What is a Career in Logistics?

The logistics industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the US right now. With logisticians ranked as #17 in the list of Best Business Jobs, it’s no surprise that logistics careers are entering more into mainstream conversation. If you’ve heard about the success people have had in the logistics world, you may be interested in learning more to see if you should pursue a career in this industry as well.

What is a career in logistics and what does it mean to you? There are many different avenues for careers in logistics. You could work in sales or distribution, or even management. The best part about a career in logistics is the opportunity for growth within the company in almost any position.

What is a Career in Logistics?

The term “logistics” is used to describe all of the steps involved in the process of moving a shipment of goods from one place to another. This includes shipping the product from a factory to a warehouse, or from a distribution center to a customer. Under some circumstances, the movement of people, services, or information is sometimes included in the term logistics.

The term “third party logistics company” or 3PL describes a process by which companies in the private sector profit from handling other businesses’ logistics processes on their behalf. Many 3PL companies include warehousing and other involved processes as part of their business model.

What Do You Need to Know about a Career in Logistics?

e-Commerce is the primary culprit for the exponential growth of the logistics industry. With major sites like Amazon revolutionizing the shipping and distribution world, logistics evolved seemingly overnight. Would Amazon be half as enticing if they couldn’t offer two or even one day shipping with Prime? What if they couldn’t deliver anything at all? Logistics forms the backbone of many different companies, that would not be able to operate without it.

Even if you don’t end up working for a 3PL, you could end up working in logistics for a different company, like department stores, restaurants, or importing and exporting businesses. And even if you decide to move on from logistics into a different career, the skills you pick up along the way would help you in any other job you choose to pursue.

What are Some Careers in Logistics?What are some careers in logistics

Logistics companies are always hiring, since high-paying positions are becoming available faster than they can be filled. Because of the highly structured nature of logistics companies, getting in the door with an entry-level position is often enough to land you a promotion later down the road. Logistics positions are extremely varied, so there truly is something there for everyone. Take a look at some of these full-time logistics jobs, to see if one is right for you.

Keep in mind, both average and median salaries are going to be different from what you may experience, depending on where you live. Always research the average pay for your specific location before you get a number stuck in your head.

Warehouse Operative

Warehouse operatives handle the daily activities inside a warehouse or distribution center. These activities could include stocking shelves, loading and unloading trucks, picking and packing orders, quality control, and inventory control. Typically, warehouse operatives spend a lot of time moving around the warehouse floor and moving heavy packages, so they must be physically fit enough for the job.

Average Salary: $31,268

Education: High school or equivalent.

Account Executive

3PL account executive positions blend together sales, customer service, and strategy. This position entails researching potential clients, setting up an individual book of business, and arranging clients’ shipments for them. Account executives are, in many ways, representatives for the company they work for, and must always maintain a reputation of being friendly, efficient, and helpful.

Average Salary: $35,167

Education: High school or equivalent.

Inventory Manager

Inventory management is an important job within the logistics industry. Inventory managers typically work in a warehouse, and it is their job to ensure that all products and supplies are recorded and accounted for. Everything that comes through the warehouse must be recorded, whether that is raw materials, consumer products, or even warehouse machinery. They must have knowledge in certain technologies for data collection and tracking, to ensure that nothing gets lost or disappears.

Average Salary: $51,849

Education: Bachelor’s degree.

Logistics Manager

Logistics management, also sometimes called operations management or transportation and logistics management, is a relatively broad title that could cover any number of duties. In general, logistics managers are responsible for overseeing operations on a large scale. They may be tasked with managing warehouse operations, transportation, negotiation, finance, or many other tasks. Working in this position requires flexibility and a varied skill set, but most importantly, the ability to manage a team of people to handle the more specific tasks.

Average Salary: $64,292

Education: Bachelor’s degree.

Project Manager

A logistics project management position entails overseeing a major, ongoing project within the company. Project managers must manage a budget, a team, a strategy, a schedule, and any other aspect of the enterprise to ensure that there are no snags in the execution or operation of the project.

Average Salary: $75,991

Education: Bachelor’s degree.

Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain management is a big job, but comes with some high stress levels. While logistics managers manage only the movement of freight and the storage of goods, a supply chain manager must consider every single element of the supply chain, in order to streamline the entire process and reduce costs. This job typically entails sourcing vendors, negotiating, strategizing, planning, and managing a team of individuals to assist in more specific areas of the supply chain.

Average Salary: $81,327

Education: Bachelor’s degree.

Logistics Vice President

Logistics Vice Presidents are tasked with setting the goals of the company, and taking the necessary steps to achieve those goals. Tasks include working with stakeholders, speaking with employees, going over sales figures and strategies, and overseeing the activities of everyone below in the chain of command. This is an extremely difficult position to attain, but sticking with the company and working up is the best way to put you in line for this position.

Average Salary: $135,391

Education: Master’s DegreeIs a career in logistics right for you

Is a Career in Logistics Right for You?

So how do you get a job in logistics? Careers in logistics and supply chain management are a great choice for anyone, whether you are a recent college graduate, a veteran of the US military, or an experienced worker looking for a change of scene. Salaries are high, and good workers are in demand, so if you work hard, you can find a lot of security and satisfaction within the logistics industry. But in the end, only you can decide for yourself whether a career in logistics is the best choice for you.

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