Transportation and logistics offer a wide range of career choices. Professionals in this sector have the lucky option of working for a variety of industries, such as maritime or the military, while the demand for logisticians has grown incredibly in recent years.
So, whether you have recently completed a degree in this field or want to change career paths, we’ve listed 15 of the best careers in logistics for a little inspiration.
1. Freight agent
What they do: Freight agents typically work as contractors under licensed freight brokers. As their main role is to help arrange and oversee the shipment of goods and to act as client liaisons, excellent communication and organizational skills are essential.
How to become: Freight agents need to hold a high school diploma and be able to demonstrate great mathematical skills, as preparing bills and invoices is part of the job. Previous customer service experience and good knowledge of Microsoft Access and Excel are desirable.
What they earn: $46,910 per year
2. Supply chain manager
What they do: Supply chain managers are in charge of the entire supply chain for the equipment or raw materials of a company. This career, therefore, involves overseeing the purchasing, warehousing, inventory, and production of various distribution products. Your main responsibility as a supply chain manager will be to streamline the process and to make costs and productivity efficient among team members.
How to become: In terms of education, you will need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject, like business. Previous work experience in inventory management or business operations is desirable, as it can prepare you for the fast-paced environment and level of interdepartmental communication you’ll need to maintain.
What they earn: $98,230 per year
3. Warehouse logistics manager
What they do: Businesses need to be sure that their stock is controlled and maintained. For this reason, they hire warehouse logistics managers.
This particular role in logistics involves operating the storage of company goods and managing warehouse staff. Warehouse logistics managers must process orders, arrange the dispatch and delivery of materials, and keep up the quality, quantity, and safety of stocks. Other than training staff, this role also requires that you keep accurate records, liaise with suppliers and manufacturers, and maintain health and safety standards.
How to become: To become a logistics manager, you must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in business or logistics. Previous experience in a warehouse setting, like in the role of packer, is also essential before you can apply for your warehouse manager position.
What they earn: $57,600 per year
4. Transportation analyst
What they do: As a transportation analyst, you’ll be responsible for improving the supply and transportation strategy of a company’s goods. You will analyze the planning and movement of supplies using specialized software and determine new processes for inventory management, supply chain plans, or procurement.
How to become: A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or logistics is typically required, and so is proficiency in Microsoft Access and Excel. Excellent mathematical, organizational, and communication skills are also vital, as transportation analysts need to innovate methods to reduce costs and save time.
What they earn: $84,430 per year
5. Logistics engineer
What they do: Those with a knack of science and mathematics can opt for a career in logistics engineering. These professionals strive to enhance and streamline the distribution of goods by creating or reviewing process analyzes, capacity enhancement and routing, and shipment optimization throughout the supply chain.
How to become: Although job requirements can somewhat vary, most companies will ask for a bachelor’s degree in logistics engineering or logistics management. Additionally, logistics engineers are expected to have great problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
What they earn: $77,030 per year
6. Inventory manager
What they do: If you’re aiming for a management role in logistics, there’s the possibility of becoming an inventory manager.
Using your attention to detail and organizational abilities, you will monitor and record stock levels, allocate goods and resources onto shelves or trucks, enhance order and distribution schedules, and train new employees.
How to become: Inventory managers will typically use a range of data and computer programs to identify inventory issues and offer solutions. Thus, a bachelor’s degree in business administration or finance and relevant work experience are necessary.
Candidates with an analytical mind, leadership ability and exceptional organizational skills typically stand out.
What they earn: $57,000 per year
7. Procurement manager
What they do: Individuals responsible for procurement are in charge of the purchasing of goods for a company. Using their sales skills, procurement managers will communicate and negotiate with suppliers to secure orders and purchases at competitive prices.
By networking and maintaining relationships with suppliers, procurement managers can successfully work towards their goal of implementing cost-saving strategies and improving overall company operations.
How to become: A bachelor’s degree in supply chain management or a related field is normally required. If you choose this logistics career, bear in mind that you will also need strong problem-solving, negotiation, and decision-making skills.
