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A Career in Passenger Transport

Public transport is something we all take for granted, whether going to school, to work, or on holiday.  Even car owners still rely on passenger transport from time to time.

The work

Working in passenger transport management can involve several modes of transport or combinations of modes including bus, rail, tram or light rail, air, ship and ferries.  The job will vary depending on the type of organisation but is likely to include day-to-operations management, service planning, financial control, staff management, public relations and marketing activity.

A flexible approach to work is essential as shifts and weekend working often go with the territory for operational roles, whilst there may also be a requirement to relocate during training or to secure promotion.

The skills

Working in passenger transport requires good communications and customer care skills, and employers will be looking for:

  • Flexible and creative problem-solvers
  • Reliability and a willingness to take on responsibility
  • Teamwork and people management skills
  • Planning and prioritising skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Communication skills – written and verbal


Entry requirements

It is possible to start a career in passenger transport with a few GCSEs/Standard grades, including English and maths, right through to a degree or post-graduate qualification.

There are apprenticeship opportunities in transport-related occupations, so it is worth visiting the Apprenticeship websites to see what is available (there are separate sites for each of the four nations):

Salary and career development

With experience and professional qualifications, managers can expect to progress to senior positions within large employers.  Salaries vary considerably between employers, with an average starting salary for a graduate being about £18,000 but rising to £50,000 plus for senior roles.

There is a range of professional qualifications relevant to the sector from transport-specific through to more general management qualifications and employees may be encouraged to study for these either at a local college or by distance learning.  Staff working in operational roles are likely to require a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), an exam-based professional qualification.


There is a mix of employers from the very small through to the larger organisations that form part of multi-national, multi-modal groups and include the following categories:

  • Bus and coach companies
  • Train operating companies
  • Ferry and cruise companies
  • Airlines and airports
  • Local authorities


For more information on passenger transport careers visit the following websites:

  • The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport is the leading professional association for those involved in all aspects of logistics and transport.
  • Confederation of Passenger Transport UK is the trade association for the bus, coach and light rail industries
  • Community Transport Association is national charity supporting voluntary or community groups; social enterprises; and local authorities who provide public transport services.
  • Federation of Passenger Transport in Northern Ireland - representing the Northern Ireland's leading bus and coach operators and industry suppliers.
  • careers information from GoSkills the Sector Skills Council for passenger transport in the UK with additional information available on the main site People 1st and GoSkills merged in July 2011, which means that hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism fall under the same umbrella and can be accessed centrally at –
  • News and information about the sector can be found on the following websites:;
  • Job opportunities are advertised on some of the news websites and can also be found on some of the public sector jobs sites such as and
  • Profiles about working in passenger transport can be found on a number of general careers websites: Overview;;
  • General graduate websites usually list job and placement opportunities as well as job profiles sometimes including video interviews with those working in the sector:;;;;

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