Transport management and consultancy

Many transport consultancies in the UK are part of large multinational civil engineering companies. However, transport planners and managers may also work in local authorities, individual transport operators, universities and research establishments plus individual organisations with transport needs.

In a consultancy role you may be consulting for local authorities, transport executives, public transport operators including bus, train, ferry and airline operators. The work may include data collection, social research, statistical and computer modelling to predict future trends, impact assessments, route planning, public consultation, developing green travel plans and bid writing. The availability and type of UK work varies according to government policies and funding so attention has been turning towards international projects, with opportunities to work overseas for long or short periods.

Working for a transport operator either in a business development (planning) role or as an operations manager is also an option. Business development roles are similar to those in consultancy, you will be looking at ways to improve the profitability or efficiency of the business. Roles may be local, regional or UK based depending on the company structure and coverage. International companies including bus, coach, rail and airlines may also offer opportunities to be involved on an international basis.

Getting in and getting experience

Jobs in this sector are often open to all degree disciplines although numerate graduates, and those with degrees in Geography, Environment, Maths, Economics and Business, and those with analytical, IT and social research skills are in demand.

Roles involving traffic infrastructure work may require an engineering degree. Specialist postgraduate courses in transport planning are available but are not always required for graduate entry.

Vacancies for internships and graduate schemes are advertised especially for positions within the large multidisciplinary firms. However speculative applications for experience and graduate level work may be welcomed by many firms large and small. Try contacting those on this list who are TPS members

Opportunities for gaining experience while you study may involve:

  • Dissertations or projects around the transport sector or in social research and where analytical and statistical skills are involved.
  • Assisting with traffic or passenger surveys.

Job and information sites

Some of these sites do not have a category for graduate level jobs so you need to look more carefully.

Tip: Look at the companies advertising more senior roles and look on their websites or send a speculative application