Logistics Majors: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to work in logistics. Learn about education requirements, job duties, median wages and job outlook to find out if a career in logistics is right for you. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Logistician?

Logistics involves managing the transportation, warehousing and delivery of goods and services for business. Logistics professionals, also called logisticians, determine where to store raw and manufactured materials, the best way to get raw materials to a factory and the best method for getting the end product to the marketplace. They must foster positive relationships with clientele and meet their needs, develop cost effective and time efficient plans, and make suggestions for improvement. They often use software to assist them in procedures such as inventory management. Consider the following table to determine if a career in logistics is right for you.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree typical
Key Skills Communication, critical thinking, organizational, and problem solving
Job Growth (2014-2024) 2% for all logisticians*
Median Salary (2015) $74,260 for all logisticians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Some schools will allow you to focus your logistics major on a specific type of area, such as global logistics. Some programs also require that you complete an internship to gain experience. Generally required courses include the following:

  • Business administration
  • Legal aspects of business and logistics
  • Transportation management
  • Materials management
  • Operational issues in logistics
  • Purchasing
  • International transport
  • Information systems
  • Logistics and management strategy

What Kind of Job Can I Find?

Once you have your bachelor's degree then you will need experience, which can be gained through an entry-level job such as a warehouse shipping or receiving clerk, inventory control clerk or requisition filler. These jobs may help you move into jobs such as a warehouse manager or logistics coordinator. If you don't want to work in warehousing, you may try your hand at becoming a logistics analyst where you will help develop logistics plans to ensure goods are transported efficiently and cost-effectively.

The federal government hires logisticians for many of its agencies, including the military. For example, with some experience you could work for the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ensuring that the personnel, equipment, aircraft, and supplies are in place and ready for wildfire suppression. At the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Logistics Agency you could work as a supply technician and monitor requests from the entire department for supplies and ensure that all requisitions are filled.

If you are a member of the military or want to enlist in the armed services, then you have opportunities that are often only available to military personnel. You could become a military logistics specialist, where you review, coordinate, monitor plans for providing supplies and weaponry to military bases throughout the world. As a distribution manager or director you would ensure that supplies are distributed on time and to the correct location.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for logisticians was $74,260 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the median salary for shipping, traffic and receiving clerks in the same year was $30,450.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related careers include cost estimators, industrial engineers, and management analysts. Cost estimators usually focus on a particular industry and research data to decide how much resource will be needed to manufacture goods. Industrial engineers develop efficiency strategies for production systems. Management analysts work with organizations to find ways to minimize costs while maximizing profit. These careers also require a bachelor's degree.

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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