Logistician: Learn more about the career

Supply chains are at the heart of business operations. This crucial flow of parts or services between stakeholders is central not only to those companies involved but also to economic activity. In the process of building a car, for instance, crucial components are manufactured all over the country or the world and shipped to main assembly plants.

In the age of globalization, supply chain management and supply chain efficiency have taken on renewed importance. Not only multinationals with expansive operations are interested in better and more cost-effective supply chains, as even small firms need logistics know-how. E-commerce allows businesses to sell anywhere they want, but it’s also up to them to get the order packaged, mailed, and to the customer’s door.

All of this makes logisticians highly sought after in the business world. As professionals educated and trained on the sciences of supply chain management, logisticians help analyze supplier networks to look for opportunities to improve efficiency or find another vendor of better quality and value. Yet the role isn’t focused on just the bottom line, as trends like sustainability and gender equality have touched supply chains. When looking for an online business degree to prepare for a career as a logistician, students should seek a program that helps them build skills to address these wide-ranging job responsibilities. To help guide that decision, here’s more information about how to become a logistician.

Positive job, pay outlook for logisticians

With interest in supply chain optimization growing, it makes sense that the hiring of logisticians would track with that rise. Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecast 7 percent job growth between 2016 and 2026 for logisticians, which is in line with the expected growth of all occupations.

Given logisticians are in-demand professionals, they can expect to earn a competitive salary, with the BLS reporting a median wage for logisticians at $74,590. Students should also know that there are certain industries and settings in which logisticians can earn more. For instance, average yearly pay for logisticians in the federal government reaches $84,200, which makes sense given the premium the public sector places on cost efficiency in supply chains.

What is a logistician?

Logisticians are primarily tasked with supply chain matters like procurement, but that brings them into contact with many areas of the business and overall management. This reality and the nature of the logistician’s job mean logisticians need a wide range of skills to carry out their duties. The day-to-day workflow for a logistician often includes:

  • Purchasing: Managing parts inflows and their quality and costs is a primary concern for logisticians
  • Transportation logistics: Every product needs to get from point A to point B, and it’s often up to logisticians to find the fastest and most cost-effective route. This means they may need to contract fleet services or work with other shippers
  • Vendor relationships: Supply chains are just a network of relationships between partners, meaning logisticians need communication and interpersonal skills that help them build trust with vendors, or conversely exert leverage in negotiations
  • Cost analysis: The bottom line is always under a microscope, and it’s up to logisticians to ensure resources are adequately allocated and budgets are kept to

Logisticians also address sustainability, ethical sourcing, and supplier diversity. An organic grocery store may have higher standards for its supply chain than other establishments, but even the biggest companies in the world like Walmart have policies built into their supply chains that require vendors to adhere to certain green and ethical standards. Logisticians need to enforce these values in every interaction.

How to become a logistician

Many prospective logisticians see earning an online business degree as a first step toward building a career in the profession. Such an education can prepare graduates for how to be a logistician with the diverse skills and deep knowledge base needed to succeed as a logistician. Some of the courses that such programs usually feature include:

  • Basic macro and microeconomics
  • International marketing and foundations of financial management
  • Professional selling and distribution operations

Get your online business degree from UAB

Becoming a logistician can be a promising career choice given the importance of supply chain to business operations and daily life. If you want to make a difference as a logistician and are looking for an online business degree to prepare you, look no further than the online Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution offered by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Taught by experts in business and distribution, our 100 percent online business degree program offers students a robust education and experience to shape successful logisticians. Contact an enrollment advisor today to learn more.


Recommended Readings:

Career outcomes with a BS in Industrial Distribution

What are the benefits of UAB?



U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

University of Alabama at Birmingham