Best Paying Jobs In Transportation In 2022 (Updated)

29 Best Paying Jobs In Transportation In 2022 (Updated)

The best paying jobs in transportation can earn you huge annual wages and incredible retirement benefits. Air, water, and land travel are all part of the transportation sector. In other words, there are numerous career options in the transportation industry.

The best paying jobs in transportation include: Ship Mate, Port Engineer, Vessel Operator, Shipwright, Able Seaman, Ships’ Security Officer, Shipping Broker…

You must be prepared to work sporadic hours and be methodical when adhering to rules and regulations in order to fulfill job responsibilities and adhere to industry standards if you want to succeed in the transportation sector.

Continue reading if you have questions about the pay, job outlook, and application process for the transportation industry.

The Best Paying Transportation Jobs

Ship Mate

Annual salary: $25,000 – $47,500

Working as a crew member on a cargo ship, container ship, transport ship, or other large boat is one of a shipmate’s responsibilities. The duties of a shipmate are determined by your area of expertise and the requirements of the ships you are assigned to. They may be in control of the onboard systems, or you might help with the boat’s navigation or steering.

Port Engineer

Annual salary: $70,000 – $98,000 

A port engineer is responsible for handling the technical aspects of maintaining and developing a port’s infrastructure. In the marine transportation industry, this is one of the highest-paying positions. You are responsible for maintaining and repairing ships, and part of your job includes making sure that engineering work conforms with safety requirements and marine rules.

Making sure engineering work complies with maritime law and safety regulations is crucial to your career.

Vessel Operator

Annual salary: $62,000 – $85,000 

The vessel operator is responsible for overseeing a variety of duties performed on board, such as payroll, payments, and paperwork. You are required as a ship operator to attend meetings with stevedores, independent contractors, agents, and crew members. 

Additionally, you need to manage manifests, bills of lading, indemnity letters, and productivity reports. You must also find ways to boost productivity.


Annual salary: $85,113 

A shipwright is a person who designs and builds ships. Building marine and ship vessels is the primary focus of the highly skilled profession of a shipwright. Shipwrights construct the hull and each fitting on a ship. It was challenging to build a ship. Throughout the winter, ships were constructed in outdoor shipyards. For example, drills and riveters were both dangerous and noisy.

Able Seaman

Annual salary: $45,500 – $60,500

On a commerce ship, a skilled seaman is capable of performing many different duties. They could also be asked to steer the boat, keep an eye out for dangers, handle cargo, operate the emergency equipment, clean and maintain the area, and enforce security protocols.

Ships’ Security Officer

Annual salary: $36,062

An essential component of the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) code is the ship security officer (SSO). To secure the safety of the ship, the company and the master hire the SSO. One of the main responsibilities of a ship safety officer is to implement and enforce the ship security plan while working with the business and port security personnel.

Shipping Broker

Annual salary: $59,457

Buying, selling, and transporting cargo are duties that fall under the purview of a ship broker. This has less to do with theory and more to do with trade and being knowledgeable with the rules of the game. This is a challenging but rewarding career. Being a ship broker entails mediating conflicts between ship owners and charterers.

Manager Of The Marine Service Department

Annual salary: $62,500

The main responsibility of a marine service manager is to oversee the maintenance of waterborne vehicles. As a maritime service manager, you have a responsibility to conduct vessel inspections. If you want to work in this field, you might need to be familiar with the laws and rules governing shipping or commercial fishing.

Shipment Freight Broker

Annual salary: $43,262

The shipping broker serves as a middleman between those with access to ships that can transport cargo and those who want to ship cargo. Maritime freight brokers often have challenging and rewarding careers.

Freight brokers are individuals or businesses that shippers hire to serve as a conduit between a vessel’s owner and a motor company to facilitate the transportation of their goods from their point of origin to their destination through a vast network of connections with carriers.

Material Moving Machine Operators

Annual salary: $37,450

Material moving machine operators use levers, wheels, and other equipment to move materials or cargo around. They frequently collaborate with manual laborers at construction sites, airports, and large cargo companies. Sometimes, material moving operators also make minor repairs on their equipment.

Naval Architect

Annual salary: $70,000 – $100,000

Planning, constructing, and maintaining military and commercial vessels as well as offshore infrastructure is the responsibility of a licensed professional engineer known as a naval architect. You use your understanding of physics, materials, engineering, and architecture to manage the equipment needed by boat builders and engineering firms.

Marine Mechanic

Annual salary: $37,500 – $54,500

The maintenance and repair of motorboats and other watercraft is the responsibility of a marine mechanic, also referred to as a boat mechanic. You’ll be in charge of maintaining the mechanical and electrical components of boats as well as any small engines, whether they be gas or diesel. You must be knowledgeable about mechanics and possess the skills needed to locate, analyze, and resolve issues. 

