Do you have good organization skills? Do you want a career that uses your ability to analyze scenarios and make decisions? If so, you might be interested in logistics and distribution management careers. Keep reading to learn more.
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 product, helping customers, managing the supply chain or negotiating with suppliers. Freight trucking companies transport the product from the plant or warehouse to the store where it will be sold. Warehouse and storage managers are responsible for making sure the product is kept in good condition before shipping it.
Strong communication skills are needed for most careers in logistics. Transportation managers and other logistics office workers typically work a standard 40-hour week. Some occupations in logistics may require you to travel often in order to meet with clients, employees and other distribution managers.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that overall job opportunities for the transportation and warehousing industry could increase by 11% from 2008-2018, which is about equal to the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). Much of the growth in the industry could come from the warehousing and distribution sector due to increasing Internet commerce. The BLS reported that transportation, distribution and logistics managers earned a median annual income of $80,210 and logisticians made $70,800 in May 2010. Oil and gas extraction was the highest paying industry that employed transportation managers.
Logistics programs are available at all postsecondary levels of education, from associate's to doctoral degrees. An associate's degree in business logistics can prepare you for some entry-level positions in logistics and distribution. A 2-year program can teach you skills in teamwork and critical thinking, which are essential for logistics workers.
Although you can learn logistics with extensive on-the-job training, most employers prefer to hire logistics and distribution managers who have at least a bachelor's degree in business, logistics or a related field. A bachelor's degree program in logistics management offers courses such as supply chain management, industrial relations and sales forecasting.
If you eventually want to become a high-level manager in logistics and distribution, you will need to obtain a master's or a doctoral degree. A master's degree in global logistics can be a good choice for any professional who wants to advance their career in logistics, distribution, transportation and warehousing. Doctoral students may be able to concentrate in marketing, information systems or operation management. A doctoral program in logistics generally includes a dissertation based on original research and a practicum that focuses on teaching or solving practical problems in the industry, depending on your career goals.