What Is a Transportation Operations Director?

Explore the career requirements for transportation operations directors. Get the facts about education requirements, salary, and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Logistics & Transportation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Transportation Operation Director?

Transportation operations directors are upper level managers that ensure inventory and transportation needs are met within a company. They are in charge of a business' supply chain, which is how a product gets from the supplier to customers. They oversee the entire life cycle including but not limited to acquisition, distribution, and delivery. These individuals are necessary for every industry and often have to work quickly and in stressful environments. They must have strong communication, problem solving, and organizational skills. See the table below for some quick career facts about transportation operations directors.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Logistics or business administration
Key Responsibilities Create policies and safety procedures, supervise staff, establish company goals and objectives, implement and improve the usage of technology, formulate budgets, monitor transportation expenditures
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 2% (for all logisticians)
Median Salary (2017)** $98,911 (for all logistics directors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Job Duties Would I have As a Transportation Operations Director?

As a transportation operations director, you might establish company policies and safety procedures, ensuring compliance through safety meetings and audits. Director positions are usually upper management, and you might need to supervise management staff. With other managers and departmental directors, you'll be responsible for setting company goals and objectives, implementing or improving technology usage, formulate budgets and overseeing all transportation expenditures. You'll also need to provide customer service support, ensure shipment scheduling and maintain contracts with equipment and materials suppliers.

What Educational Will I Need?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, bachelor's degrees are usually preferred for managerial positions in the transportation and warehousing industries (www.bls.gov). Several schools offer undergraduate degree programs in logistics or business administration. Undergraduate logistics programs cover transportation methods, international shipping and customs brokering. You'll learn legal issues for global shipping and trade, as well as high-level business topics, such as economics, statistics and information security. Although you won't directly handle inventory, your courses will teach you inventory and warehouse control and supply chain management.

If you major in business, you might find programs that offer concentrations in shipping and logistics or allow you to take some focused electives in the field. Common subjects in a business program include finance, marketing and accounting. You'll learn how to manage effectively, make business decisions and offer strategic planning for your department or company. With academic business training and management experience, employers might provide you with transportation-specific training on the job.

How Much Could I Expect to Earn?

In January 2017, PayScale.com reported that the 10th to 90th percentile of salaries for logistics directors ranged from $54,643 to $144,190. The salary site indicated that new directors that had 0-5 years experience earned a median salary of $59,000 and directors with 5-10 years experience in the field earned $93,000.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Cost estimators analyze data in order to evaluate how much time, money, materials and labor are required to complete a project. Industrial engineers create systems in order to get rid of excess in the production of a product or service. Quality control inspectors look for defects in products. All of these positions require individuals to have a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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