3 minute read


Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: $73,510 per year
Job Outlook: Excellent

The logistician coordinates the procurement, storage, transportation, and distribution of people, product, or equipment. Just-in-time delivery (JIT) or moving product quickly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption to the customer and cost to the company is the foundation of logistics. A successful logistician is organized, enjoys challenges, works well with schedules, and handles strict deadlines efficiently.

Some of the tasks that logisticians perform are writing and reviewing proposals, acting as liaison between subcontractors and other organizations, performing cost analysis, monitoring logistics performance, managing the logistics team to ensure goals and deadlines are met, establishing and maintaining positive customer service relationships with customers and subcontractors, and applying current logistics technology to processes where appropriate.

Although originally used to move supplies for military, logistics became a business solution in the 1950s to meet the demands of a world that had become more globalized. The professional opportunities for logisticians are endless and logisticians can find employment in many industries like the military as well as the petroleum, data processing, shipping, distribution, and manufacturing industries.

Education and Training Requirements

High school students interested in a career as a logistician should take courses in algebra, computer technology, business, English and language arts, calculus, and mathematics.

College courses in business subjects such as accounting, finance, marketing, statistics, operations, logistics theory, and quantitative analysis are also recommended for students who wish to become logisticians.

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for employment as a logistician. Most logisticians have a degree in logistics, operations management or some other related field as well as professional certification.

SOLE – The International Society of Logistics offer three levels of certification via their Demonstrated Logistician Program. The lowest level certification is the Demonstrated Logistician (DL), followed by the Demonstrated Senior Logistician (DSL), and the Demonstrated Master Logistician (DML). All three certifications require the individual continue their education via CEUs or college courses. There are also other requirements related to performance in the logistics field.

SOLE also has a Certified Master Logistician Program that recognizes expertise in logistics chain management and the Certified Professional Logistician Program that addresses expertise in the entire logistics field. The Certified Professional Logistician designation is the highest certification offered by the organization.

The American Society of Transportation and Logistics offers certification in Transportation and Logistics (CTL). Applicants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree or three years of professional experience and to successfully pass three required modules and three optional modules.

Getting the Job

Although high school graduates can gain entry into the logistics field in a logistics-related position, only candidates who are willing to take logistics-related courses, pursue higher education, and obtain logistics certification will have the best opportunity for employment. As with most professions, previous work experience and education, along with participation in an internship will give an individual an advantage over others.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for logisticians will grow faster than average during the 2008 to 2018 decade. Some positions will be become vacant due to retirement, transfers or other reasons. Employment of logisticians is determined by consumer demand. As long as there is need for products or services, the logistician’s future is secure. Logisticians with extensive experience, an established track record of success, and knowledge of current logistics technology have the best opportunity for employment.

Working Conditions and Environment

Logisticians can work individually, as part of a team, or with a diverse group of people. Stress from strict or changing deadlines is a part of the job and it is important that the logistician be able to handle stress effectively. In addition, frequent travel, overtime, and an irregular work schedule are to be expected.

Salary and Benefits

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the average salary for logisticians is $73,510 per year. Salaries for logisticians are as follows: 10% of all logisticians make $43,530 per year, 25 % make $55,210 per year, 50% make $70,800 per year, 75% make $89,040 per year, and 90% make $108,080 per year. Health benefits, vacation, incentive pay, and 401K plans are standard benefits for the industry.

Where to Go for More Information

American Public University System
111 West Congress St.
Charles Town, WV 25414
Phone: (877) 777-9081
Fax: (703) 330-5109
American Public University System

American Society of Transportation & Logistics
PO Box 3363
Warrenton, VA 20188
Phone: (202) 580-7270
Fax: (202) 962-3939
American Society of Transportation & Logistics

DeVry University
Highland Landmark V
3005 Highland Parkway
Downers Grove, IL 60515-5683
Phone: 866-338-7934
Fax: (602) 943-4108
DeVry University

SOLE – The International Society of Logistics
8100 Professional Pl., Ste. 111
Hyattsville, Maryland 20785-2229
Phone: (301) 459-8446
Fax: (301) 459-1522
SOLE – The International Society of Logistics

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesTransportation & Logistics