Some people would describe themselves as “big picture” people who can understand a situation or concept as a whole. And some people would describe themselves as being better with details — the nuts and bolts that make up an idea. Then there are logisticians, who need to see how the whole idea looks, as well as the fine details that go into making that idea a reality.
Logisticians, also referred to as supply chain managers, analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain — the system that moves a product from supplier to consumer. This position manages the entire life cycle of a product, which includes how a product is acquired, distributed, allocated and delivered.
These professionals need to balance the demands of the market and the business that created a product, along with the logistics of bringing that product to consumers. There’s an attractive paycheck for juggling these demands: The median annual pay of logisticians is $72,175.* With the economy continuing to improve, this role is in demand. Since 2010, the number of logistics jobs has grown by 8 percent.
The typical education level may vary by industry and level of experience, but the most common degree for logisticians is a bachelor’s, with 33 percent holding this degree.
- Doctorate or professional degree — 1 percent
- Master’s degree — 10 percent
- Bachelor’s degree — 33 percent
- Associate degree — 13 percent
- Some college, no degree — 27 percent
If this career path interests you, or you’re looking to brush up on your skills, common educational courses or programs taken by logisticians include operations management, logistics and materials and supply chain management.
Skills and experience
Logisticians are expected to understand the overall plan for a product, as well as the particulars that go into that plan. And with today’s inclusion of technology, packaging and handling, online stores and an emphasis on customer service, it takes a lot of skill to be a top-notch logistician. Some of the top skills that employers are looking for include customer service, computer knowledge, administration and management, critical thinking, reading comprehension and operations analysis.
However, all those skills won’t be expected on your first day; it takes years of experience to become a smooth-operating logistician. Twenty-nine percent of logisticians have six to 10 years of experience; 18 percent have 11 to 15 years of experience; and 18 percent have three to five years of experience.
Where the jobs are
Demand for logisticians continues to grow, and some areas of the country are seeing an even higher demand than others. Seattle, Oklahoma City and Washington, D.C., are the top cities to find logistician jobs.
In your search, keep in mind that logisticians may be listed under other job titles, depending on the industry or function. Alternative titles include business continuity planner, supply chain manager, transportation manager and purchasing manager.
If organization, attention to detail and an understanding of the big picture sound like how you approach work, a job as a logistician may be a good fit for you.
*All data from Economic Modeling Specialists Intl.