What Can I Do with a Degree in Shipping?

Businesses all over the world rely on the shipping industry to get goods, materials and other cargo from one place to another. After earning a degree in a shipping-related field, you could go on to careers such as cargo and freight agent or shipping and receiving clerk. Keep reading to learn more about the degree programs that might prepare you for these career paths. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Shipping Degree Options

Whether you want to work in land, sea or air transportation, you might have a few educational options when it comes to preparing for a shipping career. Although degree programs in shipping itself aren't available, you could instead choose alternatives such as an associate's degree program in transportation, distribution, and logistics or a bachelor's degree program in logistics management. Coursework in these areas could allow you opportunities to study computer applications as they pertain to business, economics, management, logistics, and ethics. Other areas of study might include transportation theories, operations, and marketing.

Important Facts About This Field

On-the-Job Training About one month under the supervision of a more experienced worker
Key Skills Detail orientation, communication, and customer service skills
Similar Occupations Information Clerk, Material Mover, General Office Clerk
Work Environment Typically full-time, sometimes at night, on weekends, or holidays, depending on the size of shipments; office and warehouse locations

Cargo and Freight Agents Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Median Salary (2018) $43,210 $33,030
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% 0%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Generally, a high school degree is the only necessary educational requirement for many shipping careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, obtaining an associate's or bachelor's degree could increase the potential for job opportunities. Educational programs in transportation and logistics can help prepare you for a career as a cargo and freight agent. Studying supply chain operations could prepare you to work with the logistics of inventory and transportation.

Cargo and Freight Agent

As a cargo and freight agent, you could find yourself working in a variety of outdoor environments or in a warehouse. The company that you work for determines the type of cargo that you deal with. Ultimately, you would be responsible for developing shipping methods for such cargo. This could include picking up and receiving cargo and freight. You might also be in charge of managing shipping costs as well as invoices and other records.

Freight agents also work with their customers to negotiate shipping costs and fees. Tracking cargo might be necessary, especially in the event that something is lost or off a shipment. You might expect to work with a variety of shipping methods, including air and ground. Coordinating information with dispatchers and customers to ensure that cargo arrives in a timely manner is also a duty of freight agents. Other responsibilities include record keeping and working with computers and various types of software.

Shipping and Receiving Clerk

Shipping and receiving clerks are responsible for tracking shipping information, keeping accurate records of invoices, receiving shipments and making sure packages have the correct labels attached. This is a physical job to some degree, since you may have to load and unpack cargo.

Having knowledge of shipping methods and knowing what methods are most beneficial to handing cargo are key to this position. You should know delivery routes and possess good customer service skills. Strong communication abilities are also necessary for this position because you may need to speak with the ground and air representatives regarding the shipment or arrival of cargo.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Florida Tech

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  • Colorado State University Global

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