What they earn: $127,150 per year
8. Customer service representative
What they do: A logistics customer service representative acts as the middleman between clients or suppliers and the logistics team. They communicate any issues to engineers or managers and relay the solutions to the client or supplier. The job also involves offering quotations, handling sales invoices, and maintaining client records.
How to become: Ideally, a customer service representative in this field should hold a high school diploma and have knowledge of logistics in order to have a firm grasp of client and supplier concerns.
What they earn: $36,920 per year
9. Logistics consultant
What they do: If you’re exploring careers in logistics, there’s the option of choosing a role in consulting. Logistics consultants will create and implement solutions for a client’s supply chain. They will inspect a company’s production and distribution operations and advise the best methods for change and improvement. This might involve reducing costs, finding new suppliers or changing transportation strategies.
How to become: To become a logistics consultant you’ll need to major in business, supply chain management or a similar subject, and have relevant work experience. Sometimes, companies may also ask for a master’s degree in business administration.
What they earn: $93,410 per year
10. International logistics manager
What they do: If you’re keen on logistics and want to make it big in this field, there’s always the option of aiming for an international logistics manager role. These individuals build relationships and communicate with global partners to make the supply chain of their company more efficient. They also keep up with international laws and regulations to ensure that the import and export of goods are properly executed.
How to become: International logistics managers typically major in international business or supply chain management. As with any managerial position, candidates need to demonstrate strong leadership ability and exceptional organizational and communication skills. A job in international logistics requires knowledge of customs and border protection regulations, too.
What they earn: $79,420 per year
What they do: Working with truck drivers and shipping companies, dispatchers are responsible for the movement of goods along the supply chain of a company. Though typically dispatchers will monitor operations using a transport management system, they may also be required to monitor and manage inventory levels.
How to become: The minimum educational requirement for dispatchers is usually a high school diploma. Previous experience in a relevant role, such as call center representative, is desirable, as it helps individuals develop strong communication and problem-solving abilities.
What they earn: $44,050 per year
12. Freight forwarder
What they do: Freight forwarders are agents who work for importers and exporters to arrange the safest, most efficient, and budget-friendly ways of transporting goods. Freight forwarding companies vary in size, with some operating on a national scale and others internationally.
How to become: Not all freight forwarding companies require candidates to have a degree, but those who do might typically prefer a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business. Candidates should also be knowledgeable of legislation and any political issues or events that could impact the route of freight.
What they earn: $46,910 per year
What they do: A logistician uses software systems to analyze and coordinate the supply chain of a business, moving goods between suppliers and consumers. These logistics professionals are tasked with making important decisions to ensure operations are effective and efficient.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for logisticians is projected to grow 28% by 2031, making it a highly secure career option.
How to become: If you want to become a logistician, you’ll have to stay on top of client relations, resource allocation, coordination of transport, and budget adherence. A bachelor’s degree in supply chain and logistics management is, therefore, essential.
What they earn: $77,030 per year
14. Truck driver
What they do: Truck drivers are not only responsible for picking up and delivering goods. Their duties include completing paperwork, loading and unloading vehicles using pallet jacks, verifying the loads, and carrying out vehicle maintenance to ensure safe, timely deliveries.
How to become: Truck drivers typically need to hold a high school diploma and a valid commercial driver’s license. Basic mechanical knowledge, navigational ability, and good organization and communication skills are also required.
What they earn: $48,310 per year
15. Operations manager
What they do: Logistics operations managers supervise and analyze the performance of the supply chains. While in charge of managing both people and inventory, operations managers are also responsible for devising and implementing cost-reducing strategies.
How to become: To become an operations manager, you will usually need to hold a bachelor’s degree in business or logistics. As you will be expected to lead and coordinate your team, you’ll also need to demonstrate the ability to communicate well and to think proactively and strategically.
What they earn: $97,970 per year
Finding the right career can be challenging, especially when you’re faced with so many different options. Once you narrow down your professional skills and interests, however, you shouldn’t have such a tough time succeeding in your job search.
Do you strive to work in this field? What other logistics jobs can you think of that we’ve not mentioned? Let us know in the comments section below.
Originally published 1 September 2019.