How Can I Find a Job in a Transportation Logistics Company?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue with transportation logistics companies. Read on to learn more about career options along with education and salary information. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Transportation Logistics?

In general terms, logistics involves planning and coordination of a service. Transportation logistics in particular represents the various components involved in moving materials from one location to another.

Occupations are found at various levels, from truck drivers who physically transport the materials to the distribution managers responsible for supervising and overseeing manufactured products as they are transported. Shipping clerks who keep records of products as they arrive or leave a manufacturing warehouse are also a key part of transportation logistics. Extensive knowledge of related modes of transport and strong familiarity with regulatory standards will be important assets for occupations at any level in transportation logistics.

The following chart provides an overview of the education, job outlook and average salary in this field.

Truck Driver (heavy and tractor-trailer) Shipping-Receiving ClerkDistribution Manager
Education Required High school diploma High school diploma Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Commercial truck driving; diesel mechanics; logistics Accounting; warehouse operations; logistics; computer systems Supply chain logistics; operations management; business administration; communication; transportation, inventory and distribution systems
Certification and Licensure State commercial driver's license Optional certification through American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL) Optional ASTL certification
Key Responsibilities Safely drive trucks for product transport; keep driving logs in compliance Negotiate with customers and suppliers; track and record inventory flow and/or storage Oversee and track the transport, distribution or storage of products as scheduled; train and supervise personnel; create schedules, budgets and forecasts; communicate with clients
Job Growth (2014-24) 5%* -2% (slight decline)* 2% (all logisticians)*
Median Annual Salary (2015) $40,260*$30,450* $86,630*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Type of Training Will I Need to Work in Transportation Logistics?

For entry-level transportation positions, such as general labor or truck driving, a high-school diploma and appropriate licenses and technical skills may be adequate for gaining employment. If you're interested in managerial positions or those involving considerable computer and technological expertise, you may want to complete a postsecondary degree program in logistics. A bachelor's degree program provides thorough knowledge regarding essential computer science, accounting and marketing skills, while a master's degree program offers a broader array of expertise in analyzing logistical systems--and likely, more profitable opportunities. At each level, you study courses such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, supply chain management, inventory systems and transportation strategy.

On-the-job logistical experience is vital in addition to postsecondary education, and you may also want to consider certification through organizations such as the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL). Continuing education toward more specialized and in-depth logistical strategies can enable you to find advanced jobs and become more selective about your employment.

What Job Duties Will I Have?

Some logistics positions rely on manual and physical aptitude. For example, truck-driving requires you to invest long hours on the road, navigating new territories and moving supplies between various locations. And general labor in warehouses or other storage venues often consists of heavy lifting and the use of fork lifts or other packing machinery.

In contrast, managerial or consulting positions require leadership and analysis skills. You are responsible for analyzing various aspects of the process of transporting goods to seek the most efficient use of company time and money. You provide guidance regarding the most productive ways to oversee inventory, ensure product quality, maintain order efficiency and enable the shipment and delivery of goods in the most practical and cost-effective manner.

How Much Can I Expect To Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers is expected to grow by 5 percent between 2014 and 2024. Logisticians, also known as supply chain managers, were expected to see a 7% growth in the same timeframe.

As of May 2015, the BLS states that heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers earned an average annual income of $40,260, and shipping, receiving and traffic clerks earned an average annual income of $30,450. Most transportation, storing and distribution managers earned between $50,840 and $149,770 annually with a median income of $86,630 (www.bls.gov).

What Are Some Related Alternate Jobs??

For a related driving position with minimal educational requirements, you might consider becoming a delivery truck drive: an individual who will deliver smaller shipments to companies and residences, usually within a designated region.

For clerkship roles, other position exist within the material recording clerk sector, including production, planning, and expediting clerks, stock clerks, and material, product, and inspecting clerks. The latter clerks are responsible for measuring, weighing and assessing the overall quality of products moving through a warehouse, while stock clerks move products from warehouse to store. Production clerks are responsible for much of the paperwork involved in transmitting information and materials between company offices.

Similar bachelor's degree-level leadership occupations within a manufacturing environment might encompass cost estimators, industrial production managers, (overseeing daily plant operations), and management or operations research analysts.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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