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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Transportation Puts Veterans in the Driver’s Seat…and in the Wheelhouse, the Cockpit, the Railyard, the Transit Garage and the Air Traffic Control Tower

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The transportation industry and transportation jobs within other industries provide veterans re-entering civilian life with many career options that leverage the experience they acquired during their military service.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 673,950 veterans were employed in the private “Transportation and utilities” sector in 2019. That’s about 1 in every 12 employed veterans, and does not include the veterans employed in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and in State, County, and Municipal departments of transportation.

Bar chart of employment by industry showing that 7.5% of veterans are in transportation and utilities but only 4.4% of non-veterans are in that sector

Inside the transportation industry and out, veterans find transportation jobs

Some jobs defined by BLS as “Transportation and material moving occupations” are with companies outside the transportation industry. An example is the commercial driver operating a tanker truck for an energy company.

Bar chart showing 10.3% of veterans are employed in transportation occupations

Of the approximately 9 million veterans employed across the U.S. economy in 2019, 10.3 percent (about 926,000) were in occupations directly involving transportation. That occupational choice is a significantly greater share than for the employed non-veteran population, of whom only 6.2 percent were involved in transportation occupations.

DOT career site offers veterans transportation employment information

DOT maintains a Veterans Transportation Career Center with information about veteran credentialing opportunities in a wide range of job specialties from airplane pilot to air traffic controller and from commercial truck driver to merchant mariner. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Military Skills Test Waiver program has worked with licensing authorities in every State to allow drivers with two years' experience safely operating heavy military vehicles to obtain a Commercial Driver License without taking the physical driving test (skills test). To date, more than 40,000 veterans have benefited from this program.

For Further Exploration

To learn more about employment in the transportation industry and transportation occupations, access these BTS data stories from our Transportation Economic Trends: