Transportation Economic Trends


Employment in Transportation:

Employment in Transportation Related Occupations by Industry

Employment in transportation and related industries and employment in transportation occupations are two ways to measure the Nation’s transportation workforce. This page looks at the two together; specifically, annual employment in transportation occupations by industry. For monthly employment by industry see the Monthly Employment in the Transportation and Warehousing Sector page.

2022 Year-in-Review

  • In 2022, the transportation and warehousing sector employed the largest number of persons in transportation and related occupations (3.9 million).
  • The service sector is the largest non-transportation sector to employ transportation workers (2.5 million), followed by the wholesale and retail trade sector (2.3 million).
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver is the largest transportation occupation in the transportation and warehousing sector (1.2 million), earning $51,680 annually. In the transportation and warehousing sector, commercial pilots earn the highest wage of $115,840 but are few in number - only 29,090, or less than 1% of the number of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. 
  • Driver/sales worker is the largest transportation occupation in the service sector (281,680) with an annual wage of $33,185. Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers (2,190) receive the highest wage of $127,720 for a transportation occupation in the service sector.
  • Automotive service technicians and mechanics are the largest transportation occupations in the wholesale and retail trade sector (351,810), earning $47,715 annually. Commercial pilots earn the highest wage for a transportation occupation ($132,720) with 600 employees. 

Persons employed in transportation-related occupations work within both the transportation industry and in non-transportation industries. Non-transportation industries employ persons in transportation-related occupations, such as heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers, to carry out in-house transportation operations. Wages vary by the type of occupation, with similar wages paid across industries for the same occupation.
Data do not include the self-employed nor independent contractors.

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Recommended citation
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at www.bts.gov/product/transportation-economic-trends.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.
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