Inside Transportation Manager Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Lots Of Ours Spend On Computers And Studying...
What surprises me is the amount of work involved in this profession. I also thought the class itself was extremely difficult and the biggest challenge I have ever faced." (TCU (Traffic Clerk); 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Massachusetts, male
School: Studied Transportation at Shriver Job Corps in Massachusetts; completed Diploma degree in 2012

"Supply Management Is Quite Demanding...
I was surprised at how lax the management of some systems are. It can be a real madhouse working with carriers, suppliers, and so on. Being able to manage all of that daily takes a lot of concentration. However, getting to know all the people that you do, you gain some valuable contacts whenever you need something shipped. Also, a mild perk, is that you could get to know the dispatchers for packages going to your house." (Logistics Manager; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Global Supply Chain Management at Texas Tech University in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Key Performance Indicators Really Matter...
I was most surprised by how data driven the Public Transit industry is (and continues to become). Almost all of the public funding available to support mobility systems requires extensive planning and evidence based evaluation. As we become more connected to automated reservation systems, smart phone technology and GPS dispatch, our travel shed forecast models almost require a background in computer science. I don't know where I would be today if I hadn't picked up several classes in Standard Query Language. My advise to perspective Transit professionals is to get the most broad training from the best school you can afford. In 20 years you will be amazed at how much of it you will use every day." (Public Transit Director; 2014)

Career: 18 years of experience, currently based in Oregon, male
School: Studied Public Transit And Paratransit Management at Pepperdine University in California; completed Certificate degree in 1999

"Collaborative Environment...
I was surprised at the amount of collaboration needed in Logistics to ensure the entire chain is working efficiently. I was also surprised at the amount of influence one cog in the wheel can have on the entire process." (Logistics Analyst; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Minnesota, male
School: Studied Business at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota; completed Bachelor degree in 2003

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Air Ramp Supervisor: "The worst part about the job is the micro-managing by upper management. It has been my experience that no matter what you do correctly, they always find one thing that may only be 98% perfect and they harp on it. The other bad part of the job is dealing with lazy union workers who get to keep their jobs because of union protection. I find this a ridiculous obstacle. I've had many great employees who couldn't move up due to seniority. The rules are very unfair to these excellent workers." (2009)

Career Background

  Transportation Manager Salaries

Career Tips

"Maintaining A Warehouse Of Contacts...
Take advantage of the contacts you'll make. Make sure to keep them organized and maintain those relationships because, when you move to a new job, you'll have a leg up when you are able to call up anyone and get help." (Logistics Manager; 2014)

"Learn About Statistics And Creative Ways To Assemble Them...
If you want to be a long term success in public transit, I strongly encourage you to get solid training in statistics. As Federal, State and Local funding becomes more scarce it will ultimately flow to those who are best prepared to tell their story in an empirical and compelling way. I would also strongly recommend a casual proficiency with Standard Query Language. The best software in the industry today is no substitute for professionals who can pull and present the data in creative ways." (Public Transit Director; 2014)

"Study Hard...
Study as hard as you can and try your best." (TCU (Traffic Clerk); 2013)

"You Need To Be Tough...
To do this job you can't have a glass jaw: you have to be able to take a verbal punch, at least. I find it is easier to get through the evening if you just look at the situation as a boss and not as a co-worker. You have to hold everyone accountable for any safety issues regardless of friendship. Remember not to take anything personally either. Safety is the most important part of your job. Keep that in mind and everything else will go smoothly ." (Air Ramp Supervisor; 2009)