For managers and current professionals looking for cutting-edge opportunities in business environments across industry, a career as a logistics manager may be of particular interest. With the rapid growth of the global marketplace, efficient and effective management of supply chain processes and other logistical details has become even more important for companies striving to maintain a competitive edge. Logistics managers are employed in a number of settings to identify areas that need improvement and to solve challenges aimed at increasing organizational efficiency and profitability.
While there are many entry points to this career path, education and training can guide professional growth and opportunity. With increased education and skills, professionals may advance into leadership roles. Popular degrees in this field include:
A two-year degree can provide entry-level opportunities for professionals to work alongside more seasoned professionals in almost any industry. Career changers with a strong background in business may augment education with additional courses in logistics. Growth in these positions is generally limited and additional education is typically required for sustained career growth.
A four-year degree in a business-related field with courses in finance, logistics and IT can provide the background needed to advance in a wider-range of jobs. A keen awareness of supply chain management and current IT software applications is needed for top jobs.
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Many logistics managers interested in obtaining top jobs and moving into leadership roles hold a master’s degree in supply chain management, industrial engineering, finance or business. On-going education is essential at all levels as software is constantly changing and the world markets respond to increased competition with a drive for increased profits and lower costs.
In addition to education, on-the-job training is essential. From private industry to large multi-national companies, all business organizations can use the focused skills of proficient logisticians. Military and government agencies employ logisticians to help plan for and move huge amounts of goods such as military supplies and personnel. These tasks demand a complex amount of logistical acumen to be done correctly, efficiently and within budget.
Distribution systems have become increasingly complex and logisticians work across industry to maximize efficiency while minimizing cost, redundancy and waste.
Because the performance of a company’s logistical and supply chain process directly impacts a company’s profitability, skilled logistics managers are in high demand as companies of all sizes compete for top positions in the global marketplace.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of logistics is expected to grow at a higher than average rate of 26% throughout the decade. Salaries for logisticians range from the low $30,000 for entry-level positions to over $70,000 for top leadership jobs which require the highest levels of experience and education.
Many logistics managers join professional associations to help make the networking connections helpful for career longevity. With the advancement of reputable online certificate programs over the last decade, professionals interested in logistics have more continuing education options than ever before. Led by industry leaders, online courses can be completed in a flexible online environment while students remain employed in current jobs.
While well-educated and highly skilled logisticians are employed across industry, there are other skills essential for professional success in this field. Because the work requires coordinating business solutions across divisions, communication skills need to be well-developed and flexible. In addition, an affinity for IT products and software development is also important. Mature organizational skills and creative problem-solving ability is essential for growth into leadership positions.