6 Of the Best Paying Jobs In Transportation [2024]

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Are you planning on a career in the transportation field, but you want to know what the best paying jobs in transportation are? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Our research has come up with six of the highest paying transportation jobs. One of them may be the right career choice for you.

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  2. Search on ZipRecruiter. If you want to land a transportation job, start your search on ZipRecruiter! ZipRecruiter is free for job seekers and you can apply for jobs with a single click!

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6 Of the Highest Paying Transportation Jobs

 1. Commercial Pilots

Median National Salary: $148,900/year

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in transportation, engineering or business

Number of Jobs: 142,600

Job Growth 2022 – 2032: 4% (As fast as average)

Job Duties: Commercial pilots fly for major airlines, air freight companies, and private 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.

The exact pay level will depend on whether a pilot is a lead pilot, copilot, or a flight engineer. In addition to education requirements, they are also required to complete flight training with an independent FAA certified flight instructor or school. Pilots also often have military experience and are required to undergo on-the-job training as specified by government regulations.

 2. Air Traffic Controller

Median National Salary: $132,250/year

Education Required: Associates degree

Number of Jobs: 23,000

Job Growth 2022 – 2032: 1% (Little or no change)

Job Duties: Air-traffic controllers coordinate the movement of aircraft in airports and the skies above them. The purpose is to maintain safe distances to avoid collisions and other hazards.

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. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree must be completed from the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative, as well as satisfactory completion of exams and courses through the Federal Aviation Administration academy.

3. Railroad Workers

Median National Salary: $68,960/year

Education Required: High school diploma

Number of Jobs: 78,600

Job Growth 2022 – 2032: 1% (Little or no change)

Job Duties: Railroad workers are responsible for the safe operation of both passenger and freight trains. The classification involves different functions, including train drivers, operation of control signals and switches, and coordination of training 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.

 4. Water Transportation Workers

Median National Salary: $66,100/year

Education Required: No formal education requirements but most jobs require the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) from the Transportation Security Administration and a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), plus any related endorsements, from the U.S. Coast Guard

Number of Jobs: 83,200

Job Growth 2022 – 2032: 2% (As fast as average)

Job Duties: 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 may work on large deep-sea container ships transporting manufactured goods, or on bulk carriers transporting iron ore, coal and other heavy commodities, as well as tankers carrying fuel and other liquids.

Different classifications include captains, mates, pilots, sailors, ship engineers, marine boilers, and motorboat operators.

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5. Flight Attendants

Median National Salary: $63,760/year

Education Required: High school diploma or equivalent

Number of Jobs: 111,100

Job Growth 2022 – 2032: 11% (Much faster than average)

Job Duties: Flight attendants are assigned to tend to passengers on commercial airliners. The job goes way beyond passenger care. Flight attendants also participate in preflight briefings with pilots, conduct preflight inspections of emergency equipment, maintain safety procedures on board aircraft, and take care of passengers with special needs.

They may also be called upon to reassure nervous passengers, administer and coordinate emergency medical care, and provide directions during an aircraft evacuation. The work involves irregular hours, including nights and weekends, and may require overnight stays in distant cities.

For more information, check out our guide on how to become a flight attendant.

 6. Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Salaried Truck Drivers

Median National Salary: $49,920/year

Education Required: Postsecondary non-degree award

Number of Jobs: 2,192,300

Job Growth 2022 – 2032: 4% (As fast as average)

Job Duties: Heavy and tractor-trailer salaried truck drivers represent one of the most common occupations in the transportation field, with nearly 2 million positions. Work centers primarily on the transportation of goods across the country. This type of work is considered a lifestyle as much as an occupation because drivers are often on the road for days or weeks at a time.

While most employers do require drivers to have a high school diploma or equivalent, they are also expected to take training courses specializing in maneuvering large vehicles on highways and through crowded streets. In the process, they’ll also learn federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving. Courses are usually taken at a community college, and last between three and six months.

Best Places To Find High Paying Transportation Jobs

Use these job posting sites to find high-paying transportation jobs.


ZipRecruiter gets our vote for being the top job search platform of the many in the industry. It’s completely free for job seekers to use, and it allows you to create a personal profile, as well as post your resume. What’s more, ZipRecruiter will helps you apply for jobs with just one click. It’s an excellent source for finding high paying transportation jobs.

For more information, check out our ZipRecruiter review.

Discover Your Dream Job

Find jobs near you and apply with 1 click! New jobs posted daily.

Get Started With ZipRecruiter
ZipRecruiter logo


Indeed may be the largest job board in the world, being used by more than 200 million jobseekers each month in dozens of countries. It’s free to use, and you can upload your resume to the platform. The site provides company reviews, as well as email notifications alerting your new job postings that match your profile.

For more information, check out our Indeed review.


Careerbuilder is one of the longest running job boards in the industry, with a history stretching back more than 20 years. In addition to job postings, the site also provides career advice, tips and training to help you be better prepared for the next job move. It’s also free for job hunters.

For more information, check out our CareerBuilder review.

If you’re an employer looking to fill a transportation job, or any other position, check out our list of the Best Free Job Posting Sites.

The Bottom Line

The transportation field is a diverse one for careers, one that will give you an opportunity to choose the right occupational niche for you. Just as important, many of the jobs in this field do not require a college education.

Find your transportation job on ZipRecruiter today!