Most careers within the dynamic sectors of transportation and logistics earn a salary of $40,000 or more — some without a college degree.

There are plenty of career opportunities to explore within the vast and diverse industries of transportation and logistics.

While some careers in this sector may be a bit harder to attain, such as an airfield operations specialist or ship engineer, many others are in demand and just a few classes or certifications away. The following are just a small fraction of these jobs:


Truck driver — $41,420 median salary

Roughly 1.7 million truck drivers were employed in the U.S. as of May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ohio has one of the highest truck-driver employment levels in the nation, perhaps because central Ohio is within a 10-hour drive of 47 percent of the U.S. population and manufacturing operations facilities, according to Columbus 2020, a nonprofit, economic-growth organization for the region.

That being said, there is still a need for more truck drivers, said Michael Ferrando, training and recruiting manager at ODW Logistics, a Columbus-based, third-party logistics (3PL) company.

“Over the next 10 years, we need almost 900,000 drivers in America, and there is a 47,000 driver shortage right now,” Ferrando said. One obstacle is finding enough people who are qualified.

Truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which is usually acquired through a several-month-long professional truck driving school. Once hired, drivers receive on-the-job training. The Ohio Department of Transportation also requires truck drivers to obtain a medical card from a government-approved physician to confirm that the individual is fit to drive a commercial vehicle.

And as technology becomes more integrated with truck driving — all of the trucks used by ODW Logistics have touch-screen computers used for directions, logging, invoice tracking and billing — it’s imperative for drivers to be good with computers, Ferrando said.

To make truck-driving positions more attractive, companies often offer sign-on bonuses, higher salaries and opportunities to be home every night, said Brad Hunt, recruiting and safety manager at FST Logistics.

Bus driver — $39,790 median salary

For those wary of operating an 80,000-pound semi truck across the nation’s busy highways but still interested in making a degree-level salary without a college education, public bus driving could be the answer.

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), for instance, pays its starting bus operators $17.50 an hour plus benefits, said Lisa Myers, public and media relations manager at COTA. To be considered for the full-time job you must be 21, have a valid drivers license and go through an eight-week training program, during which pay is $13 an hour, Myers said.

“We really look for someone with customer-service experience, because about 90 percent of your job besides driving a bus and knowing your route is greeting people and helping them find their way,” she added. 

Diesel service technician/truck mechanic — $45,644 median salary

Individuals in this role manage diesel equipment operation by completing inspections and preventive maintenance, diagnosing and correcting vehicle deficiencies and making adjustments and alignments. Typically a high school diploma and relevant technical certification and training is required. 


Dispatcher — $41,732 median salary

Dispatchers deliver items to customers by verifying orders, performing stock inventory and arranging transportation. They need strong communication and customer service skills, and must be able to work closely and effectively with other employees at the company. A minimum of a high school diploma is required.

Logistics/process engineer — $74,280 median salary

At larger companies, logistics and process engineers may look at a wide variety of data to make the operation more efficient. Some of the data may include revenue per stop, on-time percentages, and ways to optimize routes, delivery schedules and fuel use, Smith says. They may also develop ways to track this data efficiently and ensure compliance with local, state and federal rules.

To fill this role most companies are looking for a bachelor’s in supply-chain management or process engineering. These fields of study will teach you things such as system dynamics, decision-making and database management. 

Account Executive — $68,770 median salary

Salespeople at logistics firms are responsible for working with customers across a variety of industries and geographical regions to provide supply-chain solutions that bring value and improvements to their businesses.

This story was originally published in The Columbus Dispatch’s Careers in Transportation special print section on April 26, 2017. Copyright 2017 — Monster, World Wide Inc. All Rights Reserved. Parts of this article originally appeared on