Careers in Transportation Safety


Man in a hard hat and a yellow vest takes notes on a clipboard.

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Occupational health and safety specialists analyze many types of work environments and work procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces for adherence to regulations on safety, health, and the environment. They also design programs to prevent disease or injury to workers and damage to the environment.

(avg salary: $69,210/yr)

Three men in hard hats in deep discussion.

Health and Safety Engineer

Health and safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to prevent people from getting sick or injured and to keep property from being damaged. They combine knowledge of systems engineering and of health and safety to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other consumer products will not cause harm to people or damage to buildings.

(avg salary: $81,830/yr)

Two men in hard hats examine a construction site.

Occupational Health and Safety Technician

Occupational health and safety technicians collect data on the health and safety conditions of the workplace. Technicians work with occupational health and safety specialists in conducting tests and measuring hazards to help prevent harm to workers, property, the environment, and the general public.

(avg salary: $48,120/yr)

A woman in a hard hat looks over a checklist at a construction site.

Construction and Building Inspector

Construction and building inspectors ensure that construction projects meet local and national building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications.

(avg salary: $56,040/yr)

Man in a field of flowers with a blueprint.

Environmental Scientists and Specialist

Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health. They may clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with industry to reduce waste.

(avg salary: $66,250/yr)

A man examines some parts for defects.

Quality Control Inspector

Quality control inspectors examine products and materials for defects or deviations from specifications. These deviations might render the product or the material unsafe.

(avg salary: $35,330/yr)

A TSA employee scans a woman at an airport.

Transportation Security Screener

Transportation security screeners screen passengers, baggage, or cargo to ensure compliance with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations. Screeners may operate basic security equipment such as x-ray machines and hand wands at screening checkpoints.

(avg salary: $40,050/yr)

A row of people in a dark room studying flight paths and guiding planes.

Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to ensure that aircraft stay safe distances apart. Air traffic controllers work in control towers, approach control facilities, or route centers. Their work can be stressful because total concentration is required at all times. Night, weekend, and rotating shifts are common. A prospective air traffic controller must be a U.S. citizen. In addition, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree, work experience, or a combination of education and experience totaling 3 years. There are medical and background checks to pass, along with exams and a course at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Academy.

(avg salary: $122,950/yr)

A man in a hard hat and an orange vest studies railroad tracks.

Railroad Safety Inspector

The job of the railroad safety inspector is to inspect for compliance with Federal laws, regulations, rules and standards and to conduct and report on accident investigations. The inspector writes reports of findings and seeks corrections to unsafe conditions. They may also be called upon to testify as an expert witness in civil suits. There are many demands of this job, which requires skills in evaluation, fact-finding, and report writing; comprehension and application of technical and regulatory standards; the ability to gain the cooperation of individuals and organizations; and knowledge of methods used in installation, operation, maintenance or manufacturing of railroad equipment and systems.

(avg salary: $66,315/yr)

An orange Coast Guard boat makes a U-Turn on the water.

Maritime Safety/ U.S. Coast Guard Career

The U.S. Coast Guard offers a variety of careers ranging from operation specialists, small-boat operators, and maintenance specialists to electronic technicians and aviation mechanics. There are dozens of job assignments ranging from safety and law enforcement to maritime patrols or aviation. Coast Guard Auxiliary members actively provide safety patrols on area waterways and regularly meet with the boating public at marinas and in classrooms in order to provide them with Boating Education Programs and Vessel Safety Checks. The majority of training with the U.S. Coast Guard is done on the job and not in classrooms.

(military pay scale: $18,800/yr to $192,864/yr)