Transportation And Material Moving

This occupational category offers a number of interesting job opportunities. These professionals help people and cargo get where they need to be, by any one of a number of ways, by land, water, or air. One segment of this category is the workers who operate the transportation machinery. This can include lower skill jobs, such as bus driving, or more advanced technical work as an airline pilot. Taxi drivers, chauffeurs, and truck drivers also fall into this category, and have different requirements and paychecks depending on the distance and duration of the trips.

There are a number of positions for people alongside the machine movers and operators-air traffic controllers and flight attendants, for example, are important parts of air transportation, and work to efficiently ensure the safety of everyone inside and nearby the plane. These and other workers maintain equipment and direct movement so that the delivery of people, goods, and services happens on time and without damage. On a smaller scale, hand laborers and material machine movers transport items over shorter distances, handle operations during the shipping and receiving process, and maintain the equipment needed to do the job.

Responsibilties can include:

  • Prepare a vessel or container for shipping
  • Unloading and unpacking materials from a new shipment
  • Processing received cargo
  • Driving or flying long distances
  • Operating machinery to ship and deliver people or cargo
  • Ensuring all safety and regulatory restrictions are followed
  • Maintaining and repairing equipment and machinery.

BECOMING A PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND MATERIAL MOVIG OCCUPATIONS

The requirements and prerequisites of the career vary widely in this occupational category. Many of the material moving jobs require only limited education and training, a few not even a high school diploma. Other careers that carry a great deal of responsibility and regulation require postsecondary education and extensive training. (You would probably want your airline pilot to have more than a couple of weeks of class time!) Airline pilots usually need a bachelor's degree, but a commercial pilot only needs a high school diploma. Air traffic controllers earn two- or four-year degrees from an accredited school in order to prepare for their career.

Pre-employment or on-the-job training is common, and can last several weeks or months. Equipment operators will learn relevant laws, codes, and safety procedures in addition to being trained to use the equipment. Heavy equipment operators may have the opportunity to work and train as an apprentice.

Licenses and certifications are necessary for some careers. For some work, this is easy to obtain: a driver's license is a must for working as a truck or delivery driver, as well as for regular transportation jobs as a taxi or bus driver. Locomotive engineers and air traffic controllers are all required to be certified, usually by the federal government, through a process that requires training and education, passing an exam, and meeting other physical requirements. Passing random drug tests may also necessary. There are several possible pilot's licenses possible, depending on the pilot's amount of training, the type of plane, and the kind of cargo that the plane will carry.

IMPORTANT QUALITIES

  • Communication skills Much of the work in this industry is specifically for a customer-installing, maintaining, or repairing a person's car, refrigerator, computer, or appliance. Knowing how to interact with customers, how to explain assessments and fees, and solve problems is a critical, overlooked aspect of these jobs.
  • Customer-service skills. The bigger the job, the more parts involved. Machines and technology involve complex designs and structures and problems arise when even the smallest piece malfunctions. Workers need to be able to focus and have a critical eye for all parts of the project.
  • Hand-eye coordination. Because so much of the work is physical, workers know they will have to get their hands dirty. Pieces, parts, and technology can be delicate and the work precise.
  • Mechanical skills. The mechanical side of the work can be very physically demanding. Machinery and parts must be hauled to the place of installation or replacement, with heavy equipment making the process tiring. The job isn't done until the new fridge makes it from the trunk to the kitchen, no matter how tired you are!
  • Physical strength. In order to fix something, you have to understand how and why it broke in the first place. Isolating problems and coming up with practical, workable solutions is important, especially when the work only requires one person's effort.
  • Physical stamina. In order to fix something, you have to understand how and why it broke in the first place. Isolating problems and coming up with practical, workable solutions is important, especially when the work only requires one person's effort.
  Occupation Description Entry-Level Education 2012 Median Pay
Air traffic controllers Air traffic controllers

Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to ensure that aircraft stay safe distances apart.'

Associate's degree $122,530
Airline and commercial pilots Airline and commercial pilots

Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft. Airline pilots fly for airlines that transport people and cargo on a fixed schedule. Commercial pilots fly aircraft for other reasons, such as charter flights, rescue operations, firefighting, aerial photography, and aerial application, also known as crop dusting.'

High school diploma or equivalent $0
Bus drivers Bus drivers

Bus drivers transport people between various places—including work, school, and shopping malls—and across state or national borders. Some drive regular routes, and others transport passengers on chartered trips or sightseeing tours.'

High school diploma or equivalent $29,550
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area. They drive trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW)—the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—of 26,000 pounds or less. Most of the time, delivery truck drivers transport merchandise from a distribution center to businesses and households.'

High school diploma or equivalent $27,530
Flight attendants Flight attendants Flight attendants provide personal services to ensure the safety and comfort of airline passengers.' High school diploma or equivalent $0
Hand laborers and material movers Hand laborers and material movers

Hand laborers and material movers transport objects without using machines. Some workers move freight, stock, or other materials around in storage facilities; others clean vehicles; some pick up unwanted household goods; and still others pack materials for moving.'

Less than high school $22,970
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks whose gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity—that is, the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—exceeds 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.'

Postsecondary non-degree award $38,200
Material moving machine operators Material moving machine operators

Material moving machine operators use machinery to transport various objects. Some operators move construction materials around building sites or the land around a mine. Others move goods around a warehouse or onto container ships.'

Vary by the type of job $31,530
Railroad occupations Railroad occupations

Workers in railroad occupations ensure that passenger and freight trains run on time and travel safely. Some workers drive trains, some coordinate the activities of the trains, while others operate signals and switches in the rail yard.'

High school diploma or equivalent $52,400
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs drive people to and from the places they need to go, such as airports, homes, shopping centers, and workplaces. They must know their way around a city in order to take both residents and visitors to their destinations.'

Less than high school $22,820
Water transportation occupations Water transportation occupations

Workers in water transportation occupations operate and maintain vessels that take cargo and people over water. These vessels travel to and from foreign ports across the ocean, to domestic ports along the coasts, across the Great Lakes, and along the country’s many inland waterways.'

Requirements vary by the type of job. $48,980
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