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Definition, Salary, Job Description, Education

If you want to embark on a Logistician career, chances are you want to know more specifics about the career path. What does a logistician do? More precisely, what is a logistician? The position is one with many titles.  A logistician might be a Supportability Engineer, Supervisory Supply Management Specialist, Program Manager, Production Planner, or Operations Vice President. Additional job titles include Logistics Vice President, Logistics Team Lead, Logistics Director, and Client Services Administrator. All the later Logistician positions have varying responsibilities and require a specific skill set.

What Does a Logistician Do?

To understand what a logistician does it is necessary to understand the definition of logistics. One definition acknowledges logistics as a part of military sciences.  The practice involves the procurement, care, and transport of military personnel, facilities, and materials.  The second definition of logistics suggests it is a position where someone controls all the details in relation to a specific task or operation. Basically, logistics is all in the planning of an operation to ensure its success.

The logistician must assess and manage logistic tasks for an organization, group, business, or firm. The logistician might be responsible for a product for the entirety of its life cycle. A candidate will often be responsible for acquiring, distributing, internally allocating, delivering, and ultimately disposing of a company’s or organization’s resources.

The logistician job description includes the full and comprehensive analysis and necessary coordination of the resources falling within a supply chain. Performance of such duties insures the smooth and efficient moving of products to the consumer. From beginning to end, the logistician will track, monitor, and control the movement of a product.

Who is Logistician?

The movement of the product is a day-to-day operation: This is something a logistician handles. Planning is part of the logistician’s responsibilities and the appropriate preparation of any necessary documentation is part and parcel of job responsibilities. Any reports requiring processing are completed by the logistician.

Existing and new contracts are reviewed and examined by the candidate qualifying for this position. Performance measurements also fall under the job description of the logistician, who will track, collect, and assess the metrics necessary to ensure every step in the allocation to delivery process runs smoothly. Any activities requiring special coordination are handled by the logistician. Support assessments are something the qualified candidate facilitates for an organization or company.

Logistician Job Description

Logistician Job Description

Full cooperation with the heads of an organization or company are part of the job’s responsibility requirements. If working in a team or in an office setting, the logistician in the planning process, and may train or guide other workers in matters relating to logistics. Exceptional communication skills are necessary in this position seeing the candidate will work closely with others in getting the product delivered.  The individual is one who will communicate with other employees, vendors, and anyone who plays a vital role in coordinating logistics.  If a problem occurs, the logistician will have to bring together the appropriate technical support and operational assistance needed to get the logistics back in proper order.

Excellent writing skills is another must for the logistician as the individual musts put together comprehensive reports revealing the events associated with the projects the candidate is responsible for managing. Many procedural guidelines and policies are part of logistics of which the logistician must be aware of and adhere to during the work process. The logistician will have to report to a department leader or supervisor.

Logistician Duties and Tasks

The logistician has many duties. Such duties are diverse, and every responsibility ensures the smooth and effective transition from one stage of the allocation to delivery process. The duties one is responsible for include:

  • Product life cycle management from allocation to delivery
  • Directing of products, supplies, and materials
  • Establishing working relationships with employees, clients, suppliers, and vendors
  • Intuiting the needs of clientele and addressing them
  • Logistical reviews of functions
  • Problem identification and improvement recommendation
  • Assessment of logistics and ensuring problem resolution
  • Report writing
  • Communicating in clear and understandable language
  • Strategy proposals
  • Cost minimization recommendations
  • Time crunching of delivery of goods
  • Overseeing warehousing, inventory, transportation, product purchasing, and employee activities
  • Direction of the movement of supplies, people, and goods
  • Working with consumer goods or military supplies
  • The use of software applications for tracking and planning logistics appropriately.

Skills Required

The skill set of the logistician is equally diverse. The more skills one has, the greater flexibility the candidate has in the position.  Skills required include:

  • Creating logistics plans
  • Controlling shipments
  • Negotiations
  • Purchasing
  • Supply Chain Experience
  • Project Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Microsoft Excel Use
  • Logistics
  • Shipping
  • Microsoft Office
  • Data Analysis
  • Customer Service
  • Operations Management
  • Oral Communication
  • Data Entry
  • Receiving
  • Accounting Intuit QuickBooks Software
  • Computer Aided Design CAD Software
  • AutoDeskCAD
  • CRM Customer Relationship Management Software
  • Database User Interface and Query Software Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Outlook and Electronic Mail Software
  • ERP Enterprise Resourcing Software
  • Microsoft Visio Graphics and Photo Imaging Software
  • Web Browser Use
  • Inventory Management
  • Supply Chain Software like RedParie E2e
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Office
  • Procurement Software
  • Project Management Software like Oracle Primavera or Microsoft SharePoint

