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What Does a Transportation Job Require?

Mar 09, 2011

CareerImage-300x212.jpgPerhaps in this economic downturn you’ve started looking for a new job opportunity, something that will grow along with the eventually recovery of the economy.  You’ve probably seen numerous ads for “truck drivers wanted” and are interested.  You should also know that  for every truck driver working for Ltl carriers there are 8-10 other transportations jobs that include working at warehouses or docks, in shipping offices, and for third party companies known as transportation brokers.  It is actually a very good time to be looking into transportation jobs.  This is true all over the world, in fact.  In Europe alone, more than 2.5 million transportation jobs exist.   A similar percentage of Americans are employed in transportation jobs and the number has recently gone up due to spending produced by the federal government’s stimulus package.  With the economic figures on the way up again transportation jobs promise to be a growing field.

So what is required to apply for transportation jobs?  Let’s take a look at several sectors and see what they are looking for.

Truck transportation companies such as Ftl and Ltl carriers are looking for bright, motivated people to drive trucks and work in their warehouses operating forklifts, securing pallets, setting up logistics, and handling paperwork.  While no experience is necessarily required, it is preferred that you have a high school education or its equivalent.  Having some college or a college degree with certainly give you a competitive edge.

If you desire to drive truck for Ftl or Ltl carriers you must also meet certain federal motor carrier safety regulations.  These include: Having good hearing and 20/40 vision or better (corrected vision with eyeglasses or contacts is acceptable), being at least 21 years old, having a good driving record, and being able to speak and read English.  You will also need a state-supplied Commercial Driver’s License, a CDL.

Getting an associate’s degree in business, communication, accounting, truck driving or related fields will serve you well.  The business or communication training will be especially helpful for transportation jobs focused on handling the complex logistics of international freight shipping.  For any of these kinds of transportation jobs, being skilled in the use of computers, including complex software, along with good communication and people skills will work in your favor.

If you seek employment with transportation brokers special skills that will help you land these transportation jobs include excellent computer skills since their scheduling, Shipping Quote and freight calculator functions, and logistics planning are all computer-based.  Being bi-lingual will open doors, with Spanish, Chinese, and European languages being most helpful.

For railroad transportation jobs excellent health and stamina are expected due to the physical nature of much of the work.  You will be required to pass a physical examination as well as drug and alcohol testing.  A high school degree or equivalent is essential.  Those seeking transportation jobs as conductors or locomotive engineers must be at least 21 years of age, though most candidates for these jobs have years of experience in other railroad transportation jobs before being hired in these important capacities.

There are also transportation jobs for mechanics with freight lines, ftl and ltl carriers and the air freight industry.  Again, a high school degree or equivalent is the place to start.  Having schooling in general mechanics will help, such as an associate’s degree in auto or diesel mechanics.  Once hired, you’ll typically be sent to school to learn the specifics of working on the equipment the company uses.  Those wishing to be airline mechanics must receive and pass training in one of about 200 schools certified by the FAA before an airfreight company will consider their application.

As with most fields, education and experience are keys to landing transportation jobs.  Most entry-level jobs can serve as a place to launch a career in transportation that may reach great heights as you are helping to move international freight great distances.