The field of logistics is little known but can be very lucrative. It also happens to be an excellent fit for veterans, involving many of the same skills in strategic planning, optimization, and situational adaptability that they learn while deployed. Furthermore, logistics jobs can be found anywhere in the world, making them a great match for veterans who wish to continue traveling throughout their civilian career.
Comparison of Jobs in Logistics
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Logistician||$74,170||7%||Leadership skills, strategic planning abilities, interpersonal skills|
|Industrial Production Manager||$97,140||-1%||Leadership skills, the ability to troubleshoot, analysis skills|
|Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives||$60,530||5%||Interpersonal and negotiation strengths, language skills|
|Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents||$64,850||-3%||Strategic planning skills, interpersonal and negotiation abilities, language skills, an eye for quality|
|Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers||$41,340||6%||Ability to troubleshoot, solid driving skills, commercial driver's license (CDL)|
Source:*Bureau of Labor Statistics. The salaries presented here are for U.S. based jobs and may not reflect salaries for the overseas counterpart.
What Makes These Great Overseas Logistics Jobs
Logistics as a career path involves managing how a product is moved through design, production, dissemination, and, eventually, disposal. Many of the skills that veterans learn while deployed translate well to this work, and employers in this field are often excited to bring veterans onto their team. Negotiation and bartering, strategic planning, troubleshooting, and language skills are all directly applicable to work in logistics. This field is also ripe with opportunity to work abroad, and although none of the careers listed are specific to international logistics, opportunities for overseas work often exist.
Unsurprisingly the job that tops this list has the same title as the larger category of jobs discussed here. Logisticians work within an organization's supply chain to manage the life cycle of a product from creation to disposal. They are also responsible for developing client relations and strategizing ways to minimize costs. These are fast paced positions that require quick thinking and often a significant amount of travel, which are familiar to many veterans. A bachelor's degree is often preferred for these positions, although an associate's degree or related work experience may suffice.
Industrial Production Manager
Industrial production managers work on the logistics of one industrial plant. They deal with the operations there and step back once the product has left their facility. People in these jobs need to be great leaders, able to manage a variety of personalities as well as different issues on the production line. The teaching and leadership skills as well as the abilities to think quickly and analyze a situation learned while in the military all come in handy in this position. A bachelor's degree and relevant work experience are usually required to get a job as an industrial production manager.
Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative
Individuals who work as wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives are responsible for selling a product to retailers. These jobs require strong interpersonal skills, and a familiarity with bargaining and negotiating practices are highly desirable. Language skills can also be quite helpful, opening a company to markets that would otherwise be closed. The level of education required depends on what is being sold. Non-technical products, like food or clothes, may only require a high school degree, while products that utilize science and engineering often necessitate sales representatives to have a bachelor's degree in a pertinent field. Both global and domestic companies may require a significant amount of travel.
Purchasing Manager, Buyer, and Purchasing Agent
Those who work on buying for an organization are responsible for strategically organizing the company's needs to ensure they have products of the best possible quality and price. They interact with suppliers and may manage the contracts that a company maintains. A discerning eye coupled with great planning and interpersonal skills are traits learned in the military that are integral to success in this job. Language skills can also be very helpful. Most employers require a bachelor's degree for lower level positions, as well as some prior experience when hiring for management.
Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Driver
For those who wish to get into logistics, but don't have the experience to apply for the jobs listed above, becoming a trucker may be a great way to get a foot in the door. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one place to another. They often deal with long hours on the road, mechanical issues, and adverse driving conditions, so this job requires great troubleshooting skills. No advanced degrees are required, but a high school diploma and training for professional truck drivers is typical. A commercial driver's license (CDL) is a must.