You must have manual dexterity to carry out your duties as a marine mechanic, which require handling tools and mechanical components with your hands.

Ship Superintendent

Annual salary: $102,000 – $143,000

A ship superintendent is in charge of making sure that all repairs are done properly, particularly when the ship is in a dry dock. The pay for this position is among the highest in the marine transportation industry. In a shipyard or dockyard, the job of managing and monitoring a repair project falls to the ship superintendent.

Marine Welder

Annual salary: $35,500 – $50,000

In order to weld on offshore equipment, a marine welder must dive beneath the surface. They develop their expertise for industrial clients while working in a variety of aquatic environments. Most often, the American Welding Society and other reliable organizations certify these knowledgeable craftspeople. They can perform hyperbaric welding at various depths because they are certified divers.

Marine Painter

Annual salary: $33,500 – $43,000

Painting ships and other nautical structures is the job of a marine painter. You will be in charge of painting structures and containers in this line of work, using brushes, rollers, and possibly specialized spray equipment. To inhibit corrosion or create a barrier that seals the boat, certain materials are occasionally used.

Marine Service Manager

Annual salary: $53,000 – $82,000

The primary responsibility of a marine service manager is overseeing boat repairs. One of a marine service manager’s duties is inspecting a ship while it is docked or performing seagoing operations. You collaborate with artisans to complete these improvements and suggest essential maintenance and safety changes to the ship’s owners or operators.

Passenger Vehicle Drivers

Annual salary: $34,670

Drivers of passenger vehicles transport passengers to various locations, as their name suggests. Intercity, interstate, or cross-border movements of people are all possible. Their responsibilities include checking the tires, oil, and lights of the vehicle to ensure they are in good condition. School buses, chauffeurs, and taxi drivers all fall into this category.

Bus Drivers, Transit And Intercity

Annual salary:  $59,500 annual ($21.00 hour)

What they do*:People-moving services that cross state or national borders and connect people to a variety of locations, such as workplaces, schools, and shopping centers. Some drive regular routes, while others perform chartered trips or sightseeing tours.

Training/certification needed: a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which is occasionally obtained through on-the-job instruction.


Annual salary:  $95,000 annual ($50.00 hour)

Commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters and other aircraft. Commercial pilots operate aircraft for other purposes, such as charter flights, search and rescue missions, firefighting, and aerial photography, in contrast to airline pilots, who fly for companies that transport passengers and cargo on a set schedule.


Annual salary: $63,500 ($22.00 hour)

They operate mechanical boom-and-cable or tower-and-cable machinery to lift and move objects, such as machines or goods, in a variety of directions. Also, operates a forklift to move materials, goods, and machinery.

Training/certification needed: a completion of vocational school, an associate’s degree and/or related on-the-job experience is required.

Flight Attendants

Annual salary: $59,050

On commercial aircraft, flight attendants are responsible for caring for the passengers. The work goes far beyond providing for passengers. Additionally, flight attendants assist with preflight briefings with pilots, check emergency equipment before takeoff, uphold safety protocols on board, and look after passengers with special needs.

They may also be needed to calm anxious passengers, manage and coordinate emergency medical care, and give instructions during an aircraft evacuation. The work involves erratic hours, which may include weekends and nights, and may necessitate spending the night in far-off cities.

Best Paying Jobs In Transportation In 2022 (Updated)
Best Paying Jobs In Transportation In 2022 (Updated)

Heavy And Tractor-trailer Salaried Truck Drivers

Annual salary: $47,130

With almost 2 million positions, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers rank among the most prevalent professions in the transportation industry. The majority of work is focused on cross-country freight transportation. Drivers frequently spend days or weeks at a time on the road, so this type of work is seen as more of a lifestyle than an occupation.

While the majority of employers do demand that drivers possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, they are also expected to complete training programs that focus on controlling big vehicles on highways and through congested streets. In the process, they’ll also learn federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving. Community colleges typically offer three- to six-month courses that can be taken there.

Truck Drivers

Annual salary: $63,000 annual ($21.00 hour)

What they do is move products between locations. The majority of tractor-trailer drivers drive vehicles with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity of more than 26,000 pounds and deliver goods along intercity routes, which can occasionally cross multiple states.

Training/certification needed: Typically, a high school diploma, successful completion of professional truck driving school, and a CDL are required.

Dump Truck Driver

Annual salary: $56,500 annual ($19.00 hour)

What they do: Gather and load recyclables and trash from containers into trucks. possibly operate the truck.

Training/certification needed: training while working and, in some cases, a CDL.


