Logistics Specialist: Career Info and Education Requirements

Sep 13, 2019

Logistics specialists coordinate activities often involving purchase of supplies and distribution of products. They work closely with vendors and often supervise employees. A bachelor's degree is typically required.

Essential Information

Logistics is a term that applies broadly to dealing with the movement of supplies, equipment, and personnel. Logistics specialists oversee the general coordination, arrangement, and execution of such affairs. A bachelor's degree is typically needed in order to enter this field.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 5% (for all logisticians)
Average Salary (2018)* $78,730

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Logistics Specialists

Logistics specialist refers to any managerial logistics professional, though a person in this role has varying duties according to whether their position is in the military, a government agency, or civilian business. In 2008, the U.S. Navy merged the ratings of postmaster and storekeeper into one logistics specialist position, which demonstrates the diversity of job functions and title origins (www.navy.mil).

Job descriptions also fluctuate due to the type of business in which a person is involved. For example, manufacturing is the most common industry using logistic specialists in the civilian realm. The job can involve maintaining equipment for deployment, acquiring raw materials for manufacture, purchasing supplies, accounting, supervising inventory, and distributing parcels.

Strong oral and written communications skills are required--in terms of professional, conversation, and jargon vernacular--as making reports and working with many vendors and staff is a standard part of the job. Specialists often supervise other employees and need to be able to evaluate them against company rubrics. Safety issues are often a concern in the position as well.

Salary Info and Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average income for logisticians was $78,730 as of 2018, and an average growth in job opportunities of 5% was expected between 2018 and 2028.

Education Requirements

Most positions in logistics require a bachelor's degree in such areas as operations, supply chain management, and inventory supervision. Mathematics classes, such as calculus and statistics, are often included in formal education. Students also learn about legal issues involved in domestic and international shipping and storage; they also study cost-benefit analysis and freight transportation tactics via rail, ship, and air. However, to gain positions of leadership or advanced titles, such as specialist, further education or extensive on-the-job training is usually required.

Additional knowledge and skills include a foundational understanding of electronics and computer hardware, as well as the use and programming of relevant software applications. Specialists need to know about raw materials and the process of production. A strong grasp on quality control is also essential. Organizational skills, crisis management, and the ability to improvise are often very important for logistics specialists.

Logistics specialists often oversee a broad range of activities in a corporate environment that may involve logistics of personnel, equipment, products, and supplies. Employers typically prefer job candidates with a bachelor's degree and prior related experience. A commitment to workplace safety is a high priority in this profession.

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