Logistics and distribution management deals with organizing, storing and transporting products. Keep reading to learn about employment and education for logistics and distribution managers.
Logistics and distribution involves the transportation, warehousing and packaging of products. Logistic analysts examine transportation costs and delivery methods to determine what changes need to be made. Logistics managers oversee employees and daily operations. If you are a logistics manager, you might be responsible for purchasing products, helping customers, managing the supply chain or negotiating with suppliers.
If you're employed by a freight trucking company, you'll oversee how products are transported from plants or warehouses to retail stores. In your position as a warehouse and storage manager, you'll be responsible for making sure the product is kept in good condition prior to shipping. Transportation managers and other logistics office workers typically work a standard 40-hour week. Some travel may be required in order to meet with clients, employees and other distribution managers.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of logisticians was expected to increase by 22% nationwide, or much faster than average, from 2012-2022. By comparison, opportunities for transportation, storage and distribution managers were projected to grow by just 5%, or slower than average, through 2022. In May 2013, the BLS reported that transportation, distribution and logistics managers earned a median annual salary of $83,890, while logisticians made $73,400. Top-paying industries for transportation managers included those involved in oil and gas extraction, crude oil transportation and automobile dealerships (www.bls.gov).
Postsecondary logistics programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. An associate degree program in business logistics can help you develop your critical-thinking abilities and learn how to work as a member of a team, essential skills for obtaining an entry-level position in distribution and logistics management. While it's also possible to acquire many of your skills on the job, most employers prefer to hire managers who have a bachelor's degree in business, logistics or a related field. In a 4-year program, you'll take core courses in supply chain management, industrial relations and sales forecasting.
If you aspire to a high-level management position in logistics, distribution and warehousing, you'll need to earn a master's or doctoral degree. Some master's degree programs in logistics are offered both on campus and online. If you decide to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), you may be able to concentrate on marketing, information systems or operation management. Degree requirements typically include a dissertation based on original research, as well as a practicum that focuses on teaching or solving practical problems in the industry, depending on your career goals.