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Logistician Duties and Responsibilities

Whether ensuring water bottles get to the people who need them after a hurricane or dolls arrive at stores in time for Black Friday, logisticians work behind the scenes to gather necessary items and move them where they need to be. Such responsibility requires performance of a variety of actions. A scan of job postings reveals the following to be among the core tasks:

Coordinating Efforts Logisticians bring everything together. For a military operation, for instance, they may first check on the progress of manufacturing desired supplies. Then, they figure out how to transport those items overseas in a timely manner. Lastly, they arrange distribution to soldiers.

Customer Service Logisticians develop relationships with suppliers and clients. They discuss needs and how best to meet them. For example, a logistician may aid a manufacturer who needs a large number of a specific type of battery for a new product in finding a company that can supply that quantity within a certain amount of time.

Making Improvements Logisticians constantly have their eyes on the most efficient ways to do things and collect detailed records of costs, orders, shipping, and billing. They evaluate cost-effectiveness, look for better shipping options, and stay current on progress in logistics technology.


Logistician Skills

Logisticians are problem solvers with awesome organizational skills. They need these qualities to deal with the complexities of supply chains, military operations, or relief projects. Other great abilities for logisticians to possess include:
  • Displaying calmness under pressure since the job frequently involves stressful situations
  • Attending to detail so that mistakes aren't made and operations thrown off course
  • Prioritizing to make sure the most pressing issues are accomplished first
  • Communicating clearly in both oral and written form

Logistician Salary

[chartnator] The median annual salary for logisticians is $74,170. Logisticians in the 10th percentile earn about $45,300 a year, and the highest paid make in excess of $117,300 a year. Logisticians in the District of Columbia, Alabama, and Maryland make the highest median salaries in the U.S. - $99,700, $87,890, and $87,840, respectively.

Logistician Resources

Get your logistician career off to a great start with advice from these helpful organizations and books:

Logistics and Supply Chain Professionals - This LinkedIn group of more than 266,000 serves as a forum to share knowledge and encourage discussion about issues in the logistics industry.

APICS - Check out this organization's website for the latest on supply chain management as well as for a variety of career-advancing opportunities, such as finding a mentor, continuing education, and becoming certified.

The International Society of Logistics - Another well-known professional society, SOLE dates back to 1966 and has chapters in more than 50 countries. Its various meetings and workshops help members fulfill the group's mission of "engaging in educational, scientific, and literary endeavors to advance the art of logistics technology and management."

Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) - Known as "the only professional organization focused on logistics management and its role in the supply chain," WERC says it assists "those new to the industry master best practices and establish valuable professional relationships." Its online career center helps match talent with opportunities, and its resources for job seekers includes advice on résumés, interviews, digital presence, and advancement.

International Logistics: The Management of International Trade Operations - This textbook, which is in its 4th edition, thoroughly handles issues concerning international logistics, including "terms of payment, terms of trade, exchange rate, exposure hedges, international insurance, customs clearance, agency and distributorship sales contracts, packaging, transportation, and security issues."

Health and Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chains: A Career for Women - When disasters strike, logisticians figure out how to get supplies to those in need. This book explores how to get started as a logistician for humanitarian efforts, what a "day in the life" looks like, and what challenges particularly face women pursuing such a career.

Logisticians Career Video - Get a first-hand look at what logisticians do with this video put out by CareerOneStop.

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