Logistics Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-09-0825 min read

No business can survive without reliable logistics and supply chain. However, a robust logistics management can help them increase efficiency, lower material acquisition costs, facilitate timely delivery of goods and services, maximize warehouse spaces and ensure better inventory control.

It's for this reason logistics professionals are in pretty high demand across diverse industries in the United States, and even in the military.

Earning a degree allows you to explore the career options in this field and become a part of the large number of logistics experts who are living their dreams helping organizations move supplies cost-effectively across the world.

This resource offers you everything you need to get started. It covers lucrative career paths, logistics degree options, median salaries, and others.

So, let's get started.

Why Choose Logistics?

Logistics offers lucrative career paths to students considering this field.

As the world becomes more globalized and the need for efficient and timely delivery of goods and services across diverse markets continues to be a priority, several companies, both big and small, are hunting for talents to help streamline and manage their supply chain to ensure they remain competitive.

As a result, logistics jobs are growing twice as fast as all the other occupations---faster than the national average. And sadly, there aren't enough people to fill all the positions.

So, taking a logistics degree allows you to explore these opportunities.

How to Start your Logistics Journey

You'll need to qualify as a logistician to have a successful career. Your best bet is earning a university or college degree from an accredited institution. You could also enroll in an associate degree program.

Let's see some educational paths you can explore.

Education Requirements

Associate Degree

An associate degree prepares you for an entry-level career in logistics and supply chain management in two years or less.

During the program, you'd learn quality control and inbound logistics, warehousing, financial and inventory control. It also covers, sourcing, procurement, raw materials purchasing and transportation management.

Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree lets you pursue roles in supply chain operations and, eventually, executive leadership.

The four year program will arm you with knowledge in areas like procurement, logistics, production, and project management. You'll also learn process designing, capacity planning and inventory management.

With a bachelor's degree, you can run several professional certification programs to land a higher pay like the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), and Certified Professional In Supplier Diversity.

Master's Degree

A master's degree prepares you for managerial roles in logistics and supply chain management. It also lets you explore diverse career options.

The program which ranges between nine months to two years, depending on the college and degree type, will provide you the skills to have a successful career in global supply chain management, operations management, supply chain analytics, distribution and fulfillment of goods and services.

The degree also lets you pursue higher undergraduate degrees and professional certification programs to shore up your competence, get more specialized and chart a more lucrative career path.

Doctorate in Logistics

A doctorate degree prepares you for management-level roles like Chief Procurement Officer and Chief Operating Officer in large corporations. It also lets you explore a career in academia.

During the program, you'll complete specialized courses and hone your skills in demand management, forecasting, supply chain technology and transportation economics. You'll also undertake top level research and learn how to use quantitative tools to solve logistics issues.

Employment Prospects

Most organizations have a supply chain, making logisticians work in nearly every industry. Since their duty is to ensure goods and services get to consumers in a timely manner and at the least possible cost, they can work in manufacturing, large retail outlets like Amazon, pharmaceutical companies and transportation.

Professionals in this field also have successful careers in government, military and inter-governmental organizations like the UN, where their skills are essential for coordinating aids and relief materials across troubled areas.

Earning postgraduate degrees, professional certifications and experience improves their employment prospects, enabling a more rewarding career.

Logistics Career Forecast

The job outlook for logisticians looks promising.

Companies across industries are increasingly demanding for their services. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that logistics jobs will grow by 28 percent from 2021 to 2031---faster than the average for all occupations---adding about 24,800 openings will be available each year, over the decade.

They believe most of the openings will be due to the need to replace people transferring to different occupations or exiting the labor force. However, the organization estimated that the employment change will be 54,100 between 2021 and 2031, indicating positive job growth potential.

Lucrative Logistics Career Paths

Let's see some of the rewarding career paths in the field.

Logistics Director

A Logistics Director oversees a company's day-to-day logistics activities, including providing leadership and direction for the logistics team. They are management-level roles in most organizations and report directly to the chief Operating Officer, or equivalent.

Average Salary

The average annual base salary for a Logistics Director is $100,701. The median salary is $101, 000 while the highest ten percent earn up to $151,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Oversees and manages the logistics unit

  • Formulates policies and strategies to ensure efficient, cost-effective supply chain operations and supervises execution

  • Leverages data to optimize current logistics processes

  • Hire, train and coach junior staff members

  • Ensures safety and privacy regulations compliance

Industries Employing Logistics Director

Some of the top employers of Logistics Director are:

  • The military, especially the United State Army and Air Force

  • Manufacturing companies

  • Large retail outlets

  • Government departments

Logistics Analyst

Logistics Analysts work with data to ensure efficient and seamless supply chain operations. They use analytics and quantitative tools to understand logistics operations, predict trends and control the processes.

