Career Choice: Logistician

Career Choice: Logistician
  • Opening Intro -

    Think, "supply chain" and you have the basis for what logisticians do.

    These professionals are tasked with overseeing a company's logistics, ensuring that products flow unimpeded from the supplier to the consumer.

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They’re responsible for the entire life cycle of the product from its acquisition, through its development and on to its completion and delivery to customers.

Duties

Logisticians must possess certain skills to succeed at what they do. These professionals must be adept at providing personalized services, by understanding what each customer wants and tailoring that response to meet those needs. Logisticians are highly organized, computer literate, possess strong management and leadership skills, and understand the distribution process.

Logisticians ensure that materials and supplies are acquired and allocated, negotiating the purchase price and ensuring delivery of the same. As materials are being developed, the logistician oversees staff that will transform the material into the finished product, ensuring that quality control and compliance requirements are met. Logisticians will prepare reports, monitor progress and evaluate the results.

Education

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an associate degree may be sufficient for some positions. However, the complexity of the field and the responsibilities logisticians have, often will mean that companies want an individual that has at least a bachelor’s degree, perhaps a master’s degree.

Degrees in supply chain management, finance, business management and finance can aid the logistician. Certification is available through the American Society of Transportation and Logisticsfor professionals with an educational background, work experience and for successfully passing an exam.

Salaries

The median wage for logisticians was $71,910 as of 2011 according to the BLS. Salaries ranged from $44,800 for those in the 10th percentile to $110,700 for logisticians in the 90th percentile. Logisticians in the 25th percentile earned $56,500 per year to $90,300 per year for those in the 75th percentile.

Nationwide, the highest salaries for logisticians were paid in the District of Columbia, where average salaries were $95,000 in 2011. The state with the highest salary average was Maryland at $84,500 followed by Alabama at $81,600. On the other end of the spectrum was West Virginia with an average wage of $53,800 per year.

Job Outlook

The BLS has forecast a job growth rate of 26 percent for logisticians from 2010 to 2020. That rate is nearly twice the average for all jobs.

While the private sector is a very good place to look for jobs, the government and military use logisticians too. Firms under contract to the federal government need logisticians to provide assistance to the military.

References

O*Net OnLine: 21-1021.00 – 13-1081.00 – Logisticians — http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1081.00

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Logisticians — http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/logisticians.htm

See AlsoCareer Choice: Meteorologist

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Categories: Career Planning