Annual salary: $93,000 annual ($45.00 hour)

What they do: Conduct research, design, creation, maintenance, and testing on the functionality of running and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment.

Training/certification needed: completion of an engineering degree, in the majority of cases.

Shipping Loaders – Warehouse

Annual salary: $69,000 annual ($46.00 hour)

They use material moving equipment to load and unload materials into or from tank cars, trucks, and ships.

Need for training/certification typically, a high school diploma along with on-the-job training and/or completion of a recognized apprenticeship program.

Commercial Pilots

Annual salary: $130,440

Commercial pilots work for well-known airlines, air cargo businesses, and independent employers. Pilots may fly commercial airliners, private planes, and even helicopters Because of the nature of the work, schedules are variable, and often include overnight layovers.

Whether a pilot is a lead pilot, copilot, or flight engineer will determine their exact pay grade. They must also complete flight training with an independent FAA-certified flight instructor or school in addition to meeting the educational requirements. Additionally, pilots frequently have military background, and government regulations mandate that they complete on-the-job training.

Air Traffic Controller

Annual salary: $130,420

 Aviation movements in airports and in the skies above them are coordinated by air traffic controllers. The goal is to keep safe distances between vehicles to prevent collisions and other risks.

 Air-traffic controllers work in control towers, route centers, and approach control facilities. Rotating shifts are common in the field, including work at night and on weekends. The Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative requires associate’s or bachelor’s degrees, as well as the successful completion of exams and courses at the Federal Aviation Administration academy.

Railroad Workers

Annual salary: $64,210

The safe running of both passenger and freight trains is the responsibility of railroad employees. Different roles are classified, including those of train drivers, operators of switches and control signals, and coordinators of instructional activities. The majority of employees work full-time.

A high school diploma is required to be a railroad worker, or the equivalent, plus several months of on-the-job training.

Water Transportation Workers

Annual salary: $59,250

Water transportation workers operate and maintain non-military vessels. The job involves not only operating ships, but also maintaining the safety of passengers and cargo. They might be employed by massive deep-sea container ships moving manufactured goods, bulk carriers moving iron ore, coal, and other heavy cargoes, or tankers moving fuel and other liquids.

There are many different categories, such as captains, mates, pilots, sailors, ship engineers, marine boilers, and motorboat drivers.

How Do You Define A Transportation Job?

A typical job in transportation is best suited to someone who is methodical, objective, and direct because it frequently necessitates adhering to set procedures and rules. Transportation jobs might interest you if you enjoy working with tools, machinery, and instruments to repair equipment. As well as taking charge of organizing, coordinating, and deciding how you and others work, you might also need to direct others. Being independent and self-directing is typically a requirement for jobs in transportation. While it is typical to start out in an entry-level position, you may have the chance to advance in your career and become a supervisor, driver trainer, safety officer, or truck dispatcher as you gain experience. See more about Best Jobs In The U.S. Army

What Is The Job Of A Truck Driver?

As a truck driver, you might transport goods and materials over long distances by operating and driving vehicles. The majority of these vehicles are tractor-trailer, long-combination, and straight-body trucks, and they are frequently very large, weighing over 4500 kg. To transport goods or cargo internationally, you may plan your trip’s logistics and acquire the necessary paperwork. You might also perform on-site material hauling and dumping work in the mining or construction industries.

Truck drivers might inspect vehicle equipment, accessories, and systems, such as turn signals, brakes, cold storage, and lights by performing inspections before, during, and after the trip. A driver frequently adheres to safety protocols when transporting dangerous goods to ensure cargo is safe and secure. Using the onboard computers and communication equipment, they can communicate with the dispatchers and other truck drivers. Other duties often include:

  • recording hours of service, fuel consumption, distance travelled and cargo information
  • administering bills and maintaining logbooks, either manually or electronically
  • performing emergency roadside repairs
  • driving as a part of a two-person team or convoy
  • transporting hazardous products or dangerous goods

What Is A Class 1 License?

Because a Class 1 license entitles you to operate the majority of vehicles, such as delivery trucks, haulers, and commercial trucks, it gives you the chance to work in a variety of transportation-related careers. In your province, an entry-level training course may be mandatory to take before you can book your Class 1 license road test. Other requirements might apply, such as having a Z license with an air brake endorsement for drivers of air brake-equipped vehicles. You can check your provincial licensing body to see how to apply. See more about Best Paying Jobs In Broadcasting

Is A Job In Transportation Physically Demanding?

The following physical abilities are frequently necessary for truck driving, which is a physical activity:

  • near and far vision, depth perception, and peripheral vision for driving vehicles
  • colour discrimination for observing signals
  • verbal interaction and hearing
  • sitting for long periods of time
  • strength and the ability to pull, push, lift, or move objects

What Are Transportation Jobs Worth?

