Do you like trucks, trains, planes, and boats? How about reading and creating maps? Do you dream about sailing on the open water, would you prefer flying the clear, blue skies, or would you rather keep your feet on the ground? If jobs that provide time outdoors are part of your passion, consider transportation occupations that involve moving commodities, people and goods cross-country by land, sea, and air. Beyond moving people and things, you could also build and maintain modes of transportation. This month CareerLocker celebrates National Transportation Week, a time to acknowledge all who keep the country moving forward. The third week in May is National Transportation Week.
- Aircraft Engine Mechanics– Aircraft engine mechanics service and repair aircraft engines and systems. They inspect, test, and adjust jet and propeller driven engines. They also repair and replace engine parts. They record all work done in logs which are reviewed periodically for compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. These mechanics use hand tools, power tools, electronic diagnostic equipment, and precision measuring instruments such as calipers and micrometers. They also fly on test flights to make in-flight adjustments to controls. Over the next 10 years, Aircraft Engine Mechanics openings are projected to grow by over 20%, making it a Hot Job.
- Ship Mates- Ship mates, which includes Great Lakes ship officers, supervise crews on merchant ships that sail the lakes, oceans, and connecting waterways. Deck officers, called mates, supervise sailors who clean the ship’s deck, hull, and bridge. They inspect gear and equipment and order repairs as needed. These officers also supervise cargo loading and unloading. They ensure that the load has been strategically distributed on the cargo deck for maximum stability and is secured to prevent shifting in inclement weather conditions. Mates stand watch and use various instruments to determine the geographical position of the ship. All officers record their orders, activities, and other information in the ship’s log while on duty. Watch this PBS special for a day-in-the-life working on a Wisconsin boat.
- Cartographers (Mappers)– Cartographers prepare both digital and printed maps by researching and analyzing existing maps and charts of the specific area to be mapped. They may determine that a field survey needs to be conducted or that additional aerial or satellite photographs be taken. They interpret and utilize the information on photographs using precision 3-dimensional tools called stereoplotting apparatus and 3-dimensional computer software programs and laser plotters to create new maps instead of drawing them by hand. They may also use remote sensing techniques such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to meet the accuracy specifications for the new map. They enter all the information gained from the surveys, aerial photographs, and remote sensing methods into a digital computer database. Cartography is also a Hot Job.
Each of these occupations requires a high level of competence, attention to detail, safety and application of technical skills. Whether you choose to spend your time in the air, water or on land, transportation occupations keep the world moving forward. To learn about these highlighted occupations and watch videos go to the CareerLocker homepage.
Co-written by Asma Easa and Julie M. Hau.
Asma Easa works at the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of five regional transportation workforce centers in the country. She is pursuing dual masters in International Public Affairs, and Urban and Regional Planning. Her focus areas include education policy and development.