You’ve probably heard a lot about the supply chain over the past several months. It’s true that the COVID-19 pandemic led to several disruptions of goods, as they travel throughout the interconnected global world that we call the logistics industry. However, as the system has begun to right itself, this has also revealed the efficiency of the global supply chain and the level of competency demonstrated by the highly skilled workforce needed to keep it running.
If you are interested in a job in the logistics industry, there has never been a better time to be on the job market. Companies are quickly scaling up their labor force, as they work to meet increased global demand, meaning more types of open roles than ever for job seekers. In fact the sometimes-overlooked industry is expected to move $38 trillion worth of material by 2045, up from $19.2 trillion in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
For job-seekers, logistics is one of the only industries one can enter that requires little to no upfront training, experience or education, but has an extremely high potential for career advancement and above-average future earnings. In this article, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about entering the logistics industry, from skills required, salary and job outlook and just why you should choose a career in this burgeoning field!
What is a Logistics Job?
A logistics job is any role that oversees the movement and organization of inventory from one place to another, in order to meet consumer demand. This definition is inclusive of roles that work with raw materials and facilitate the process towards them becoming finished goods, as well as those who then transport those finished products from one place to another. Across the industry, logistics employees work in-house for companies or contractors for third-parties. Sub-areas you can work in within logistics include:
- Transportation – Moving goods via plane, train, truck, ship and more
- Warehousing- Storing, packing and shipping goods and preparing them for their next location
- Procurement – Sourcing the materials manufacturers need to ensure their supply keeps coming
- Inventory and Storage – Tracking items a business buys in their stores or warehouses and making sure the supply of goods meets demand
It’s helpful to imagine these categories in context. For example, as of 2023, the two largest private employers in the U.S. are Walmart and Amazon. Between their stores, warehouses and home delivery offerings, both companies employ and contract out thousands of individuals in all of these categories. Your item’s journey from a factory, across highways to warehouses or stores, and eventually your home involves dozens of trained logistics professionals!
Logistics Jobs Education
You can absolutely find a fulfilling lifelong career within logistics, with multiple entry points depending on your educational background. Most warehouse roles require only a high school diploma or GED, with the ability to train on the job to advance to more senior positions.
Many choose to earn an associate’s degree in logistics as a means to move up the ladder to a supervisory role within purchasing, shipping or manufacturing.
Bachelor’s programs in logistics and supply chain management offer students greater depth in topics like transportation management and improving business processes. These degrees are often precursors to roles like Operation Manager and Supply Chain analyst.
Finally, master’s degree programs in the field build on their managerial skills in decision-making and gain an expert-level understanding in business analytics, perfect for Logistics Directors and Supply Chain managers.
Overall, the takeaway is that regardless of level of education, there is a logistics role for you, and it’s never too late to consider additional schooling to level up your career!
Logistics Jobs Salary and Job Outlook
The pay for any logistics role depends on years of experience, background and the job title itself. Overall, salaried workers have seen increases in their take-home pay throughout 2021 and into 2022. According to Indeed the national hourly pay for a Warehouse Associate in the United States is $16.26. This amount rises to well over $18 in big cities and major industrial hubs like Atlanta, GA and Las Vegas, NV.
As you gain experience and move into new roles, you can potentially greatly increase your earnings. To give you a sense, here are a few mid and senior-level roles and their average yearly reported salaries, according to Indeed.
Although not everyone will ascend to the absolute top of the company hierarchy, those that do in roles like Logistics and Supply Chain Director can earn upwards of $100,000 per year! Regardless, growth looks excellent for the industry overall, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a 30 percent growth in the employment of logisticians by 2030. This classifies the trade as experiencing “much faster growth than the average for all occupations.”
Skills Required to Work a Logistics Job
As you can imagine, no two logistics positions require the exact same skillset. For this reason, if you’re applying for a position, you’ll want to tailor your resume towards your skills that best align with the position requirements. Here are some basic categories across many types of logistics jobs to get you started.
- Occupational Skills: Speed, quality, safety, problem-solving
- Computer and Software Skills: Ability to operate a computer or specialized machinery, familiarity with spreadsheets and presentation software
- Physical Abilities: lifting and carrying heavy objects, standing on feet continuously, eye-hand coordination, endurance
- Communication and experience working on a fast-moving team
- Leadership and adaptability
- Certifications earned or job-relevant achievements such as possessing a Commercial Driver’s License
Managerial and senior-level roles will also dive a bit deeper into your education background, past experiences and how they relate to the position you’re applying for. They’ll typically ask applicants to demonstrate proficiency in supply chain fundamentals and business skills, like developing models and integrating data insights into problem solving.
Why Choose a Career in Logistics?
As consumers become increasingly interested in shopping at home and getting their items delivered fast, some have said it is the “process,” not “product” at the center of innovation. By this logic, and as we’ve seen so far, logistics is one of the careers of the future. Here are a few more reasons you should consider diving into the profession.
Strong Job Satisfaction
According to a survey from DC Velocity, 94 percent of individuals reported a high level of satisfaction with their job. Another survey from Young Professionals in Supply Chain found that 70 percent of respondents felt that their company offered a fairly good chance for a promotion.
Choose Your Area of Specialization
The list we included of areas of focus within logistics only scratches the surface of the wide range of roles available in the industry. With ample opportunity to diversify and refine your skillset, you’re sure to find one that plays perfectly to your strengths!
A Future-Proof Career
We know that logistics workers are in high demand as the supply chain rushes to catch up with changing consumer behavior but will it last? All signs point to yes. As companies update and digitize their operations, they have shown no sign of slowing down their hiring processes. Professionals with the background and technical skills in these roles will be well-positioned for high-growth careers.
Make a Career Impact Quickly
Without holding a degree, it’s possible to move up the logistics career ladder in a matter of years or even months. While the job can be difficult, chances are good that if you stick with it you will be greatly rewarded with solid career prospects and above average earnings.
Best of Luck in the Hiring Process!
Logistics is a great field for anybody to get their start in! If you’re currently on the hunt for a new role, consider expediting your search with Movo’s job portal. There you’ll find roles across logistic industries with stable pay, full benefits and liability coverage and health insurance from the first month. Signing up for the Movo app is another way to gain access to regular shifts and gig work that fit your desired availability and schedule.