Not every career in the transportation industry requires a CDL (Commercial Driver's License). For those who don't want to or cannot drive the big rigs, there may still be a place for you in the transportation industry. While all jobs in transportation require an understanding of how the industry works, it is not necessary to be a driver or to have been a driver to make a career in different areas of this important industry. So, if your skill set and your experience doesn't qualify you to be a commercial driver, you can still work in the transportation industry in a number of essential roles.
Mechanic - Diesel mechanics are always in demand with the best mechanics commanding top salary and benefits in their field. Today's diesel engines require mechanics that are well versed not only in the mechanical side of repairs but also understand the computerized controls that are a part of the engine. In order to get the technical education required to be a successful diesel mechanic, you should expect to spend at least two years in a college program that specializes in programs for diesel mechanics. Mechanics should also expect to take extra coursework in order to keep up on new technologies and changes in the field. Most employers will offer some sort of tuition reimbursement or will pay for advanced coursework related directly to an employee's job. There is always a need for good mechanics so the job outlook for this field is generally strong and stable.
Dispatcher - Dispatchers are responsible for scheduling routes and drivers, adding or subtracting routes as needed. Additionally, dispatchers monitor the drivers that are their responsibility, making sure they are running on time and that there are no weather or construction delays that come as a surprise to the drivers. They generally oversee a region, working with other dispatchers as needed to coordinate hauls that occur over several regions. Dispatchers need to be detail-oriented and able to work in a high-stress environment. It is also important for dispatchers to have computer strong skills and the ability to use a variety of information-gathering methods.
Recruiter - A position for a person with strong sales abilities, a recruiter visits job fairs and potential employees as a representative of the company for which they work. Recruiters must be able to travel and represent the company in a variety of locations and job events. Mainly responsible for getting new drivers to join their company, recruiters are the first experience drivers have with a company. From these meetings, drivers can get a feel for the company as well as get information about the company's policies and benefits. Recruiters must enjoy talking to people and have a good understanding of their own company and other companies in regard to benefits and policies.
Driver (courier, chauffer, taxi driver) - If you truly want to drive but don't want to get your CDL, you are still able to drive as a courier, a chauffeur, or a taxi driver. One major benefit to these types of driving jobs is that you tend to stay in your local area, even though you may have to work some odd hours at times. If you enjoy talking to people and know a great deal about your area, you may enjoy working as a taxi driver, serving visitors to your local area as well as residents. If you prefer, however, working with a set, select clientele, you should consider looking at chauffeur jobs. Couriers carry documents and materials for business customers, rarely if ever driving people between locations. Depending upon your state of residence, you may be required to get an endorsement on your license to perform any of these jobs. More information about the specific requirements of your state can be gotten through the department of motor vehicles.
Not all careers in the transportation industry require you to be behind the wheel of a truck for weeks at a time. The industry is stable with a strong growth potential for people in all aspects of transportation and trucking. If you are looking for a career that is challenging and always changing, then the transportation industry may be just your speed!