By University of Phoenix
The U.S. sees a massive amount of shipping activity every day. In any given 24-hour period, ships, trucks, trains and planes move an average of 55.2 million tons of freight valued at $54 billion.
Retail, manufacturing, construction and service industries rely on this movement of goods for materials to use and products to sell. Without a supply chain, the entire U.S. economy would grind to a halt.
Logistics managers play an integral part in organizing the movement of these goods and materials for their company or organization. However, they serve as much more than just coordinators in moving goods from source to factory to warehouse to consumer. They handle all the details of inventory management necessary to ensure a consistent flow, and they coordinate with purchasing managers to bring on new suppliers when supply chain problems arise.
In addition to the fundamentals of transportation management, storage and distribution, a logistics manager must take into account the volume of materials or products the company needs. In this position, you also have to consider the life cycle of these items, the nuances of transportation networks, the potential bottlenecks in supply chains and the effects of economics, commodity prices and geopolitics.
Companies, organizations and agencies can only perform essential customer service with the right equipment, supplies, materials or products, so logistics managers have an extremely important role. This can be a meaningful career path for professionals with relevant educational qualifications, skills and work experience.
Experts with specialized business degrees in supply chain management or logistics can find positions in a variety of industries. This position requires understanding supply chain principles, trade rules, import and export tariffs, and transportation laws. Logistics managers need math skills to calculate pricing for shipping, and they require excellent communication and management abilities to ensure different parts of the supply chain work together seamlessly.
Here is a closer look at the details of a logistics management career.
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As of May 2021, transportation, storage and distribution managers (including logistic managers) earned an annual salary between $58,570 and $162,770, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Experience and degree level can affect earning potential, as can location and specialization. Those specializing in air transport, deep sea cargo or coastal logistics, for example, often command a higher salary. Meanwhile, the highest employment rates for professionals in this specialty are in warehouses and distribution centers.
Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.
Here are steps to enter the field of logistics management.
Though there are different ways to enter the field of logistics, most employers will expect a college degree. A general program, such as a Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) with a Certificate in Operations Management, can help prepare you for a logistics position. BSB programs often include technical instruction in supply chain management software and other tools of the trade, such as RFID tags.
You can also look to more specialized programs, such as a bachelor’s in logistics or supply chain management. Some universities allow you to earn a professional certificate in one of these areas while enrolled in a BSB degree program.
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If you hold a bachelor’s degree, you can often find work as a supply chain specialist or logistician before advancing to a management role. Alternative paths to this position could include working in an entry-level logistics job, such as a dispatcher or inventory clerk.
Finally, it is possible to get logistics training through the military or while working for another government agency. You could potentially work in one of these entry-level roles while enrolled in a degree program or undertaking an internship. Both options will provide valuable job experience that could benefit you when applying for logistics jobs after graduation.
Certification is not a requirement for any logistics management position. However, some credentials could improve your job prospects.
Those who work for the government, including military branches and the Department of Defense, may consider seeking certification from the Defense Acquisition University. Some private sector employers may recognize these certifications, which may help in the job market after you leave the military.
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Logistics professionals can start on their career path with a variety of entry-level supply chain management jobs. You can typically find work as an inventory or supply chain specialist, logistics analyst or government logistics planner to gain skills for a senior management role.
The most active sectors for finding logistics jobs are warehouses, distribution centers, trucking companies, retail and e-commerce businesses, and government agencies, according to BLS.
Internships and previous entry-level job experience can help distinguish you from recent graduates who have experienced logistics only in an academic setting.
A logistics manager career could be right for you if you have strong problem-solving skills, a talent for multitasking and the confidence to make important decisions quickly.
As you weigh career options, you should also consider the type of education you will need. If you do not have logistics experience from the military or a previous job, you may want to earn a bachelor’s degree.
University of Phoenix offers several online business degrees that prepare students with skills for a variety of career paths. Whether you’re looking to build fundamental knowledge or advance your skill set, there’s a degree program for you. Here are some of the business degree programs at University of Phoenix:
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