(5.5 out of 10)
|Number of Jobs:||27,800|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Business Jobs||#20|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#78|
Ever wonder who coordinates the response to major weather-related events, such as Hurricane Sandy? Or plans cleanups of environmental disasters, such as the Gulf oil spill of 2010? Logisticians are the ones who make sure the necessary equipment, supplies, and skilled technicians arrive quickly and with the right tools at their side. Their skills lie in making such impressive, behind-the-the scenes undertakings appear effortless, so companies and governments can continue running smoothly. They populate almost every field, from retail to finance to government. In the private sector, they are charged with handling shipping, distribution, warehousing, and quick deliveries to customers.
While logistics is a relatively narrow field, job growth is likely to be higher than average as supply and distribution systems grow increasingly complex. The Labor Department estimates that employment should increase by 25.5 percent between 2010 and 2020, with 27,800 jobs added.
Logistician jobs pay better than average; median annual earnings in 2011 were $71,910, with the lowest-paid 10 percent earning less than $44,830 and the highest-paid 10 percent earning more than $110,720. The top earners for this profession live in the metropolitan areas of Bellingham, Wash., San Jose, Calif., and Santa Rosa, Calif.
Most logisticians start with a bachelor's degree in a field such as business, supply-chain management, process engineering, or industrial engineering. As logisticians rise into the management ranks, many get an M.B.A. or certification in various specialties. On-the-job experience counts for a lot, too, and logisticians should stay current on evolving technology like RFID tracking systems or new inventory-control software. Many logisticians also have a military background, since moving material under adverse conditions—a military specialty—is excellent training for the challenges of commerce. They also tend to be well-organized and good at problem-solving and communication.
According to Sarah James, executive director of SOLE-The International Society of Logistics, the current state of the global economies and need to reduce both public and private operating costs has created a strong demand for logisticians who can work across an entire organization, and she expects their importance to grow even more. "Since logistics impacts every element of an organization at all levels, the logistician who can integrate all enterprise activity may well become the next 'must have' in the C-suite," she says. That means aspiring logisticians might want to consider additional certifications and management or leadership training as their career progresses. As logisticians gain experience, they can move into middle- and senior-management positions, especially those who find new ways to cut costs and improve efficiency. Some logisticians parlay their experience into a job with a consulting firm, or even start their own advisory or outsourcing firm.
|Upward Mobility||Above Average|
|Stress Level||Above Average|
Last updated by Kimberly Palmer.