Undergraduate certificates in logistics are offered by community colleges and prepare students for entry-level work in the field. Graduate certificates are typically for those with advanced degrees or who are enrolled in graduate degree programs. Students can earn industry certification through the American Society of Transportation and Logistics or International Society of Logistics after successful completion of experience or degree requirements. Most will also require the successful completion of an exam.
Undergraduate Certificate in Logistics
Community colleges and technical schools offer two-year logistics certificate programs to students interested in gaining entry-level employment in the industry. Students are taught about product acquisition and transportation, and practice solving problems related to inventory distribution. Students learn how to develop their own effective methods to transport people and products.
Some programs offer specialization in areas such as distribution and storage, inventory control, and management. Certificate programs prepare students to earn an entry-level national logistics certification. Logistics certificate applicants must be high school graduates with a diploma or GED. Work experience and organizational skills are helpful, but not always required.
Classes rely on theory and techniques. They encompass various aspects of supply chain management and logistics, including purchasing, storage, and shipping. Common topics are:
- Distribution and warehouse
- International and domestic transportation
- Planning and scheduling
- Managing purchasing
- Marketing principles
Graduate Certificate in Logistics
Graduate certificate programs are available from four-year universities. The target participants are advanced-degree holders or graduate students with an interest or background in supply chain management and logistics. Enrollees learn about industry changes and business relations. Students are taught how to effectively plan and coordinate the timely transportation of goods and services from one place to another. Students receive a Certificate of Completion in Logistics upon successful conclusion of the courses. They are eligible to sit for a national logistics certification examination.
Logistics programs generally require students to be currently enrolled in or graduated from a master's degree or Ph.D. program in a related area, such as business or economics. Relevant work experience is mandatory and at least two years of industry exposure is expected.
Students learn about the technology and techniques behind supply distribution systems. Course content includes:
- Analyzing logistics systems
- Business and economics
- Facilities and operations
- Supply chain operations
- Transporting domestically
Popular Career Options
Certified logistics managers are able to work for domestic and international companies. Possible positions are:
- Logistics coordinator
- Logistics specialist
- Supply chain manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment of logisticians is expected to grow 2% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In May 2015, the BLS reported that a logistician's media annual wage was $74,260.
Certification in Logistics
A professional logistics certification boosts a logistician's employment potential. Two organizations offer certification in logistics to those who pass exams: the APICS and the International Society of Logistics (SOLE).
The Professional Designation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management is an entry-level certification exam offered by APICS to applicants who have completed academic study in logistics. Successful completion of the multiple-choice exam results in a five-year certification. Students can re-certify by completing educational programs in logistics, going to logistics conferences, or beginning work toward APICS next certification level.
A four-year degree or three years of work history is necessary to qualify for APICS program: Certification in Transportation and Logistics. Students must pass test sections in transportation economics and management, international transportation and logistics, general management, and logistics management. Then, they choose two elective sections from among four choices: logistics analysis, supply chain management, supply chain strategy, or a creative endeavor (an essay on a topic about logistics). Distinguished Logistics Professional is the APICS highest accolade, for 20-year career logistics workers who are recommended by colleagues.
SOLE offers a three-level Demonstrated Logistician Program. More advanced candidates can attain Demonstrated Senior Logistician or Demonstrated Master Logistician status. Earning these recognitions depends on continued education, training, and work experience. No exam is involved in earning the Demonstrated Logistician awards.
A three-section multiple-choice test is required of candidates for Certified Master Logistician status (CML). It covers systems management and distribution, with case studies about these concepts. Candidates need at least eight years, combined, of education and experience. SOLE's most advanced recognition is Certified Professional Logistician (CPL), a designation that does require an exam.
Logistics certification and certificate programs are available for potential undergraduate and graduate students. Course topics will include distribution, planning and scheduling, and facilities and operations.