Average Salary

The average base salary for a Logistics Analyst is $60,541 yearly. The role's median salary is $61, 000 while the highest ten percent earn up to $83,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Logistics Analysts assess customer demands by demographics and locations to ensure finished goods get to high-sales areas on time.

  • They study manufacturing and storage capacities and seasonal demand changes to ensure production can meet customer demands at all times.

  • Logistics Analysts use data to adjust the supply chain to operate at peak efficiency.

Industries Employing Logistics Analysts

The industries with the highest concentrations of Logistics Analysts are:

  • Manufacturing companies and plants

  • Shipping lines and cargo air services

  • Storage facilities and fulfillment services

  • Large international retail companies

Distribution Manager

Distribution Managers handle all the day-to-day activities related to shipping large quantities of goods. They work with warehouse supervisors and production to ensure the company meets customer demands efficiently.

Average Salary

Most Distribution Managers earn about $69,849 yearly, on average. The median salary in the field is $70,000 while the top ten percent go home with packages as high as $103,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Distribution Managers ensure that goods get to their destinations as soon as possible, and at the lowest cost to the company and customer.

  • They manage the warehouse and monitor warehouse inventory.

  • The role also involves quality control and assurance, ensuring the company ships only goods that meet the minimum quality standards.

Industries Employing Distribution Manager

Distribution Managers works mostly in:

  • Large manufacturing firms with global customer base

  • Whole distributors and large retail organizations

  • Warehousing and storage facilities

  • Shipping and air cargo companies

Purchasing Manager

Purchasing Manager (or Procurement Manager) leads the team responsible for procuring raw materials for companies. For non-manufacturing businesses, like consumer goods wholesalers or retailers, their role involves sourcing supplies for resale or company use.

Average Salary

An average Purchasing Manager earns about $70,832 yearly. The median salary is $71,000, while the top ten percent earners go home annually with up to $101,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Purchasing Managers source the best quality raw materials and goods at the most reasonable prices for the value sought, and ensure regular supplies to meet needs.

  • They evaluate suppliers, review product quality, negotiate contracts and prepare the paperwork.

  • Purchasing Managers maintain rapport with vendors and suppliers and supervise purchasing agents.

Industries Employing Purchasing Managers

Some of the top industries in high demand of Purchasing Managers are:

  • All the branches of the military

  • Manufacturing companies, plants and factories

  • Large wholesalers and retailers

  • Federal and State governments, and governmental organizations

Inventory Control Manager

Inventory Control Managers oversee the day-to-day activities related to managing the inventory, ensuring they are within operational levels.

Also, the manager interfaces regularly with other company's managers, like the procurement, production, sales and distribution managers, to keep the supply chain operating smoothly and at peak efficiency.

Average Salary

Inventory Control Managers earn about $63,791 yearly on average. The media salary is $64,000, while the top ten percent earn about $88,000 annually.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Overseeing the job assignments of inventory control staff, including hiring and training junior team members

  • Takes stock and ensures the company has enough inventory to meet demands

  • In some organizations, the Inventory Control Manager is responsible for replenishing spent inventory and handling customer returns.

Industries Employing Inventory Managers

Professionals in this field work mostly in:

  • Retail stores and distribution centers

  • Manufacturing companies and plants

  • Warehousing and storage facilities

Supply Chain Manager

Supply Chain Managers oversee every stage of a company's supply chain, from procurement to production, storage and distribution. It enables them to maintain a bird-eye view on the company's supply chain activities, ensuring improved productivity, efficiency and cost-effective sourcing.

Average Salary

Most Supply Chain Managers take home about $84,389 base salary annually, while the top ten percent earners will get up to $119,000 by the end of the year.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Develops and supervises execution of a company's supply chain strategy

  • Analyzes supply chain data to optimize performance and reduce costs

  • Maintaining and managing inventory

  • Supervising, hiring and training supply chain employees

Industries Employing Supply Chain Manager

The top industries that hire Supply Chain Managers are:

  • Manufacturing companies and plants

  • Large retail and wholesale centers

  • Franchise companies

Logistics Engineer

Logistics Engineers are responsible for "engineering" logistics and supply chain processes, enabling companies to use available resources more efficiently and productively to meet customer demands and on time.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of Logistics Engineers is $71,915. The top ten percent in the field receive up to $93,000 while the lowest earners receive about $56,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Logistics Engineers oversee logistics process designs, including designing and evaluating technologies used in logistics operations

  • Plans, analyzes and coordinates an organization's supply chain

  • Ensures efficiency in transportation cost and time

Industries Employing Logistics Engineer

Several industries employ Logistics Engineers, but the top the employers include:

  • All branches of military, including the marine corp

  • Manufacturing plants, and factories

  • Large retail and wholesale outlets

  • Fulfillment centers and storage facilities

Operations Research Analyst

Operations Research Analyst uses advanced mathematical and statistical modeling, optimization techniques, big data and analytics to develop solutions that help organizations operate more efficiently, productively and cost-effectively.

