Businesses rely on logistics managers to streamline production and distribution channels for maximized efficiency. Certificate programs are geared towards existing logistics or supply chain employees and offer entry-level industry training. Undergraduate degree programs provide comprehensive study in supply chain management, logistics security, and fleet management. Top-level managers or senior logistics executives often hold master's degrees in logistics management.
Degree programs are not typically offered online, and some possess prerequisites (e.g., high school diploma/GED, bachelor's degree) that are dependent on the degree level sought.
Certificate in Logistics Management
Most logistics management certificate programs emphasize foundational materials management and inventory control strategies. Community and traditional colleges typically offer 1-year logistics certificate programs. Students take courses in:
- Production control
- Purchasing and materials control
- Manufacturing management
Associate Degree in Logistics Management
Associate degree programs in logistics management focus on basic managerial and accounting topics as well as specialized logistics techniques. Coursework may include:
- Financial accounting
- Business law
- Global logistics
Bachelor's Degree in Logistics Management
Logistics management bachelor's degree programs explore advanced materials and inventory management principles. Students complete generalized coursework in English, mathematics, psychology and science before focusing on specialized logistics courses. Coursework includes:
- Information technology
- Managerial communication
- Logistics models
- Logistics software applications
- Quality management
- Materials and inventory management
Master's Degree in Logistics Management
Graduate degree programs in logistics management provide senior-level executives with comprehensive knowledge and skills. Advanced coursework may include corporate finance, managerial statistics, logistics policy, and distribution management. Some other courses include:
- Logistics support management
- Production and operations management
- Information technology systems
Popular Career Options
Practical experience in logistics management weighs heavily with employers. For example, mid-level logistics managers may be required to have 3-8 years of experience while senior-level professionals may need 10+ years of logistics management expertise.
Logistics managers do not adhere to federal or state-mandated licensure or certification requirements. Many logistics managers seek voluntary certification through professional associations, such as the Association for Operations Management, formerly known as the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS).
APICS (as they are still known) offers several official designations, including Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). Additionally, individuals with CPIM designations may obtain the additional Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management (CFPIM) designation.
Professional associations, such as APICS and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), offer annual national conferences for logistics managers. They also offer specialized workshops and online seminars in logistics and supply chain management.
Logistics management professionals may keep abreast with current industry developments and trends through trade journals and publications. The CSCMP publishes Supply Chain Quarterly and APICS publishes their bimonthly APICS magazine. Both professional associations also offer industry-specific online webinars, courses, webcasts and roundtable discussions for logistics management professionals.
Individuals interested in logistics training can work towards a certificate in logistics management or an associate or bachelor's degree. Graduate degree programs prepare students for executive-level work.