Logistics is best described as coordinating a complex operation. In business, it usually refers to the supply chain, and overseeing the movement of supplies and finished products all around the world. Arranging for the right materials to be in the right place at the right time, without taxing the capabilities of storage facilities, is a constant struggle for virtually every large business or corporation. To handle this, many businesses hire professionals in logistics management.
If you’re organized and you have a keen business mind, find out more about this field. Learn what kinds of careers you can pursue in this line of work, what the typical salaries are. Explore the job outlook for logistics management and what it takes to succeed in this competitive industry.
Exploring the Role of Logistics in Business
For businesses to function efficiently, they need to perfect the art of the supply chain. For example, a company that makes women’s clothing might need to import materials from India and China before making the products in a factory in the United States. Then, the finished products will need to be shipped, flown and driven across the country for sale at hundreds or even thousands of retail outlets.
Planning and organizing the logistics for a company on this scale is a full time job, and in some cases it might even take the work of an entire logistics teams. If logistics is not made a priority, then a business may simply not be able to function. Inadequate supplies might arrive, or they might arrive too late to meet an upcoming order deadline. Stores waiting for the finished product may never get what they are asking for, and this is obviously not the way to run a successful business.
Careers in Logistics Management
Since logistics is so important in the world of business, it makes sense that many corporations hire professionals specializing in logistics management. The most common career choice in this field is that of logistician, a person responsible for handling the logistics for their employer.
A similar job description with a different title is that of transportation, storage or distribution manager. Each of these managerial roles focuses on a specific element of logistics, and they usually defer to a logistics manager working at the top of the chain.
A logistics manager takes full responsibility for all operations, and has to coordinate the supply, demand, storage and distribution of supplies as well as the actions of their subordinates within the logistics or supply chain departments.
Typical Salaries in Logistics
Logistics management can be challenging and demanding work, but professionals in this field tend to be compensated well for their time. The average salary for a logistician in the United States is $74,000 per year.
Transportation, distribution, or storage managers can expect to earn slightly more, bringing in around $85,000 annually. Someone with a managerial role overseeing other logistics staff will typically earn even more, often enjoying annual salaries of well over $100,000.
Work Environments in Logistics Management
Individuals who don’t enjoy a monotonous work environment might gravitate towards roles in logistics management. While most professionals in the field do have an office and the idea of sticking to a 9-to-5 workday, the reality is that travel is often a necessity. It is often important to visit factories, shipping centers or warehouses to confirm that the supply chain is moving along as needed. Plus, due to the fast-paced nature of logistics, occasionally long days or weekend work might be required.
Job Outlook in the Field
While job outlook isn’t everything, it is smart to factor that in when planning a future career. Projected job growth for logistics in the next decade is positive, but hovers at just over two percent. While that is certainly an improvement, it does mean that securing a job could be competitive, particularly at the highest levels of logistics management.
What it Takes to Find a Career in Logistics Management
A college degree is required for most logistics careers. While an associate degree in logistics, business or supply chain management might be sufficient for some jobs, a bachelor’s is typically more desirable to employers. In addition, logistics managers need to be organized, excellent problems solvers and critical thinkers.
Logistics management is a fascinating field that offers lucrative career opportunities for the right candidates.