Great entry-level transportation jobs for college grads
If you’re looking to go places, consider some of these jobs.
If you’re in your senior year and not sure what type of job you want after graduation, you might want to consider a job in the transportation industry. That’s what Marcello Medini wishes he’d done when he graduated from college.
“Right out of college I didn't even consider transportation and instead went to work for two Fortune 500 companies in different industries,” says Medini, a sales team leader at PNG Logistics. “In retrospect, I wish I knew about this industry right out of college as it is a growing and fantastic opportunity.”
If that sounds like the type of opportunity you might like, consider these entry-level transportation jobs for college grads.
CDL truck driver
“College grads actually have a great chance of hopping on board as a truck driver once they get their Commercial Driver's License,” Medini says. “There is currently a shortage of drivers and as the economy improves demand will only increase.”
The work experience combined with a degree can help you move on to other things when you’re ready, adds Erik Bowitz of Copy My Resume.
Third-party logistics is the business of overseeing transportation and warehousing of goods or supplies for other clients. “As a growing field there are openings in customer service, sales, operations, accounting and marketing,” Medini says.
Support industries in ports and transportation hubs
Ports and transportation hubs can be hotbeds for finding transportation jobs with logistics, trucking, shipping and railroad companies, as well as secondary industries such as warehouses, shipping agents and inspectors.
“It’s hard to recruit and retain today’s generation in transportation and logistics because it’s a 24/7 field,” says Mike McCoshen, president of the Hallett Dock Company. It also can be difficult to find people who are willing to work nights, weekends, on call and then go through background checks and and be subject to random drug screens.
Customer relations/marketing specialist
Working as a customer relations marketing specialist in transportation is an entry level job that involves customer service and other functions, says Stephanie Negriff, president of SGN & Associates, a public transportation awareness consultancy. Job duties may include community and social media outreach, and preparing and disseminating printed materials and information, she says. “Degrees in communications, marketing, advertising or public relations would be ideal fit for this job.”
Public sector opportunities
Other entry-level positions related to transportation might include city planning, engineer and civil service, says Negriff. “Public transportation is an often overlooked field for college graduates, but it employs a full range of professional positions.”
Wendy Nolin says she always knew she wanted a job related to travel and so she started her post-college career as a cashier/receptionist for the AAA motor club. There her job duties included interacting with customers, handling cash or financial transactions and rescheduling customers when needed.
Call center employee
Nolin found working as a cashier/receptionist was a good way to get her foot in the door. Next, she says, she heard Alaska Airlines was hiring employees for its reservations call center, and she got a job there. Call center work may involve jobs such as a reservation agent or customer service agent.
Nolin, who now works as a career coach, recommends both receptionist and call center positions for anyone interested in working in travel and transportation, because the positions are good introductions to the industry. “It allows them to begin to build relationships with people who can help them navigate the trends and demands of the industry and understand the inner workings of organizations in order to advance and develop their career."