CILT(UK) > Careers > Online Careers Service > Career Pathways > Transport Management

Careers in Transport Management

What is transport management?

The process of ensuring that passengers and freight are provided with the services they need and are delivered to the right place, at the right time, after the highest possible quality journey and at the right price.


What skills and personal qualities are required?

  • Ability to ‘get on’ with people from all walks of life

  • Analytical and IT skills at various levels

  • Flexibility – it’s a 24/7 and 365 day a year industry – so shift work is likely

  • Languages – especially if you plan to specialise in the travel/tourism sector

  • Teamwork skills

  • Ability to perform under pressure and develop a good blend of management skills

  • Ability to take responsibility – often at quite a young age

What types of organisations employ professional transport managers?

  • National and local government

  • Passenger transport companies – all modes: road, rail, air and sea

  • Construction companies

  • Freight transport companies – all modes: road, rail, air, sea and inland waterways

  • Travel and tourist companies

  • Utilities companies

  • Seaports and airports

  • Public sector – armed services, National Health Service

  • Supermarkets and retailers

  • Manufacturing companies

  • Specialist consultancies

What types of opportunities exist for transport managers?

  • Transport planning

  • Customer services

  • Engineering and design

  • Research and development

  • IT

  • Health and safety

  • Environment

What’s the starting salary?

For graduate trainees the starting salary would be around £18,000 dependent on type of organisation, location and role.  There are non-graduate opportunities but these salaries are more difficult to gauge and would vary according to type of role, age, experience, qualifications, company size and location. 

There are apprenticeship opportunities in transport-related occupations (there are separate sites for each of the four nations):

What qualifications are required?

Good GCSEs, followed by A Levels (or Standards and Highers in Scotland) in numerical or analytical subjects (maths, sciences, geography, history, English) and modern languages.

There are direct entry opportunities into the sector with good GCSEs/Standards and/or A Levels/Highers, for example, apprenticeships or other opportunities with on-the-job training

Good quality degree – there are specialist transport-related degrees and some roles may require an engineering degree but for general roles most degrees are acceptable to recruiters

Many organisations encourage employees to study for professional qualifications to support their career progression.  Professional and post-graduate qualifications are available at a number of colleges and universities and can be studied full-time, part-time or on a distance/online learning basis.  The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (www.ciltuk.org.uk) offers a range of qualifications up to an online MSc programme in international logistics and supply chain management.

Some Useful Websites

  • For more information on working in transport management visit the following websites:

    www.ciltuk.org.uk The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport is the leading professional association for those involved in all aspects of logistics and transport.

    www.careersinpassengertransport.org/ website developed by GoSkills, the Sector Skills Council for Passenger Transport, providing a range of information about careers and development.

    www.jobs-in-transport.com recruitment site for transport professionals, includes section for graduates

    www.tps.org.uk information about transport planning careers

    www.allaboutcareers.com this links to the pages on transport careers, forming part of a more general careers website aimed at 16-24 year olds

    www.icould.com this links to videos profiling people working in transport

    www.prospects.ac.uk this links to the pages on transport careers – the site cover general careers information for graduates

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