Careers in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Workers in the logistics and supply chain management field make sure that goods and services get into the hands of consumers. The logistics industry is an important driver of economic growth and development.
All types of businesses, big and small, need logistics managers to help with inventory and accounts receivable. A small business may have one person in charge of these duties, while large corporations have entire logistics and supply chain departments.
Most people begin down a career path in this field by starting in an entry-level position and working their way up to jobs with more responsibilities and a higher salary. There are many different job titles in the logistics industry. Below are just a few:
- Customer Service Manager
- International Logistics Manager
- Inventory Control Manager
- Logistics Engineer
- Logistics Manager
- Logistics Services Salesperson
- Logistics Software Manager
- Materials Manager
- Production Manager
- Purchasing Manager
- Supply Chain Manager
- Systems Support Manager
- Transportation Manager
- Vendor Managed Inventory Coordinator
- Warehouse Operations Manager
Entry-Level Logistics and Supply Chain Management Jobs
One of the most common entry-level positions in this field is customer service management. Customer service is an important part of logistics and supply chain management on an individual level, since listening to and helping your consumers is the backbone of any business. You can also work managing product inventory for a business, planning and overseeing product transportation needs, and managing supplies needed for manufacturing.
You are not limited to customer service management, however. You can also find entry-level employment working as a distribution clerk, van driver, operation clerk, and many other jobs that provide a stepping stone to more advanced positions.
Some entry-level jobs do require at least a bachelor’s degree such as operations research analyst or process associate. These jobs are more focused on critical and analytical thinking, and may require various certifications to prove your expertise in the field. The American Society of Transportation and Logistics has more information about these certifications on their website.
Advanced Logistics and Supply Chain Management Jobs
As you gain experience in logistics and supply chain management, you’ll be able to take on advanced roles in this field. You could work as an industry analyst, project manager, global logistics manager, operations director, transportation director, or international logistics manager, just to name a few of the positions open in this field. For those who attain more experience, upper management positions such as presidents and vice presidents are highly sought after. These top-level positions oversee all aspects of logistics and supply chain management and usually comes attached with a six-figure salary.
If you’re interested in working abroad or with an international customer base, advanced jobs in logistics often provide such opportunities. In our ever-increasingly globalized world, many logistics companies work with foreign distributors to conduct business. There’s also the option to work as a consultant. As a consultant, you can work with a variety of different companies, both nationally and abroad, offering tips and strategies on how to streamline processes. After learning the basics of logistics, working as a consultant might be an option worth considering if you prefer a more flexible schedule and the opportunity to work with a variety of clients and businesses.
Your Logistics Education
Advancing beyond a very low-level customer service position requires at least an associate’s degree, with most jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree. Many employers actually prefer a master’s degree or professional degree in this field as well. Your classes in logistics and supply chain management will cover topics such as ethics, administration, finances, organization, marketing, international business, statistics, and conflict resolution.
Programs often offer internship opportunities, which is a great way to get first-hand experience in the field. You can find programs that just cover logistics and supply chain management, or you can earn a degree in business with a concentration in logistics and supply chain management. Both are beneficial to students interested in working in this field.
Another avenue to consider is online education. Many schools now offer online logistics degree programs at all education levels. Distance education allows you to schedule your classes around work and other commitments. If you think you might be a good candidate for online learning, check out our list of accredited degree programs. We link students to a variety of different programs in logistics management, supply chain management, and many others.
List of Online Logistics Degrees
Ashford University — Earn your online MBA or BA in Supply Chain Management degree from the Forbes™ School of Business at Ashford University. Discover how to distribute products while preparing to manage transportation, warehouses, and supply chains. Learn to assess systems’ performance using logistics decision support and examine globalization’s effect on organizations’ operations and production.
DeVry University — The Global Supply Chain Management BBA degree from DeVry University teaches the principles of logistics and supply chain management. Courses teach both analytical and problem solving skills you will need to solve advanced operations problems. Topics covered include inventory management, transportation, procurement, human resources, and warehousing. The program is offered both in class and online.
Kaplan University — The BSBA in Business Process Management from Kaplan University explores information systems, operations, and material acquisition, and supply chains as they related to logistics management. Classes cover various management techniques as well as practical applications like understanding and examining financial statements. Kaplan is an online school with several test-prep centers and campuses across the country.
Southern New Hampshire University — Southern New Hampshire University's MBA in Operations and Project Management prepares students for advanced positions in business logistics. Courses include Principles of Management, Organizational Behavior, Business Policy, International Business, Principles of Marketing, Financial Management, Ethics, Principles of Conflict Resolutions, Quantitative Methods, and Macroeconomics. Graduates continue to make important contributions to the logistics industry.
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