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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Transportation

Majors Overview April 10, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in transportation and their coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Transportation

Even students without prior college experience are allowed to seek admittance to transportation bachelor’s degree programs. However, only associate’s degree holders can enroll in some programs. Coursework mainly focuses on shipping regulations, international commerce, and the logistical support aimed at moving passengers or freight.

Students are allowed to focus their study on maritime or airline transportation. Schools offer minors in intermodal transportation, which involves the movement of cargo through the use of two or more methods of shipping, or security. An internship or capstone experience with a transportation company is available in most bachelor’s degree programs.

Students enrolled in the program get hands-on experience in managing commerce. Earning a degree in air transportation may require students to complete their internship at an airport; a seaport or merchant vessel is the likely venue of a maritime transportation student’s internship. The industry requires transportation majors to apply their skills as administrative specialists, consultants, or managers.


The basic curriculum focuses on commercial law, written communications, business administration, and economics apart from coursework in airport or maritime security, even as students learn about transportation industry regulations. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Intermodal commerce
•International policy
•Risk management
•Transportation insurance
•Supply chain management

Career Choices

Armed with only a high school diploma or a two-year degree, interested individuals may seek labor positions in all three areas; however, those aspiring for management positions would need to hold a bachelor’s degree. Those interested in employment in one of the three industries may choose from positions such as the following:

•Baggage handler
•Customs inspector
•Logistical support specialist

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, about 8,771,690 individuals were employed in transportation and material moving jobs in the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Various occupations in this broad field include taxi driving and airline piloting.

In 2012, these workers brought home an average annual wage of $28,960. Delivery service or light truck driving is a specific example of transportation services. Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, 15% job growth rate have been predicted for these workers (BLS). In 2014, delivery services and light truck drivers brought in an average annual wage of $33,870.

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