data anlyticsIf you are considering embarking on a career in logistics or in supply chain, it can be useful to know what the industry is currently like and what you can expect from this type of job.

Furthermore, you will need to know what qualifications you need, what skills are preferred, and what job titles are available once you have earned your degree.

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about a career within the logistics industry and specifically about entering the world of logistics and supply chain management.

1. You need to fully understand the industry

If you are not sure if you want to be involved in either the logistics or the supply chain side of a business, it can be helpful to know exactly what each role entails.

Logistics Management

Logisticians are responsible for analyzing and coordinating a company’s supply chain, with their duties including:

  • Managing a product from design to disposal
  • Directing the assignment of materials, supplies and products
  • Developing strong relationships with suppliers
  • Understanding customer needs
  • Identifying areas of improvement in logistical functions
  • Creating new strategies to save time and money

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain managers are responsible for promoting the design, development and implementation of warehouse distribution and logistics solutions.

Their duties include:

  • Making recommendations to improve productivity, quality of product, and efficiency of operations
  • Oversee shipping & warehousing
  • Negotiating contracts with suppliers & customers
  • Tracking goods from origin to delivery
  • Sourcing products
  • Ensuring targets are met
  • Improving the supply chain process
  • Implementing new technologies within the industry

2. You need to have the right qualifications

As a bare minimum, if you want to enter at a supply chain & logistics management level, you will need either:

  • A business studies degree
  • An MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree

However, if you want to start earning a high wage straight away and want to be able to have your pick of companies to work for and specific job titles to choose from, then you need to study for:

  • A Master of Supply Chain & Logistics Management degree

If you do not want to have to go back to college, then you should consider enrolling in a Master of Logistics Management online course.

Areas of supply chain & logistics that you will most likely be required to study online include:

  • Supply chain principles
  • Business analytics
  • Supply chain sustainability
  • E-business supply chains
  • International logistics
  • Distribution & freight logistics
  • Managing supply contracts
  • Business project management

3. You could be working from anywhere

There is no one location where supply chain & logistics management roles work from. You could be based in a factory, in an office, or even in a mobile location so that you can oversee deliveries.

Therefore, it is important that you speak to a potential employer about where you will be based, to ensure that you are happy with the location.

4. You will face stressful situations

There is no point sugar-coating it, the supply chain and logistics industry is a high pressure one, especially if you are in a management role. Unexpected problems are commonplace, and you need to be able to deal with these issues with a calm and level head, as you will have a team of workers looking to you for advice.

However, there are less stressful positions available within the industry if you struggle with high pressure situations.

5. You will never be bored

There are so many different types of jobs on offer within the supply chain & logistics management industry, each with their own merits.

Some of the most popular job title include:

  • Warehouse & Logistics Manager
  • Business Planning Analyst
  • Global Supply Chain Analyst
  • Supply Chain Operations Lead
  • Distribution Manager
  • Logistics Manager
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Supply Chain Manager

Whichever particular area of expertise you choose to enter into, you are guaranteed to never be bored, because a day in the life of a supply chain & logistics management employee is about as unpredictable as they come.

Supply chain, in particular, is all about working as a team, so you can expect to have to help out with other employees’ tasks as and when you are needed.

6. Networking is a fundamental part of the job

Yes, the supply chain & logistics industry is one of those sectors where it’s not what you know, but who you know to a certain extent. Of course, you need to be qualified and know what you are doing, but it is equally important that you take the time to build relationships as you work your way up the career ladder.

Liaising with suppliers is a key part of the job, and it is vital that you build strong working relationships with them as you never know when you are going to need a favor or a helping hand.

If you are just starting off in your supply chain & logistics career, then it can be incredibly helpful to enlist the help of a mentor who can teach you all the ins and outs of the industry. Their advice and experience will be invaluable in helping you achieve success within this challenging sector.

7. The industry is competitive

This is not a negative point, as there is still plenty of demand for management roles within this sector. However, you should know that the industry is competitive and that to be successful within it, you need to be driven, passionate and always looking at how you can take the next step up within the company.

You should also be willing to learn and grow within your role and take on any additional training opportunities that are made available to you. This is not the type of job where you can rest on your laurels.

8. You can earn a very decent wage

Depending on what specific area of supply chain & logistics management you go into, you can expect to earn at least double the U.S average wage of $47,060.

With a Project Manager, for example, being able to earn up to $134,000 per annum.

There is also a lot of room for professional growth and promotion within this industry, if you are willing to put in the hard work.

9. The industry is data-driven

If you are good with numbers and technology, then a job within the supply chain industry is definitely for you. Supply chain management careers are extremely focused on quantifiable figures, with the systems that track supply and demand becoming more and more advanced in order to keep up with the changing needs of today’s consumers.