A logistician is an individual who is responsible for the supply chain within a business. Individuals who work in this capacity perform a variety of tasks that can include purchasing, inventory, delivery, transportation and warehousing. They are responsible for the entire lifecycle of a product and direct its movement during all stages.
Where Do Logisticians Work?
Logisticians generally work in an office setting in virtually every industry, yet there is no standard work setting as some work in factories. Some work in specialized departments of their companies while others work for companies that only deal in logistics. Employers in the manufacturing sector are the largest users of logisticians. Others include federal governments, professional, science and technical services, managers of companies and enterprises and the wholesale trades. Logisticians generally work during normal daytime hours.
Other Important Tasks
The job isn’t simply about moving products from one place to another. A logistician has fast-paced, sometimes stressful work that involves many different tasks. Contemporary logisticians use software to help them manage their jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that other tasks associated with logisticians include:
- Developing relationships with clients and suppliers
- Understanding how to meet client needs
- Identify areas where logistics may be improved
- Propose ways to minimize costs and time required for transportation
Keeping on top of advancements in the industry is another important part of the job, particularly when it comes to incorporating technology.
Becoming a Logistician
Most logistician positions require a bachelor’s degree, although an associate os sufficient for some entry-level positions. In other cases, work experience may be a substitute for education.
Most job seekers looking for a position in logistics have a degree in a related field such as business, supply chain management or systems engineering. Coursework that applies to logistics involves system dynamics and operations and database management. Individuals thinking about pursuing a career in logistics should have training on technologies and software commonly used by logisticians.
Holding certificates and membership in industry associations can also help someone find a job as a logistician. Chicago-based APICS, which is a non-profit association for supply chain management or the International Society of Logistics (SOLE), are good places to find research, education and certification programs that can help further a logistics career. Logisticians generally need to meet education and work experience requirement and pass an exam before becoming certified. These organizations also provide ongoing training to help keep members current in the industry.
Logistics Industry Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for logisticians is $74,590 per year or $35.86 per hour. The field is expected to experience job growth of approximately 7 percent through the year 2026, which is average for all occupations in the United States. Job seekers can expect to find the most growth in companies that have an international presence and are catering to a global economy.
Logistics is not an occupation that most people think of when they are planning their careers. However, at present, there aren’t enough candidates to fill available positions. Becoming a logistician can be a fulfilling career for individuals who are willing to fulfill the field’s requirements.