Working Conditions

Logistician Working Conditions

Logisticians are tracking every aspect of a product from creation to delivery. This ensures when problems arise they are handled as innovatively and as quickly as possible. The logistician position is promising with more than 148,000 positions in 2016 alone. The sectors with the most opportunities for candidates looking to work in logistics include wholesale trade, management enterprises and companies, professional, technical, and scientific services, manufacturing, and the federal government.  About nine percent of all jobs were in the wholesale trade sector.  About ten percent of jobs fell under the category of enterprise and company management. Another 17 percent of jobs were in the technical, scientific, and professional sector. Still another 20 percent of jobs were in the federal government, many of which were in military logistics. The remaining 25 percent of jobs were in the manufacturing sector.

The logistician position is diverse enough to allow it entry into any industry. Some candidates are hired by freight and shipping companies and others work for the departments in firms or companies. The candidate for this job must be ready for high stress conditions in a fast-paced environment that often demands the ability to multitask. The logistician remains responsible for operations and schedules and must be at the ready with problem assessment readiness and solutions implementations. Extensive travel may be part of the work requirements as the candidate moves from one plant to another or visits distribution centers.

The logistician can anticipate a fulltime work week with some overtime work requirements.  Overtime becomes necessary when making certain operations are on target and on schedule.  The ration of workers who had to work greater than 40 hours a week in 2016 is one in every four logisticians.

Work Schedules

Most logisticians worked full time in 2016. Candidates sometimes work overtime to ensure that operations stay on schedule. About 1 in 4 of these workers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2016.

Logistician Salary

Logistician Salary

The logistician’s job is busy and demanding, but the pay can prove rewarding. Experience, skill, background, education, and training are all factors having an information on the logistician’s salary.  So, how much do logisticians make? The pay scale for this position is on the rise. Please note that in examining the position of logistician there are many titles that fall under this umbrella category. Thus, there are many salary variances which depend on the hiring company and job description.

For the purposes of looking at salary overall, here the salary of the logistics specialists is examined. For more diverse information, it is recommended that one reviews different salaries related to positions like Logistics Coordinator, Logistics Manager, Logistics Coordinator, Logistics Supervisor, XPO Logistics, Operations Coordinator Logistics, International Logistics Coordinator, Logistics Director, and Logistics Clerk for a broader salary profile.

How Much do Logistician Make?

At this moment, the national average varies depending on title and the company one works for, but hovers around 45,000 annually.  Those workers with one to five years of experience in the field are in the entry level position. The entry level worker brings home about$40,000 a year. This figure includes overtime compensation, bonuses, and tips.  For those with five to ten years of experience and who are in the mid-career level, the salary is $46,000.  Those who have 10 to 20 years of experience, the salary increases to as much as $51,000 yearly.  With those who are in the career field greater than 20 years, the salary increases again up to around $59,000.


Those who are in the later part of their career with greater than 20 years of experience make about 32 percent more than the national average. For those with ten to 20 years of experience, the salary is about 14 percent greater than the national rate. For those in their mid-career with ten years of experience of less, they will make about three percent more than the per annum average. Entry level workers often start with a salary well below the national average with the pay being 11 percent less than the national yearly rate.

The location where one works will make a big difference in salary. If working in Los Angeles, the individual makes 28% more with a median salary of $57,419. Those working in Norfolk will make about 20 percent above average with a salary of $53,981. Those working in Dallas, Texas will make as much as 19% more than the national rate with a yearly salary of $53,264. The Philadelphia rate of pay for a logistician specialist is $53,000 which is 18% more than the national average. Working in San Diego earns the logistician 15% more than the national rate with a salary of $51,572. Those working in New York earn about 14% more than the national average with a salary of $51,278. Honolulu, Miami, Jacksonville, and Charlotte are all cities where the logistician will earn well below the national average of $45,000.  Charlotte pays as little as $35,360 a year.

Logistician Employment

Logistician Employment

Those working under the title of logistician filled greater than 148.5K jobs in 2016.  At present, about five percent of those employed in the position have less than a year experience. About 37 percent of works have one to four years of experience. Another 26 percent have about five to nine years of experience working in logistics. There’s about 21 percent of logistician workers with ten to 19 years of experience. The remaining 12 percent have greater than 20 years of experience in the field.

The logistician position often comes with common health benefits. About 83 percent of all those working in the field have medical coverage. Another 77 percent of logisticians have dental coverage. About 67% of those in the position also have vision coverage. There is about 14% of logisticians that have no coverage whatsoever.

