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Career Info for a Degree in Logistics or Distribution

Degrees in logistics or distribution prepare students to transport raw materials and manage international transportation channels. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

While careers for logisticians generally require candidates to have a bachelor's degree, aspiring transportation managers often only need a high school diploma. Both of these professions require superb organization skills and familiarity with distribution systems and regulations. Other career choices in this field are in storage and distribution management, which also only requires a high school diploma.

Essential Information

Careers in logistics and distribution are ideal for individuals who have excellent time-management skills and who are detail-oriented. Using management skills, these logistic professionals coordinate product distribution and material allocation. Classes may include industrial planning, supply chain management and production operations management. There are many work avenues for students who major in logistics or distribution.

Career Transportation, Storage and Distribution Manager Logistician
Education Requirements High school diploma or equivalent Bachelor's degree usually required
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 2% 2%
Mean Salary (2015)* $95,130 $77,470

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Logistics and distribution careers often do not require a degree, but there are better paying positions for those who get a logistics or distribution degree from a university. Below are descriptions and overviews of three possible career choices for logistics and distribution graduates.

Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers

Transportation managers coordinate the dispatch of transport fleets, supervise contracting of vehicles and shipping services, and oversee equipment repair or purchases. These managers utilize business knowledge, logistics experience and communication skills to review budgets, approve expenditures, manage contracts with service providers, forecast shipping demand and resolve issues with contract fulfillment. Transportation managers also promote safety by implementing company policies regarding materials handling and work conditions. Since shipping and commerce are regulated, transportation managers are familiar with applicable regulations, laws and tariffs.

Storage and distribution managers oversee warehousing facilities for goods or raw materials, manage the distribution of finished products to businesses and retail customers, and coordinate activities with other department heads, such as warehouse facilities managers. Distribution managers ensure that transport is arranged for ongoing distribution, sometimes working with transportation managers. Some storage and distribution managers may purchase, service and manage transportation fleets.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected below average employment growth for transportation, storage and distribution managers from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). BLS wage estimates for transportation, storage and distribution managers in 2015 showed variation depending on the type of shipping activity; those employed in freight transportation earned an average yearly salary of $100,720, while those in rail transportation earned $97,110 per year. Shipping managers who oversaw deep sea, coastal and Great Lakes water transportation commanded $119,960 per year on average, the BLS said.

Logistics Managers

Like transportation, storage and warehousing managers, logistics managers are responsible for the efficient distribution of materials and merchandise, overseeing such factors and resources as transportation, shipping, warehousing and inventory control. They direct the efforts of other supply chain managers to facilitate shipping, negotiate billing and contracts, maintain records and provide customer service. Logistics managers combine business knowledge with an understanding of transportation industry practices so that they can make informed choices regarding routing, scheduling and order management. In May 2015, the BLS reported that logisticians earned a mean annual salary of $77,470. Employment opportunities for this career from 2014-2024 are expected to grow 2%.

Logisticians and storage, transportation and distribution mangers all strive to enhance the efficiency of shipments on goods and products. While storage and distribution managers are often involved with overseeing the shipments of goods from warehouses, a transportation manager coordinates the vehicles that fulfill shipping demands. A logistician manages resources and inventory while also keeping track of shipments and transportation.

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