Average Salary

The average salary of Operations Research Analysts is $77,514 yearly. The top ten professionals get up to $116,000 while the bottom earners receive about $48,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Leverages data to help plan and manage distribution more efficiently.

  • Provides actionable insights for management decision-making

  • Improves existing processes, identifies opportunities to reduce costs and ensure operational efficiency

Industries Employing Operations Research Analysts

Some of the top places Operations Research Analysts work are:

  • All branches of the military

  • Federal government defense and national security departments

  • Private consulting firms

  • Large manufacturing companies and firms

College Instructor

College and university instructors utilize their experience to teach varieties of students to develop logistics and supply chain management skills and competence. When not instructing, they may also engage in research to expand logistics and supply chain knowledge.

Average Salary

Most College and University Instructors earn a median salary of about $50,079 annually. Top earners in the field go home with up to $80,000 while the bottom ten percent receive about $35,000 annually.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • College and University Instructors develop lesson plans and deliver lectures

  • Grades and reviews papers, exams and tests

  • May handle administrative and non-academic tasks as assigned by the department head or dean.

Industries Employing College Instructors

Colleges, universities and higher education institutions are the highest employers of professionals in this field.

Chief Procurement Officer

Chief Procurement Officer is an executive-level position responsible for leading and driving an organization's procurement and logistics efforts and vision. The CPO ensures supplies and purchases meet organizational needs cost-effectively.

Average Salary

CPOs earn a median salary of $173,000 annually. The top earners get up to $244,000 yearly, while the bottom ten percent receive about $74,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Seeks out and maintains strategic partnerships with suppliers and vendors

  • Develops procurement plan and strategy to reduce cost, ensure efficiency and improve productivity and aligns procurement strategies and plans with overall company's goals

  • Manages procurement projects and teams

Industries Employing Investment Strategists

Only large corporations employ a CPO, some of the top industries needing their services include:

  • The military and national defense and security departments

  • Large global retail and wholesale businesses

  • Global manufacturing firms

  • Big pharmaceutical companies

Supply Chain Consultants

Supply Chain Consultants work with clients in the military, retail business or manufacturing to reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase profits. They work hand-in-glove with the company's logistics director, or equivalent, to streamline supply chain operations.

Average Salary

The average median salary of Supply Chain Consultants is $80,374, while the top ten percent earn up to $120,000 yearly,

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Work with the company's senior supply chain executives or managers to develop action plan and strategies for cost-efficient operations

  • Determines sources of inefficiencies and leaks and comes up with ways to reduce supply expenses and ensure clinical utilization of resources

  • Helping the organization set measurable KPIs and appraise performances

Industries Employing Production Managers

Supply Chain Consultants work in private consulting firms. Their job brings them in contact with organizations across diverse industries, including the military, manufacturing and retails.

Freight Forwarder

Freight Forwarders plan and coordinate the movement of cargoes from its point of origin to a specified location, ensuring that transportation and delivery are as quick and cost-efficient as possible.

Average Salary

The median base salary of Freight Forwarders is $45,106. The top ten percent earn up to $62,000 while the bottom earners receive a base package of $34,000 yearly.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Freight Forwarders research the most most-effective carriers and negotiate the best rates on behalf of the company or clients.

  • Handles custom documentations, ensuring compliance with customs standards and protocols.

  • Manages cargo space scheduling and freight consolidation.

  • Responsible for securing the right cargo insurance policy.

Industries Employing Freight Forwarders

Freight Forwarders work primarily in freight forwarding companies. Their skills also come in handy in the logistics departments of:

  • Large retail and wholesale centers

  • Big manufacturing, production and pharmaceutical corporations

  • Global fulfillment businesses

How to Boost your Logistics Career

With the demands for logisticians on the increase, earning postgraduate degrees and relevant professional certifications is your best bet to stand neck and shoulders above other professionals, boosting your career.

Also, online courses from recognized institutions to shore up your skills or belonging to at least one professional organization  can give you some competitive edge.

Some solid options for professional body membership includes:

Pros and Cons of Logistics Careers

A logistics career brings a lot on table. It also has a dark side. We'll explore them quickly to enable you to make an informed decision.


