What is a Logistician?

Moving goods efficiently from point A to point B is a tricky task delegated to a logistician. Many industries hire logisticians to coordinate how products will be distributed from suppliers to customers. Logisticians are skilled supply chain specialists who direct the entire product life cycle from behind the scenes. Their work is essential for keeping organization’s profitable by developing logical strategies that lower costs and risks. According to the U.S. News and World Report, logisticians hold America’s 12th best business job. Employment growth will be sluggish because of product manufacturing declines and tight government spending. Despite low predictions of two percent growth through 2024, logisticians only have an unemployment rate of 1.6 percent. Business majors considering this specialized niche should review the following job profile on logisticians.

What Logisticians Do

Logisticians hold various responsibilities in the purchase, inventory, warehousing, and shipment processes of selling goods. They’re given the power to make strategic decisions about the company’s products from design to distribution. Using high-tech software, logisticians carefully track the movement of goods for supply chain management. Typical daily duties include allocating budget resources, reviewing logistics, identifying strategies to lower cost or time, designing inventory protocol, handling purchase orders, and showing the executive managerial team key areas for improvement. Logisticians form close working relationships with suppliers and manufacturers to keep product inflow high. It’s a high-stress job because even the most diligent logisticians can encounter unexpected delivery errors.

Where Logisticians Work

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the United States employs 133,770 logisticians in various industries. They spearhead supply chain activities for everything from retail and freight shipping to food and automobile sales. Over one-fourth of logisticians work for logistics departments in manufacturing plants. Another large percentage is employed in the federal government, especially Armed Forces, to coordinate military supplies. Logisticians are also found in wholesale distribution centers, shipping companies, private corporations, construction contractors, and oil and gas merchants. Most logisticians work full-time and travel occasionally to coordinate fast-paced business operations. Many work beyond 40 hours to keep distribution schedules on time for looming deadlines.

How to Become a Logistician

Starting a career in logistics requires holding a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university. Employers often prefer hiring candidates who’ve completed a supply chain management degree. A few universities offer logistics management degrees, but aspiring logisticians could also major in business administration, operations management, or systems engineering. Several years of work experience could substitute a bachelor’s degree. Make certain you at least fill your resume with internships or co-op placements. Having hands-on training with the supply chain and its technologies like RFID is essential. Certification could help advance your career. The International Society of Logistics offers the Certified Master Logistician (CML) credential. Earning this will require passing a three-part exam delivered at proctored testing centers worldwide.

Related Resource: Careers are in Supply Chain Management

Logisticians play a prominent role in analyzing an organization’s supply chain to ensure proper acquisition, distribution, delivery, and disposal of goods for steady revenue. Although it can be stressful, logisticians report above-average satisfaction with their good work-life balance, upward mobility, and benefits. On average, logistics jobs offer an average yearly salary of $77,470, or $37.25 per hour. Deciding to become a logistician can provide a rewarding career directing the expedient flow of goods into paying customers’ hands.