The positions for qualifying candidates interested in working in the field of logistics is on the steady rise. In 2010, there were 104,800 positions available. This figure increases steadily for the next four years. With an increase to 112,310 in 2011, it equals an increase of 7,510 positions. With an increase of positions from 112,310 in 2011 to 119,560 a year later, it equals an increase of another 7,250 jobs.  From 2012 to 2013, the jobs increase again to 120,340: This results in an additional 1,000 jobs in the logistics work sector. In 2014, the jobs increase again to 125,670, leading to an increase in 5,330 jobs. Overall, the jobs increase from 2010 through 2014 by 20,870.


Gender Distribution

There is a clear gender bias in the logistics work sector. This bias is due to the image of the profession as the jobs are often attributed and linked with common male stereotypes.  When people think logistics they often think of warehouses, trucks, heavy lifting, shipping containers, and a job that is physically demanding. While this is partially true, there are many aspects of logistics to that do not require heavy physical demands. The jobs are suited to men and women alike even when heavy physical demands are part of the job description. Still, the industry is often recruiting more males than females because such tasks are considered more masculine in nature.

The need for extensive travel may be a deterrent for women who want to work and raise a family. This factor is not as difficult for most men who are expected, by stereotype, to be bread winners while women remain at home to care for the family.  Since the 1970s with women’s rights and activism, these stereotypes are slowly turning around, and more women are entering the field. Still, in examining percentages there is still plenty of room for change. The recruitment market would do well to start recruiting more women into the sector. At this point many females in logistics work in administration jobs and they are not allowed to fully demonstrate the diversity of their strength and skills.


How to Become Logistician?

How to Become Logistician?

The method of how to become a Logistician involves getting a bachelor’s degree.  Getting the appropriate education will give the candidate an edge over other candidates looking to enter the field. The candidate will also want to take full advantage of any certification programs available.  Any hands-on training and certification gives an additional edge for the candidate in the already highly competitive field of logistics.

Logistician Education Requirements

It is possible to get a job with only an associate’s degree. But, it is better to pursue the bachelor’s degree to ensure a solid education in logistics and a diverse, competitive skill set. Most logistician positions will require the bachelor’s degree. Some will also demand a certain amount of work related experience. Supply chains will often look to candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. The degree is best when it has a focus on supply chain management, systems engineering, or business. In some cases, if the candidate has enough work experience a company will forgo the need for a degree.

The coursework one can anticipate while in college includes a focus on business operations, database management, it technology, and systems management.  Logisticians work with a variety of software applications so courses in computer operation are a must. This experience is often earned while working in a military role or as a clerk or dispatcher.

Certifications are not a requirement for the position, but they are recommended. Certification demonstrates one skills and commitment to the betterment of one’s skill set. It also gives the candidate more resources for solving problems when they arise. APICs is an organization offering a wide range of certifications for logisticians.  Such certifications include the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and the Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD). The same organization offers certificates in the Principles of Operations Management, Sales and Operations Planning Certificate, and the Supply Chain Risk Management Certificate.

The International Society of Logistics (SOLE) is another organization offering certification opportunities. Candidates must meet work and educational requirements before becoming certified. Exams determine one’s eligibility for certification. The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) also offers certifications one needs for handling the Department of Defense acquisitions handling.

Logistician Colleges

The following logistician colleges are considered among the best in the nation. They offer bachelor’s degree programs or associates programs where the candidate can launch a solid academic career to enter the logistician career path with success. The top 20 schools in the nation include:

  1. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  2. University of Southern California
  3. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
  5. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
  6. University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
  7. University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, Illinois
  8. SUNY at Binghamton, Vestal, New York
  9. The University of Texas at Austin
  10. Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  11. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
  12. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
  13. Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  14. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  15. North Carolina State University, Raleigh
  16. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
  17. Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York
  18. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
  19. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
  20. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Major Subjects

English composition, spelling, composition, and grammar are necessary for report writing. Administration management, database operation, and computer training are all covered during coursework. Types of transportation and their operation are part of the candidate’s studies. Personal and customer service, mathematics, electronics, software use, economics, and business accounting are studied by the candidate looking to work in the field of logistics. Geography is important for international deliveries and the receipt of goods as well as travel. Public security, safety, marketing, sales, training, and education are all part of what a candidate will learn when earning a degree. Production, laws, and government regulations are also included in one’s education.

Logistician Specializations

Logistician Specializations

Logistics is a diverse position with many specializations. Here a few specializations are explored to give the reader an overview of the different responsibilities of the professional logistician. First, there are both inbound and outbound logistics. With inbound logistics, the logistician is responsible for arranging, planning, purchasing, and moving materials, parts, and inventory from vendors into retail stores, warehouses, assembly plants. Outbound logistics involves the finalization of a product, its storage, and its movement to the end user.

