Making Stuff Happen: 7 Facts About Logistics Careers to Decide if They're for You

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jan 24, 2019

Jan 24, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

In 2015 more than $52.5 billion worth of freight moved on a daily basis. That's 49.3 million tons of freight moving around the country every day! 

It takes a lot of people to make this industry run like a well-oiled machine. And with the industry growing, it is only going to require more people to keep everything moving. 

Logistics Careers offer you a chance to be a part of an industry that is varied, challenging, and exciting. Here are 7 more reasons why the logistics industry is the industry of career growth and opportunity. 

1. Logistics Is a Huge Industry

Logistics is one of those industries that affects a wide range of other industries. Any business that has a supply chain, uses logistics. 

This will give your career a fair amount of security. As you can transfer your skills from one industry to another. 

Even more promising is that the industry continues to grow. There is a steady growth of about 2.6 percent. But that translates to about $1.48 trillion in logistics costs for businesses each year. 

2. You Have Options When It Comes to Location

As we mentioned, freight moves across the country every day. Logistics isn't just an industry focused in the United States though. Companies utilize logistics across the world as a part of their supply chain. 

When it comes to your career, you don't have to be limited to working only in your city. If you want to move across the country, you can. You could choose to work for a few years in one city, and then move to another for the next few years.

Top States

The states that have the highest amount of employed logistics professionals are California, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, and Ohio. 

The states that have the highest pay rates are slightly different though. They are Washington DC, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Washington state. Keep in mind that many of these states have a high cost of living. 

Work Environment 

It isn't just where you decide to live in the country. You have options when it comes to where you work physically every day. 

Some people in the industry work in a warehouse environment. Others work out on the road moving the freight. While others work in an office environment. 

You could work for a company in their logistics department. Then you will coordinate their individual supply chain. 

The other option is to work for a company that is solely in the logistics industry such as a carrier, freight forwarder, warehouse, or supply chain management company. 

International Opportunities 

If you want to have a career that takes you on international travel then consider logistics. Your career can make you a part of a $15.5 trillion dollar world industry. 

There are major ports spread around the coast of the United States accepting shipments from all over the world. You could be working for a company that is importing goods through the ports.

Or you could work for the port itself. Or you could work for a logistics company that manages many different company's shipments that crisscross across the world. 

3. There Are Plenty of Positions 

This is one of those industries that operate behind the scenes. Because of that, many people overlook it as a possible career path. Do a quick search for operations and logistics positions and you'll see that there are plenty available just waiting for the right candidate. 

Another great fact about all of these available positions is that they are becoming more female friendly. This is an industry that has traditionally been very male-dominated. 

This is changing though and women are now just as competitive. So don't shy away because you don't think you have a shot. Quality logistics companies value knowledge and skill and they want the best candidate for the position. 

Top Paying Positions 

There are a few positions that pay the best. So if your income level is a key factor for you, then consider these opportunities first. 

  • Configuration Analyst 
  • Business Operations Specialist 
  • Distribution Center Manager 
  • Senior Level Landman 
  • Fleet Manager 

These are the positions that have historically paid the most in the logistics industry. 

4. Get an Education 

You will find positions available for candidates at all education levels. Though typical entry-level jobs require you to have a bachelor's degree. But the median pay is around $74,590 a year.

You don't necessarily have to get a degree in logistics either. However, a degree that focuses on business, analytics, or math will serve you well. 

Another helpful thing you can do is to start learning about the logistics and freight industry. There are a lot of terms and acronyms to learn. 

For example, did you know that there are many different types of shipping containers? You can read more here and get a jump start on your logistics career. 

Government Training 

What if you could get paid to learn about logistics? By serving in the military you can get a valuable education in logistics operations. 

Logistics is vital for the military to run smoothly. So getting that practical hands-on experience is invaluable in making you competitive in the job search. 

After you serve 4 years in the military you could qualify for a mid-level position in a logistics company in the civilian world. 

5. Can You Handle the Pressure? 

Prepare for your job to have some pressure. Companies need their shipments to get where they are going on time. A company that depends on their supply chain cannot make money if their products are not getting delivered on time. 

Because of this, as the person responsible for logistics, it is on your shoulders to make sure that everything runs smooth. You need to be able to remain calm and problem solve when problems arise. 

The most challenging part is that you are not in control of all of the elements that can affect your timing. You could face large snowstorm from the northeast. Or a hurricane in the south. 

It's Out of Your Control

You also will need to work with other companies in the supply chain. Let's say you work for a 3PL, and your client is a company shipping their products from the manufacturer to a warehouse for distribution. 

The manufacturer is experiencing delays with product production, and your client has a backlog of orders they need to fill. It is your job to get those products from the manufacturer as fast as possible and not damaged. 

It's Not Forever

Don't get discouraged by the stress level though. As your career advances, you will find that the day to day stressors will reduce in number. 

As you move up through your career you'll go from solving individual shipments problems to solving more global problems. You'll be evaluating things on a company-wide level. 

6. It's Been One of the Best Careers to Have 

How about having a career that is considered one of the best jobs to have? By comparing a number of factors like stress level and salary, logisticians are one of the best jobs you can have. 

7. You Need to Know SCM

We mentioned education earlier, but that isn't enough. you need to learn about the whole supply chain. The best way to start is learning about what supply chain management is. 

The best way to be effective in logistics is to understand the whole process and how the individual parts fit together.  Then you can understand how all of the moving pieces fit together. 

Supply Chain Management 

There are two main ideas that define supply chain management. The first being that is takes many different organizations working together to get a product to the end user. Collectively these organizations are the supply chain. 

The second is that many businesses focus on what is happening within their four walls. They tend to forget that they need the rest of the supply chain to work smoothly. 

Without focusing on the entire supply chain, efforts become disjointed and not very effective. This means both your physical and information flows stop. 

Start Looking at Logistics Careers

Hopefully, we have convinced you that the logistics industry is the one for you and your future career. This is the industry that flies under the radar when it comes to jobs people consider. 

That means there isn't a ton of competition and plenty of positions available. You can also have confidence that you will have job security and longevity. 

Logistics careers offer the chance for people with many different skills and background to work in an industry that allows you to be challenged every day.  

Interested in becoming a warehouse manager? Do you have these 9 skills?