A Career in Transportation


What does a transportation professional do?

Plans, designs, and operates roads, highways, railroads, airports and shipping ports, in a way that people and goods can be moved safely and efficiently from point A to point B.

Typical Transportation Jobs:

  • Transportation Planner - investigates and minimizes the effects of new developments and proposed highway projects on air and noise pollution, wetlands, and other environmental factors, including socio-economic impacts. Transportation planners work with public officials, urban planners, and neighborhoods on projects affecting a community.
  • Transportation Designer - designs various transportation facilities for airports, shopping centers, recreational, industrial, office, and residential developments, as well as pedestrian systems. They also design traffic signals to maintain the efficient flow of traffic.
  • Transportation Operations - designs, implements, and maintains traffic controls, signs, and pavement markings. Traffic control is essential for safe travel on ordinary roads and construction work zones, detours, and for special events.


Where are transportation professionals employed?

  • Government (federal and state)
  • Academia (universities)
  • Private Industry (consulting firms)
  • National Laboratories (research)


How do I become a transportation professional?

Transportation professionals are required to have a bachelor's degree, which means that a college education at an ABET-accredited institution is an essential first step. Most transportation professionals further their education by enrolling in a master's degree program and some pursue a doctoral degree. A transportation professional can also become a university professor. Prospective transportation professionals enroll in academic programs such as: civil engineering, industrial and systems engineering, electrical engineering, computer science engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials engineering. Many transportation professionals also have a background in urban and regional planning, environmental engineering, and occupational therapy. An undergraduate or graduate degree can land you a job in a private consulting company or in the public sector (state and federal government).

Source: Institute of Transportation Engineers (http://www.ite.org/career/index.asp)