The main types of logistics include after sales, asset control, capital project, concierge, construction, digital, disposal, distribution, and domestics. Additional type of logistics include emergency, global, green, point of sale, procurement, production, RAM, and reverse logistics. Procurement logistics involves order control, ordering, supplier management, make versus purchase decisions, product requirements, marketing research, and overseeing such planning. Distribution logistics focuses on product delivery to the end-user and working with transport, warehousing and order processing. Disposal logistics involves cost reduction and waste disposal created during business operation. Reverse logistics involves the control, implementation, and planning of in-process inventory including finished goods. Digital logistics relates to enterprises that are web-based.

Professional Associations of Logisticians

Mentioned earlier is The International Society of Logistics (SOLE), which is just one Association of Logisticians. SOLE is a non-profit professional society catering to an international audience. The society looks to enhance and improve the science and art of logistics management, education, and technology. The society was established in the late 1960s, with the goal of advancing logistics management and technology through literary, scientific, and educational endeavors. Today, the society has 90 SOLE chapters based in over 50 countries across the globe.  Chapters host workshops, symposia, and technical meetings all of which give members of the organization means for advancement on a professional level.

The society logo expresses the dimensions of logistics in symbolic form. The gold color symbolizes land, white symbolizes air, the blue symbolizes the sea, and the black symbolizes outer space indicative of the importance and reach of logistics. The symbols alpha and omega signify the importance of “when” with logistic endeavors. Members of the organization gain the benefit of professional development, peer recognition, and career advancement opportunities.  The organization offers education and certifications. Famous Logisticians

Hannibal Barca was a Carthaginian general who is considered, not only one of the leading commanders in the military, but also one of the leading logisticians. He was born in 247 BCE and died circa 181 BCE. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Hamilcar Barca, who was also a commander in the Carthaginian army who fought in the First Punic War. Hannibal is well remembered for his actions in the second Punic War where he marched an entire army along with elephants into Italy. To do so, he started his march in Iberia then through the Pyrenees and the Alps. He is considered an exceptional strategist.  Theodore Ayrault Dodge, an American military historian, identifies Hannibal as “The Father of Strategy.

Alexander the Great, (356 BCE to 323 BCE), also known as Alexander III of Macedon, is also considered one of the greatest military logisticians in history. By sixteen years of age Alexander was an army general. By the age of 20, he became a ruler of Macedon. He was one of the greatest military commanders and was never defeated in battle.  During his rulership, he gained control of India, Persia, and Greece.  His knowledge of strategy and logistics are part of what helped him conquer so many so quickly during his short 13-year rulership. By the time he was thirty, he managed to create one of the biggest empires in the ancient world.

Logisticians FAQ

 What is the job outlook for the logistician? Is there a promising outlook for those who follow the logistician career path?

The Logistician position is one demonstrating a promising growth rate between 2016 and 2026. Surveys reveal there were 148,700 logistician jobs in 2016. These figures serve as the base for the employment projections for the ten years between 2016 and 2026. The anticipated rate of growth is seven percent for all jobs. The projected increase in positions is 10,300 additional jobs during the ten-year period.

The growth of jobs in this field is about the same as the expected growth for alternative occupations.  The need for transport of goods within a global economy will cause an increase in the demand for logisticians. Job prospects will be best for candidates with logistics experience via the military or any other related employment.

 What are the pros and cons associated with being a logistician?

In addition to decent job outlook projections, there are some advantages you’ll derive from following the logistician career path. The opportunity to make a yearly income at above the average yearly income is one benefit. There are professional certifications available for those looking to advance in their career. Those with a military background and experience in the field can transition into logistician positions.

Those who like interacting with others will enjoy the logistician position as it allows for collaborative efforts with other employees, team leaders, vendors, and clients. The job can prove demanding, but exciting as it always presents the worker with unique challenges daily. The fast-paced atmosphere is found rewarding by some logisticians who enjoy how quickly the work day passes.

The disadvantages of being a logistician include excessive travel, a fast paced and demanding work environment, and the constant need for successful multitasking.  The demands of the job can prove exhaustive for those who prefer a less demanding work atmosphere.  Some may find the latter cons advantageous. Sometimes pinning down a problem with a logistical plan will require a bit of detective work. The search can prove a challenge that some might find frustrating. Just as the fast-paced work proves a fun challenge for some, it is too demanding for others. Meanwhile, downtime can prove just as frustrating when a problem brings a project to a halt until a resolution is implemented.

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