  • Logistics jobs are in high demand, so can rest assured of having a place to work after graduation.

  • You can begin your career journey with an associate degree

  • It has several lucrative career you can explore

  • It's easy to switch occupations with a logistics degree.

  • You can enter into private practice as a consultant or set up private logistics companies if you want to explore chances in entrepreneurship

  • Logistics degrees help you develop interpersonal and analytical skills

  • As a logisticians, you're always new people, making friends and building networks

  • You can work in the military with a logistics degree.

  • You have the chance to travel

  • The salary and benefits are competitive


  • You'll need at least a Bachelor's degree to secure a high-paying job

  • The job is demanding, stressful and monotonous

  • You might work longer hours during peak seasons

  • Getting to the top of your career will require heavy investment in continuous learning, licenses and certifications

Skills You'll Develop While Studying Logistics

Logistics degrees provide you with valuable skills to have a successful career in the field. Some of them includes:

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Studying logistics enables you to acquire critical thinking and analytical capabilities. The skill helps you to analyze issues objectively and proffer cost-effective solutions to complex issues.

Software Skills

Since a bulk of your work will involve managing inventory, analyzing customer demands and estimating production and storage capacities, a logistics degree will equip you with the skill to use software and computer programs to solve these issues.

Management Skills

Taking courses in logistics will arm you with the skills to manage available resources, including material and human resources, to meet organizational goals. The skill also enables you to delegate effectively, motivate the workforce the right and coach and mentor junior staff properly.

Interpersonal Skills

The ability to effectively interact and work well with others is crucial in this profession. Whether you are collaborating on a project with colleagues or liaising with external stakeholders, it arms you with the confidence, empathy and communication skill to make the most of every interaction.

How to Prepare for a Logistics Career

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree in logistics provides you the foundational knowledge to qualify as a logistician and effectively handle most responsibilities related to entry-level to managerial logistics positions. You can start with an associate degree and then work gradually towards earning postgraduate degrees.

2. Take Certification Exams

A bachelor's degree is not often enough to have a lucrative career in logistics. So, you might want to enroll in professional certifications courses to improve your employment prospects and land more high-paying jobs.

3. Apply For a Job

You can apply for jobs after earning a degree and certifications. Only submit applications for roles that match your career objective and with a clear career advancement path. The right job lets you build your experience by learning from more knowledgeable professionals, improving your prospects.

4. Earn Graduate Degrees

If you desire more advanced and executive-level roles in logistics and supply chain management, then earning at least one graduate degree should be on the table. Taking postgraduate courses helps you gain specialized knowledge and advance your industry expertise and credibility.

Logistics Resources to Help Your Career

Several industry resources, including professional programs, open access journals and online courses are available to people in this field to advance their logistics career.

Some solid open courseware options include:

Additionally, here are some good industry publications to check out:

How to Switch to a Logistics Career

You can successfully switch to a career in logistics from closely related fields and backgrounds. However, most positions will require you to possess at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

You can quickly shore up your skills and industry expertise by enrolling in logistics career conversion programs. These skill-focused programs help new entrants to gain practical knowledge to succeed in logistics roles.

Also, take online courses and professional certifications exams to complement the career conversion programs. Additionally, earn a master's degree to gain specialized knowledge to make up for the lack of industry experience.

Of course, don't forget to get yourself a mentor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Logistics?

Logistics is the management of the movement of resources from their point of origin to their final destination. It involves resource acquisitions, storage and transportation to where it's needed.

What certification do I need for a Logistics career?

You can enroll in any of the several professional logistics certifications to advance your career. Some of them includes:

Can I get a Logistics degree online?

Yes, you can earn a logistics degree online. Some universities like Southern New Hampshire University, Ball State University, and Arizona State University run logistics degree online programs.

What fields can Logistics professionals work in?

Logistics professionals can work in several fields, including retail and wholesale businesses, manufacturing , consulting services, shipping companies. They also work in the military where they are responsible for planning and coordinating troops movements and shipment of  supplies and equipment.

Professionals in the fields also have successful careers in international NGOs and intergovernmental organizations like UN, UNICEF, and WHO.

Is there a high demand for Logistics majors?

The demand for Logistics majors is pretty high.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that jobs in the field will grow by 28 percent between 2021 and 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. They said the market will add over 24,000 new jobs per year over the decade.

Final Thoughts

Going into logistics means you will have a range of lucrative career choices to explore.

Whether you are considering being an inventory control manager, logistics analyst, freight forwarder or procurement manager, professionals in this field are in high demand, so something will be on the plate for you when you graduate. The pay and benefits are competitive too.

Anytime you decide to start your logistic career journey, this resource can put you on the right footing.

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