Careers in Public Transportation

Image of a young family boarding a bus and paying the fare.

There is a vast variety of careers to choose from in the public transportation industry. The ability to be a part of the magical equation of linking people to their families, jobs, medical appointments, and every part of life is a very rewarding experience for the over 400,000 people who work in the industry each day.

Community Service Manager

For example, a community service manager might run a small non-profit that provides transportation in rural or urban areas. They may provide transportation for a few or several hundred people each day. They are involved in all aspects of the organization including scheduling, business management, marketing, and leading their teams of drivers, dispatchers, and volunteers. The median salary for a position of this nature is reported at $59,970 per year. For more information, visit the link below.

Bus Driver

Another example of a critical career in the public transportation community is the bus driver! In addition to driving the bus, they operate very sophisticated equipment to ensure the bus is running well, environmentally friendly, and everyone is safe. Bus drivers also in many cases are trained in CPR and first aid. In some communities, the bus drivers will also deliver meals to people unable to travel in rural and urban areas. The median salary for a bus driver in the United States is $29,550 per year. To learn more, click the link below.


Our third example, a career in public transportation, is a sociologist. Understanding how people move, why, and where is very important to properly plan communities and urban developments. Many times sociologists will work alongside transportation planners and civil engineers in designing communities, event center developments, and rehabilitation plans. The median salary for a sociologist is $74,960 per year. For more information about what it takes and the career path, please visit the link below.

Environmental Scientist

Did you know, anytime public transportation facilities are built, the agency and state government goes to great lengths to ensure the environment does not incur any negative impacts? Environmental scientists support state departments of transportation, cities, and counties to ensure when construction occurs, that the water, wildlife, and air we breathe are safe and that the construction does not cause any negative effects. Environmental scientists earn a median salary of $63,570 per year. If you love science and taking care of mother nature, click below to learn more about this career path and find out if it’s something you are interested in.

Transit Virtual Career Network

Interested in a career in public transportation, but still can’t quite find what you’re looking for?

The Transit Virtual Career Network provides information for individuals preparing for a career in transit, with details on nearly 60 different career choices.

Users can apply for jobs, identify educational and training opportunities, access online training, and apply for financial aid. The site also provides information for jobs in specific geographic regions. Information on salary, educational requirements, and employment outlook for each career are featured along with transcripts from interviews with people who work in some of the careers.

The Transit Virtual Career Network was developed through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration's Innovative Transit Workforce Development Program by a multi-partner initiative led by the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, both at Rutgers University. To learn more visit:

Valerie Lefler
Fast Forward: Volume 2 Issue 3 – Public and Active Transportation