Logisticians analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain.
What they do
Logisticians manage the entire life cycle of a product, which includes how a product is acquired, allocated, and delivered.
They typically do the following:
- Manage a product’s life cycle from design to disposal
- Direct the allocation of materials, supplies, and products
- Develop business relationships with suppliers and clients
- Understand clients’ needs and how to meet them
- Review logistical functions and identify areas for improvement
- Propose strategies to minimize the cost or time required to transport goods
Logisticians oversee activities that include purchasing, transportation, inventory, and warehousing. They may direct the movement of a range of goods, people, or supplies, from common consumer goods to military supplies and personnel.
Logisticians use software systems to plan and track the movement of products. They operate software programs designed specifically to manage logistical functions, such as procurement, inventory management, and other supply chain planning and management systems.
Logisticians work in almost every industry. Some logisticians work in the logistical department of a company, and others work for firms that specialize in logistical work, such as freight-shipping companies.
The job can be stressful because logistical work is fast-paced. Logisticians must ensure that operations stay on schedule, and they must work quickly to solve any problems that arise. Some logisticians travel to manufacturing plants or distribution centers.
How to become a Logistician
A bachelor’s degree is typically required for most positions, although an associate’s degree may be sufficient for some logistician jobs. In some cases, related work experience may substitute for education. Industry certification is helpful for jobseekers.
Logisticians may qualify for some positions with an associate’s degree. However, due to complex logistics and supply chains, companies prefer to hire workers who have at least a bachelor’s degree. Many logisticians have a bachelor’s degree in business, systems engineering, or supply chain management.
Bachelor’s degree programs often include coursework in operations and database management, and system dynamics. In addition, most programs offer courses that train students on software and technologies commonly used by logisticians, such as radio-frequency identification (RFID).
Although not required, certification can demonstrate professional competence and a broad knowledge of logistics. Logisticians can obtain certification through APICS or the International Society of Logistics (SOLE). To become certified, a logistician typically needs to meet education and work experience requirements and pass an exam.
There are several certifications available from the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). These certifications are required for Department of Defense acquisitions.
The median annual wage for logisticians was $74,750 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,020, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $120,400.
Employment of logisticians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
The performance of the logistical and supply chain process is an important factor in a company’s profitability. Companies rely on logisticians to manage the movement of their products and supplies. Supply and distribution systems have become increasingly complex as they continue to try to gain more efficiencies at minimal cost. Employment is expected to grow as companies need more logisticians to move products more efficiently, solve problems, and identify areas for improvement. However, this growth may be limited by mergers of third-party logistics companies.
Similar Job Titles
Client Services Administrator, Logistician, Logistics Director, Logistics Team Lead, Logistics Vice President, Operations Vice President, Production Planner, Program Manager, Supervisory Supply Management Specialist, Supportability Engineer
Purchasing Manager, Transportation Manager, Logistics Manager, Purchasing Agent (except Wholesale, Retail and Farm Products), Logistics Analyst
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- AFCEA International
- Association of the United States Army
- Council of Logistics Engineering Professionals
- Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
- Institute for Supply Management
- National Defense Industrial Association
- National Defense Transportation Association
- National Institute of Packaging, Handling, and Logistics Engineers
Magazines and Publications
Observant…. innovative…. determined… efficient. People in logistics careers analyze what it takes to develop a product from beginning to end, and then work to make every step more efficient and productive. These careers focus on an organization’s supply chain— how a product goes from raw material through production and shipping, to the consumer. Logisticians ensure that operations stay on schedule, and they work quickly to solve any problems that arise. They find ways to lower costs and improve delivery time— or otherwise meet a client’s needs— sometimes traveling to manufacturing plants or distribution centers. Logistics analysts gather data on every aspect of how products are made and distributed– to find where improvements can be made. They keep detailed records of costs, parts orders, shipping and billing. Logistics engineers use the information analysts gather to design improved processes and systems. They often direct the work of analysts. A bachelor’s degree in the field is required for most logisticians and logistics engineers; some positions require only an associate’s degree. Most logistics analysts need a bachelor’s degree, though job requirements may range from college coursework only, to a master’s degree. Most people in logistics careers work full time and may work overtime regularly.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org