Skip to main content
A-Z IndexCalendarsDirectoryMaps

Background Image for Header:

Home / Academics / Careers / Transportation Managers Career

Transportation Managers Career

Career Description

Plan, direct, or coordinate the transportation operations within an organization or the activities of organizations that provide transportation services.

What Job Titles Transportation Managers Might Have

  • Fleet Manager
  • Train Operations Manager
  • Trainmaster
  • Transportation Manager

What Transportation Managers Do

  • Plan, organize, or manage the work of subordinate staff to ensure that the work is accomplished in a manner consistent with organizational requirements.
  • Direct activities related to dispatching, routing, or tracking transportation vehicles, such as aircraft or railroad cars.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that staff members comply with administrative policies and procedures, safety rules, union contracts, environmental policies, or government regulations.
  • Serve as contact persons for all workers within assigned territories.
  • Implement schedule or policy changes for transportation services.
  • Monitor spending to ensure that expenses are consistent with approved budgets.
  • Promote safe work activities by conducting safety audits, attending company safety meetings, or meeting with individual staff members.
  • Prepare management recommendations, such as proposed fee and tariff increases or schedule changes.
  • Direct investigations to verify and resolve customer or shipper complaints.
  • Direct or coordinate the activities of operations department to obtain use of equipment, facilities, or human resources.
  • Analyze expenditures and other financial information to develop plans, policies, or budgets for increasing profits or improving services.
  • Collaborate with other managers or staff members to formulate and implement policies, procedures, goals, or objectives.
  • Plan or implement energy saving changes to transportation services, such as reducing routes, optimizing capacities, employing alternate modes of transportation, or minimizing idling.
  • Direct staff performing repairs and maintenance to equipment, vehicles, or facilities.
  • Conduct employee training sessions on subjects such as hazardous material handling, employee orientation, quality improvement, or computer use.
  • Recommend or authorize capital expenditures for acquisition of new equipment or property to increase efficiency and services of operations department.
  • Conduct investigations in cooperation with government agencies to determine causes of transportation accidents, coordinate cleanup activities, or improve safety procedures.
  • Set operations policies and standards, including determining safety procedures for the handling of dangerous goods.
  • Develop criteria, application instructions, procedural manuals, or contracts for federal or state public transportation programs.
  • Develop or implement plans to improve transportation services control from regional to national or global load control center operations.
  • Direct central load control centers to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of transportation services.
  • Supervise clerks assigning tariff classifications or preparing billing.
  • Negotiate, authorize, or monitor fulfillment of contracts with equipment or materials suppliers.
  • Evaluate transportation vehicles or auxiliary equipment for purchase by considering factors such as fuel economy or aerodynamics.
  • Identify or select transportation and communications system technologies to reduce costs or environmental impacts.
  • Provide administrative or technical assistance to those receiving transportation-related grants.
  • Direct procurement processes including equipment research and testing, vendor contracts, or requisitions approval.

What Transportation Managers Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

What Transportation Managers Should Be Interested In

  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

What Transportation Managers Need to Learn

  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Leaf iconThis career is a green occupation.
Median Salary: $89,190

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.