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Working as a Transit Operator

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a transit operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $22.76 an hour? That's $47,346 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 32,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Transit Operator Do

There are certain skills that many transit operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed hand-eye coordination, mechanical skills and hearing ability.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a transit operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 16.5% of transit operators included transport passengers, while 6.8% of resumes included passenger endorsement, and 6.7% of resumes included cdl. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the transit operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most transit operators actually find jobs in the transportation and finance industries.

How To Become a Transit Operator

If you're interested in becoming a transit operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 24.0% of transit operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.6% of transit operators have master's degrees. Even though some transit operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a transit operator. When we researched the most common majors for a transit operator, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on transit operator resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a transit operator. In fact, many transit operator jobs require experience in a role such as customer service representative. Meanwhile, many transit operators also have previous career experience in roles such as cashier or school bus driver.

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Average Salary$47,346
Job Growth Rate5%

Transit Operator Jobs

Transit Operator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Transit Operator

Cashier
9.5 %

Top Careers After Transit Operator

Driver
15.3 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Transit Operator

Transit Operators in America make an average salary of $47,346 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $60,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Salary
$47,346

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Longview, WA
Salary Range41k - 72k$55k$54,579
Sacramento, CA
Salary Range32k - 56k$43k$42,749
Kingman, AZ
Salary Range27k - 45k$35k$35,476
El Paso, TX
Salary Range28k - 44k$35k$35,475
Chapel Hill, NC
Salary Range27k - 44k$35k$35,166
Rapid City, SD
Salary Range28k - 40k$34k$34,374
$20k
$72k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Winter Seasonal Transit Operators
Winter Seasonal Transit Operators
Town of Breckenridge
Town of Breckenridge
11/25/2020
11/25/2020
$36,52311/25/2020
$36,523
Transit Operator
Transit Operator
WTA
WTA
11/25/2020
11/25/2020
$53,21911/25/2020
$53,219
Winter Seasonal Transit Operators
Winter Seasonal Transit Operators
Town of Breckenridge
Town of Breckenridge
10/31/2020
10/31/2020
$36,52310/31/2020
$36,523
Transit Operator Trainee
Transit Operator Trainee
Gainesville Regional Utilities
Gainesville Regional Utilities
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$29,74010/29/2020
$29,740
Transit Operator-Regular and Contract Positions
Transit Operator-Regular and Contract Positions
Glendale Fire Department
Glendale Fire Department
10/24/2020
10/24/2020
$34,43610/24/2020
$34,436
See More Recent Salaries

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Transit Operator Demographics

Gender

male

55.7 %

female

38.8 %

unknown

5.5 %

Ethnicity

White

60.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

18.2 %

Black or African American

12.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0 %

Portuguese

6.7 %

Somali

6.7 %
See More Demographics

Transit Operator Education

Majors

Business
20.8 %
Nursing
7.5 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

31.3 %

Bachelors

24.0 %

Associate

20.5 %

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Transit Operator

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Transit Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.5% of transit operators listed transport passengers on their resume, but soft skills such as hand-eye coordination and mechanical skills are important as well.

  • Transport Passengers, 21.1%
  • CDL, 10.2%
  • Passenger Endorsement, 7.3%
  • Safety Procedures, 7.1%
  • Vehicle Inspections, 6.6%
  • Other Skills, 47.7%
  • See All Transit Operator Skills

Best States For a Transit Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a transit operator. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, Washington, Alaska, and Maine. Transit operators make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $53,466. Whereas in Washington and Alaska, they would average $51,991 and $51,200, respectively. While transit operators would only make an average of $50,215 in Maine, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Transit Operator Jobs:
174
Highest 10% Earn:
$77,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Transit Operator Jobs:
11
Highest 10% Earn:
$71,000
Location Quotient:
0.75
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Transit Operator Jobs:
45
Highest 10% Earn:
$85,000
Location Quotient:
0.65
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Transit Operator Employers

1. First Transit
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$34,789
Transit Operators Hired: 
73+
2. MV Transportation
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$35,408
Transit Operators Hired: 
62+
3. Chicago Transit Authority
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$38,536
Transit Operators Hired: 
27+
4. Pierce Transit
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$47,431
Transit Operators Hired: 
23+
5. New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$43,368
Transit Operators Hired: 
15+
6. East Carolina University
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$40,782
Transit Operators Hired: 
13+

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Recently Added Transit Operator Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020