Employment in Transportation:

Employment in transportation and related industries and employment in transportation occupations are two ways to measure the Nation’s transportation workforce. This page highlights employment in transportation occupations and selected characteristics.
2018 Year-in-Review
  • In May 2018 an estimated 10.0 million people worked in transportation-related occupations as defined by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The largest number (1.8 million) of people worked as heavy-duty trucker drivers.
  • The percentage of part-time workers in transportation and material moving occupations decreased to 21.6 percent in 2018.
  • The average compensation for transportation-related occupations is $6.31 per hour less than the average for all occupations as of the fourth quarter of 2018.
  • Annual wages vary widely, from an average of over $100,000 for airline pilots and air traffic controllers to an average of $24,000 for parking lot attendants. The 5 lowest-wage transportation-related occupations collectively employ 1.1 million workers, while the 5 highest-wage occupations employ about 300,000 workers.

Employment in Transportation-Related Occupations
Many workers hold transportation-related occupations but work in non-transportation sectors, for example truck drivers employed by the wholesale and retail trade sector.
Occupational employment data reveals the full range of transportation jobs by capturing workers employed in transportation-related occupations outside of the transportation sector.

Employment in Transportation-Related Occupations | Employment and Wages of Transportation Related Occupations | Hourly Compensation | Part-time Employment
Because some occupations are more seasonal, analysts use annual wage data instead of the average hourly compensation to compare industry employment categories. Annual wages vary widely with the largest number of workers in the lowest paying occupations and the smallest number in the highest paying.

Compensation includes wages and benefits. Workers holding a transportation or material moving occupation earn less than workers holding any occupation.

Not all workers in transportation work full-time. The percentage of workers employed part-time in transportation and material moving occupations is slightly lower than the percentage of workers employed part-time in all occupations. Workers holding part-time positions tends to rise during periods of economic decline when the number of full-time opportunities tends to decline.



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

Bureau of Transportation Statistics
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.