Careers Service Occupations

Transport

Transport

About

Careers in transport vary and you can find opportunities in air, rail, road and shipping.

Careers advice

Air

Rail

CILT UK looks at careers in rail transport.

Road 

CILT UK also provides information about careers in the bus and coach industry.

Shipping

CILT UK covers careers in the shipping sector, which also includes ports and inland waterways.

Seavision includes maritime careers in leisure maritimeports, and shipping.

Port Skills and Safety describes careers in ports and harbours, and Careers at Sea has lots of job profiles.

Transport planning

CILT UK gives careers in travel planning and sustainable transport information.

Industry news

Soucres of news include Transport Xtra and World Cargo News. 

For the aviation industry, read:

Digital Ship looks at maritime IT developments.

Professional bodies 

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. 

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

The main professional associations for this sector include:

Transport (general)

Air

Rail

Road

Shipping

Transport planning

Making contacts

Making contacts can be helpful for success in this sector. Some jobs in this field come through networking and speculative applications. You could start with:

  • Graduate Connections – graduates happy to give you advice about the kind of work they do
  • social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, which is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities
  • Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn – find out what they did after graduation and contact them for advice
  • Career Mentoring – mentoring programme for Newcastle University students

Events

Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insight and opportunities to make contacts.

Regular events for this sector include Employer presentations.

For more events for this sector see Careers Service events or External Events.

Related sectors

You may also be interested in LogisticsEngineering or Armed Forces, Law Enforcement and Public Protection.

Or see our other occupational pages for more options.

Roles & Skills

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties, entry requirements and case studies.

Air cabin crew

Airline pilot

Air traffic controller

Helicopter pilot

Freight forwarder

Merchant Navy officer

Passenger transport manager

Port/harbour operations manager

Shipbroker

Tall ship captain

Transport planner

Skills employers look for

Employers in this sector look for skills including:

  • communication, interpersonal and team working skills
  • an ability to work well under pressure and remain calm in challenging situations
  • high levels of concentration
  • time management, planning and organisation 
  • problem solving, decision making and using initiative
  • leadership and people management

Gaining Experience

Many larger companies in the transport sector will offer opportunities for work experience, including summer internships or year placements.

Internships and placements

Examples of transport organisations offering advertised work experience include:

TARGETjobs Logistics, transport and supply chain lists more internship and placement schemes.

Also see Internships, placements & shadowing for more advertised opportunities.

Finding work experience

For work experience in smaller companies, or specific areas of work, try contacting companies or individuals working in the sector.  

Be clear about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. 

Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

You can search for local companies who may offer work experience in the North East Graduate Directory.

More resources to find companies are in Finding Jobs.

If companies or individuals are unable to offer work experience, you could gain insight by arranging an informational interview or work shadowing.

Finding Jobs

Competition is strong, especially for entry-level positions. Use the following resources to find advertised vacancies and also research employers for speculative applications.

Vacancy sites

Transport (general)

Air

Rail

Railwaypeople.com and Jobs-in-Rail.co.uk provide details of vacancies.

Shipping

British Marine Federation: Jobs and All cruise jobs give details of posts in shipping.

Transport planning

Transport for London (TfL) and Transport Planning Society: Job Opportunities list opportunities.

Specialist recruitment agencies

CIHT Jobs specialise in transport roles while Red Recruit cover shipping and freight.

Finding companies

Not all jobs are advertised. You could also approach companies or find work through networking in the industry.

Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show you’re keen.

Air

The Royal Aeronautical Society has lists of UK:

Careers in Aerospace has a company directory, and the International Air Transport Association lists international airlines.

Freight

The British International Freight Association has a member directory.

Shipping 

See Finding a graduate job for more vacancy sources.