Large travel and transport companies have graduate schemes. 

As well as the operational work of running the transport system, each company also has other functions including IT, HR and engineering. You could be planning the company’s business, scheduling its operations, managing its call centre or developing the business.

Example jobs

Merchant Navy officer
Part of the team navigating a ship and managing the crew.

Flying aircraft (passenger or commercial), being responsible for all staff, passengers and cargo, dealing with emergencies.

Rail operations manager
Responsible for the day-to-day running of a train line, managing performance of the line and staff.

Onboard training manager
Delivering training to members of a ship’s crew.

Things you need to know

Typical working conditions

  • Operational jobs involve travel, sometimes staying away from home.
  • You may work in a cramped space such as an aircraft cockpit, ship or train.
  • You may wear a uniform and the work usually involves shifts.

Qualifications needed

To be accepted on a graduate training scheme, you need a degree. For some jobs this needs to be in a particular subject. Other employers accept any degree. Pilots do not need a degree, but need full training, which is usually self-funded. Merchant Navy officers can be sponsored through university by the company they work for. For example, it might be helpful to have a degree in logistics, business studies or transport management to work with passenger transport companies. Travel companies might prefer degrees in travel, tourism or leisure studies.

Career path

After your graduate programme, you can progress to more senior roles, taking on more responsibility. Pilots can become senior pilots. Merchant Navy officers can progress to ship’s captain.

Useful links

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Guild of Air Pilots & Air Navigators

Association of Train Operating Companies

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport