Ground Transportation and Distribution

If you enjoy being out on the road, a career in ground transportation could be a good fit for you. For more information about driving positions, earnings and training programs in ground transportation, read on.

Is Ground Transportation and Distribution for Me?

Career Overview

Ground transportation and distribution professionals help move people and products around cities and across cities. They include bus drivers, delivery drivers or truck drivers. Delivery drivers usually work in a specific region, moving goods from distribution centers to homes and businesses. While some drivers may transport the same goods on each trip, others might be responsible for hazardous or unusual goods.

While local bus and delivery drivers are able to go home each day after their routes are finished, long-distance drivers are sometimes away from home for weeks at a time. Bus drivers who work for public transit systems may encounter dangerous passengers, increasing their risk of injury; long distance drivers might suffer from fatigue.

Career Options

As a truck driver, you may be able to choose your own routes or earn more money with experience. A combination of education and experience might help you acquire the knowledge and skills you'll need to operate your own transportation business. At larger companies, you may advance to a position as a supervisor or manager. Many employers prefer to hire managers or promote workers who have degrees in business.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of bus drivers, heavy truck operators and tractor-trailer drivers was expected to increase by an average rate nationwide from 2012-2022. During the same period, job openings for delivery truck drivers were predicted to grow by a slower-than-average rate nationwide. In May 2013, the median annual wage for light truck and delivery drivers was $29,170, while bus drivers and heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers earned $36,700 and $38,700, respectively (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Ground Transportation and Distribution?

Commercial Driver's License Programs

Some schools offer Commercial Driver's License (CDL) programs, which may be required by some companies and states. Individual employers might also provide on-the-job training. In a CDL program, you could receive training in truck driving and job seeking or acquire operations and control skills. Bus drivers receive up to eight weeks of behind-the-wheel and classroom instruction.

Educational Programs

A bachelor's degree in business might be a good option if you want to become a manager or operate your own transportation business. Areas of specialization can include management, marketing or entrepreneurship. A concentration in management may cover topics in organizational behavior, supply chain management and operations planning.

Licensing

All bus and truck drivers need to have a commercial driver's license. Delivery drivers usually qualify with a standard driver's license.

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