Transportation engineering usually requires a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, while transportation planning typically requires a master's degree from a planning program.Jobs in water transportation involve steering vessels and maintaining equipment on board. For example, pilots specialize in guiding ships through confined waterways, including rivers, while their sailors or deckhands keep watch and perform routine maintenance. As they gain experience, deck hands may be promoted to mates and direct vessels when captains are off duty. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most water transportation jobs require a Merchant Marine Credential and a Transportation Worker Identification Credential.Commuter, subway and long haul trains are operated by either locomotive engineers or conductors, who also direct the crews. Even with drivers, train transportation wouldn't be possible without operators controlling equipment such as brakes, switches and signals. For example, some operators stay abreast of where tracks intersect and ensure that different trains head in the right direction. Meanwhile, rail yard workers help ensure that trains stay safe and on schedule by organizing rail cars and inspecting tracks for problems or obstacles. The BLS notes that most railroad occupations require a high school diploma and several months of on-the-job training.Transportation via aircraft requires a reliable crew working behind the scenes to direct activities and ensure flights are safe. For example, tower controllers coordinate vehicles on taxiways and runways, while approach and departure controllers supervise aircraft around the airport to ensure they maintain safe distances from each other. Once a plane exits the airport's airspace, pilots rely on en route controllers, who work in control centers and monitor flight paths using radar equipment. The BLS notes that air traffic controller positions require candidates to be U.S. citizens, complete medical and background checks, pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pre-employment test and complete a training course at the FAA Academy.



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