The median annual wage for jobs in transportation is $36,860, but this can vary depending on your position. In the transportation sector, your yearly salary will depend on the business, the location, and your level of expertise. For instance, airline pilots earn more than $100,000 annually.

Transportation Job Outlook

The transportation sector is expected to grow by nine percent between 2020 and 2030, creating 1.1 million new jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. People and goods will still be transported using a variety of modes of transportation in almost every section. For instance, the movement of large cargo along interstate and intracity routes by truck drivers is crucial to the economy.

Transportation Job Satisfaction

Benefits, pay, and working conditions all play a role in how happy a worker is in the transportation sector. Benefits, vehicle conditions, and pay, for example, are all factors that affect job satisfaction in the public transportation industry. All these factors influence job performance. Additionally, you have control over those factors if you drive a private commercial vehicle.

Resources To Find The Best-paying Jobs In Transportation

  • Job Boards. A job board is among the best places to begin your search for a transportation position. The job you’re applying for has a good description on job boards. You must learn how to write a strong cover letter and resume in order to get the job because postings on job boards receive a lot of applications.
  • the online presence of the US Department of Transportation. Normal job openings are at the US Department of Transportation. It is surprisingly one of the best places to find a job in transportation. The US Department of Transportation’s job openings accept applications from both degree- and non-degree-seeking candidates.
  • Online Platforms. You can check out the websites of the best transportation companies for opportunities. Usually, the company’s website will list any job openings that are available. Before sending in your application, always double-check the job specifications.
  • Social Media. On social media, businesses also post job openings. You should follow a few of the transportation businesses on social media if you want to work there. You will probably notice a job opening on their social media profiles if one is present.
  • Job Agency. For a variety of positions, including those for flight engineers, diesel engine specialists, and bus drivers, top transportation companies frequently favor using employment agencies. A fee may be assessed by employment agencies if you are hired as a result of their recommendations.

What Is A Good Career Path In Transportation?

A career in transportation offers a variety of career options with high expected income and potential job growth rates. What’s more, transportation is vital to every economy and everyday life. Without transportation, passengers and goods cannot arrive at their destinations. Although you might have to work irregular hours, the advantages of working in transportation far outweigh the disadvantages.

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Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot

You need to differentiate yourself with more than just a driver’s license and a passion for driving or flying in order to land high-paying jobs at the best transportation companies. Attend classes that advance your knowledge in the area of transportation that interests you to improve your resume.

FAQs About Best Paying Jobs In Transportation

Which positions in the transportation sector have the highest salaries?

Commercial and airline pilots, truck drivers, air traffic controllers, and flight attendants are some examples of high-paying positions in the transportation sector.

What will it take to become a truck driver?

A postsecondary training program and a number of training courses to become certified in the trucking industry are the educational prerequisites for becoming a truck driver. Due to the size of their vehicles, truck drivers must attend accredited driving schools to perfect their driving on challenging routes.

What are the top firms to work with in the transportation industry?

A few of the best transportation companies to work for are UPS, DHL, FedEx, Swift Transportation, Amazon, Delta, American Airlines, and United Airlines.

What does a truck driver make per hour?

According to the BLS, the hourly wage for truck drivers is typically $22.66. Some truck drivers earn more, depending on their experience and the trucking companies they work for. A trucking career is one of the high-paying jobs in the transportation sector.

Is Transportation a Good Field?

Yes, transportation services is a good career path.
One of the most crucial sectors of the American economy is transportation services. For both businesses and consumers, the movement of people and goods is essential. For those who are interested, careers in transportation offer many great opportunities.

Is Transportation in High Demand?

Overall employment in transportation and material moving occupations is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations; this increase is expected to result in about 861,800 new jobs over the decade.

Final Words

The post focused on the best paying jobs in transportation.

Due to numerous factors, truck driver compensation varies greatly. A driver who makes more money than the average driver typically has more experience, carries challenging loads, keeps a clean driving record, is willing to take on risk, and travels to remote locations. 

As an illustration, hazmat drivers are required to drive their commercial vehicles with extra caution and awareness when transporting hazardous, toxic materials. Even a minor accident involving hazardous materials could force entire towns to be evacuated. A material leak or even worse, an explosion, could happen and potentially result in a mass casualty event or environmental harm. 

It is simple to understand why a hazmat drivers must be more concerned with safety and why they are paid more than average when you compare the risks of transporting hazardous materials with those associated with the typical dry van load of toilet paper.  However, if transporting hazardous materials isn’t appealing to you, you have other options besides transporting hazardous materials to increase your pay. 

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