How to Become a Logistician

If you have great organization skills and think critically to solve problems, you might wonder how to become a logistician. Logistics refers to directing the use of resources, including employee time, raw materials, equipment, transportation practices and energy usage. In every industry, businesses seek to improve efficiency and productivity – and that’s where logisticians come in. As employers focus more on improving cost-effectiveness, the need for skilled logisticians is increasing.

Logisticians work in both manufacturing and service companies as well as in organizations such as the United States government. They study the “big picture” of how resources are used and how processes work to move resources such as products from the original suppliers of raw materials to the end users, the customers. Logisticians must first familiarize themselves with practices currently in place at the business for which they work. They observe the process as a whole to determine what improvements could be made so that products, people, and services are put to more efficient use. A logistician must think critically when considering what changes to suggest, anticipating what drawbacks various solutions may have and what impact the consequences of each change could have on the process as a whole. They use special software to organize data, such as the number of products in inventory or the most effective route to move large groups of people or high volumes of product.

Logisticians need to understand business processes such as shipping, acquisition, and warehousing thoroughly in order to succeed in this position. They must understand the “supply chain,” or the procedures in place that businesses use to transfer products. Developing familiarity with the necessary planning software is essential. To develop this knowledge, aspiring logisticians should plan to pursue a higher level of education. Some employers will consider candidates who have earned an associate’s degree, but many aspiring logisticians choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree in order to increases their competitive edge in the job market and boost their earning potential.

Common subjects of study include logistics, supply chain management, process engineering, industrial engineering, order processing information systems, warehousing and sourcing, as well as core finance and business courses. When logisticians choose to pursue advanced degrees, they typically opt for the Master of Business Administration (MBA). Two organizations, the International Society of Logistics and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, currently offer certification programs for dedicated logisticians.

Logisticians earned a median salary of $70,800 per year as of 2010, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Actual salaries depend on factors such as experience, education level, and location. Top earners have the potential to make six-figure salaries. Candidates pursuing this position can expect a positive job outlook, with an anticipated 26 percent job growth from 2010 to 2020. If you like working with computers and enjoy analyzing problems and strategizing new solutions, knowing how to become a logistician could be the start of an exciting new career full of opportunities.

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