The transportation industry plays an essential role in all parts of the UK. From transporting passengers all over the world to transport logistics, there’s plenty of opportunities for an exciting and rewarding career.
Chloe – Logistics Degree Apprentice at Morrisons

What’s an apprenticeship in transportation?

Apprenticeships in the transportation sector unlock the potential for career paths involving planes, trains, ships and their maintenance and logistics. Globalisation means that roles connecting people, places and things are in high demand.

Whether you aspire to be an airline pilot, a ship’s officer, an air traffic controller, a maintenance technician, a transport manager or a marine pilot, an apprenticeship will equip you with real-life experience to build a challenging and rewarding career.

Amy Paterson – Level 3 Cabin Crew Apprenticeship, RAF Brize Norton

“I never expected to experience so many different things when I came to the RAF. I was part of the crew making sure the people on flights from Afghanistan were safe one week, then flying to Cyprus and America the next. The job literally changes all the time.”

Amanda Viljoen – Group Training Manager – Marine and Early Careers Training, AB Ports

“I think there’s a misconception that the transport industry is male dominated and while that used to be true, it’s not the case today. We’re very much about equal opportunities and have seen many successful females come through the programme in all areas of the business. Our culture is helping everyone achieve, irrelevant of demographics."

Facts and stats

Average salary
The average salary in transportation is £56,0191.
Employers

Well-known employers include British Airways, Network Rail, DHL and Virgin Atlantic.

Industry growth
Many other industries depend on the transport sector and, as a result, it will continue to expand along with the growth of other industries.
Apprenticeship growth
The number of available apprenticeships are growing. For example, it’s expected that there will 10,000 more apprenticeships because of the Heathrow Airport expansion before 20303.
Opportunities
There’s a range of sectors you could go to within transport, including aviation, maritime, energy, public transport or freight.
Freight
196 billion tonne kilometres of domestic freight was moved within the UK in 2020.

Who would suit an apprenticeship in transportation?

With the government creating more diverse apprenticeships across the transport industry, there are now a wide range of apprenticeships available. These range from Level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs) all the way up to Levels 6 and 7, which are the equivalent to degrees.

Apprentices in transport can explore civil engineering, traffic management and digital technology as well as automotive, airline and logistics, haulage, passenger transport operations and travel services.

A huge range of leading transport employers run apprenticeship programmes - from the Department of Transport to National Rail, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, The Royal Airforce, DHL, Unilever, a range of automotive manufacturers and many more.

An apprenticeship in transportation might be the right choice for you if you’re looking for a challenging role with an opportunity for growth. If you enjoy working as part of a team, collaborating with others and being active, this might be a good fit for you.

Dominik Karmalita – Level 4 Marine Officer Apprenticeship, AB Ports

"If you’re someone who works hard and wants a career that can take you in lots of different directions, I’d definitely say have a look at the ports industry. Since my apprenticeship, I’m already progressing to an assistant dock master and looking ahead, I’ll be working towards becoming a harbour master.”

Sam Jacques – Level 5 Marine Pilot Apprenticeship, AB Ports

"The job is very hands on and you often find yourself manoeuvring large vessels in very small spaces – sometimes you could be turning a 100m ship with a metre to spare either side. When you add changing weather and tides into the mix, it’s definitely a job that’s exciting and where no two days are ever the same."

Discover employers offering apprenticeships

Like the sound of an apprenticeship but not sure where to start looking? Get to know leading brands and the range of apprenticeships they offer.

Explore employers

Pros
  • The industry is fast-paced, so no two days are the same.
  • Many roles in the industry offer working patterns that give generous time off.
  • There are lots of opportunities for progression.
Cons
  • Some roles require shift work, including working nights and weekends.
  • Work can be unpredictable with changes happening all the time.
  • In some roles, the training demand is very high and carries a lot of responsibility.

Why choose a transportation apprenticeship?

In this vital industry that everyone relies on, apprenticeships are increasingly valued and more widely available than before. With an apprenticeship, you can earn while building on-the-job experience and gaining an industry-recognised qualification.

During the apprenticeship I rotated through different roles to get the broad experience I needed.

Dominik Karmalita, Apprentice at AB Ports

In the last five years, there has been significant government and private investment into developing apprenticeships in this sector. Employers offer apprentices ongoing support, continued education and development.

These apprenticeships are a great grounding and give the apprentices everything they need to go where they want with their career.

Amanda Viljoen, Employer at AB Ports

Industry top tips

Watch our top tips on how to get into transportation from Chloe, an apprentice at Morrisons.

How do you start an apprenticeship in transportation?