How to Become
a Logistics Manager
Best Education Tracks, Key Skills, and Top Certifications
With an increase in demand for logistics managers, you should consider a career in this field. There are plenty of education pathways and certifications to help you acquire skills and start your career in 2021. If you want to learn how to become a logistics manager, keep reading our comprehensive guide.
What Is a Logistics Manager?
A logistics manager is the person responsible for the purchase and distribution of products within a supply chain. They ensure that customers receive their products. Depending on the job location, logistics managers may or may not have a supervisory role. Logistics managers are often referred to as supply chain managers.
Businesses rely on logistics managers to ensure that the organization’s supply chain is intact. It is their job to ensure goods arrive at the right place at the right time for the right clients. If you want to become a logistics manager, you can go to school and get specific training.
What Type of School Should You Attend
to Become a Logistics Manager?
To become a logistics manager, you can get a bachelor’s degree, attend a bootcamp, or try a community college. Each option has different pros and cons, so do your research and decide which is right for you. There are lots of education pathways to help you succeed in logistics management.
Best Logistics Manager Education Tracks
It can be challenging to find the best education track for logistics management. We compiled a list to help you decide which is best for you. Read below for the best education tracks you can follow in 2021.
Trade schools can prepare you to join the logistics workforce. There are plenty of logistics management programs available at vocational education institutions around the country. They can help you learn procurement, finance, quality control, and purchasing. It’s a great alternative to a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Management.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students who live on campus while completing a two-year program pay an average annual cost of $16,445. This figure varies depending on how many books and other supplies you need to buy, and whether you attend a public or private institution. If you live at home, the average cost drops to $10,024.
Logistics Manager Degrees
Most supply chain managers have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. However, you can also land a job if you only have an associate degree, which only takes two years to complete. It will help you learn the basics of manufacturing, warehousing, purchasing, and transportation. This will give you the proper basis to transition to a bachelor’s degree.
Associate degree programs have similar costs to trade school programs, and the average total cost of a four-year bachelor’s degree is $28,775 per year, according to NCES data. This figure varies depending on the location and type of institution. Either of these degrees can land you an entry-level position. For a more flexible option, try online colleges.
Most logistics manager positions ask for a degree in supply chain management, systems engineering, or business. A four-year bachelor’s degree will help you gain a better perspective of the business environment. If you want to get a job promotion or better pay, you should consider a master’s degree program.
You can choose to register for a Master of Science or Master of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management. Either program will land you an excellent position in any firm. According to Best Colleges, a Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management can cost up to $52,000, but this varies depending on your school and program of choice.
Logistics Manager Bootcamps
Bootcamps are an accelerated learning option if you want to change or fast-track your career. Logistics management bootcamps offer short immersive programs that can last from a few days to a few months.
Most bootcamps specialize in coding, but MIT has an online logistics management bootcamp that only takes a few days to complete. This is a great option if you want to learn the basics in a short amount of time. Bootcamps are cheaper and faster than degrees.
Logistics Manager Courses
For as little as $10, you can sign up for a course in logistics management. These short immersive courses train beginners and experts in supply chain management. You will get up-to-date information in the world of logistics. Since the industry is always changing, this is a great way to stay current.
A course in logistics is highly recommended for professionals in the industry. This is because many courses are designed to help you upskill. Therefore, if you want to earn a top management position, an accelerated online course can help.
How to Become a Logistics Manager: A Step-by-Step Guide
There are lots of ways to become a logistics manager and get the best skills you can. Even though everyone follows a different path, it’s good to plan and make sure you get the training you need as fast as possible. You can follow this step-by-step guide to become a certified logistics manager.
Take a standalone course
If you are a beginner, test the waters by taking an online course in logistics management. This will help you grasp the basics of supply chain management and prepare you for further education.
Get a bachelor’s degree
Most hiring companies prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree. If you want to get a job as a logistics manager, you should find a university that works for you. You can get a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management in four to five years.
Find an internship
A logistics management internship will give you the right exposure to industry standards. You will gain hands-on experience to navigate supply chain management and develop resourceful relationships.
Get a master’s degree
If you want to get a higher position in logistics management, you should consider getting a master’s degree. It will train you on advanced skills to succeed in this career. You can earn a much better salary if you have a master’s.
In this industry, you should get certified by the International Society of Logistics (SOLE). These certifications will help you validate your skills and assert yourself as a logistics manager.
Key Logistics Manager Skills
As you get your education in logistics management, you should keep the following skills in mind. Knowing these skills can help you succeed in the field and get a lucrative job. Below you will find what hiring teams are looking for.
Your ability to interact with different clients will help you succeed in this field. Customer satisfaction is your top priority as a logistics manager. It is part of your job to maintain active communication with the clients and update them on the status of their goods.
Supply Chain Management
As a logistics manager, you must demonstrate top supply chain management skills and knowledge. You should become proficient in inventory control, production coordination, and strategy development. These are vital skills in the field.
Many logistics managers rely on technological tools to achieve maximum results. There are plenty of enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) available for your profession. You also need to familiarize yourself with warehouse management systems (WMS) and transportation management systems (TMS).
In this field, you should be able to identify problems before they begin. A logistics manager should constantly study data to identify loopholes in the system. You should be able to assess risks and develop mitigation strategies. This will help everything run smoothly.
Logistics Manager Salary and Job Outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average logistics manager earns a $76,270 salary. The BLS projects four percent job growth in the next decade. This means you will not run out of job opportunities if you decide to start learning logistics management today.
Depending on where your work, your salary may be higher or lower. The BLS indicates that the average salary for federal government logistics managers is $88,280. Professionals who work in wholesale make $66,130 per year.
Entry-Level Logistics Manager Job Requirements
To get a job in logistics management, you should have a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management or something similar. An associate degree may work for an entry-level position, but most hiring companies prefer a four-year bachelor’s degree.
According to PayScale, an entry-level logistics analyst can expect to earn close to $52,000 per year. If you want to increase your salary, you may want to consider getting certified or getting a master’s degree.
What Does a Logistics Manager Do?
A logistics manager performs many tasks to manage a supply chain. Their work may seem simple, but they have many responsibilities. Most people confuse the work of an operations manager and a logistics manager. Read on to find out what exactly a logistics manager does.
Transportation of Goods
Logistics managers make sure goods are shipped safely from suppliers to clients upon request. It will be your job to work with in-house staff and clients to ensure timely delivery. You should also solve problems when they occur.
A logistics manager should always be aware of the flow of stock. You should remain on top of your supply in all respects. It is also your responsibility to manage waste. This means you must keep track of all the regulatory laws and paperwork.
As a logistics manager, you may have to negotiate and create contracts with various clients. You will find yourself in plenty of business meetings with potential clients. It is your responsibility to make sure everyone is satisfied.
Warehouse management and inventory control are closely connected. You will have to keep records of all products and supplies. You also need to ensure proper storage and organization within warehouses. You can use information systems to coordinate the order cycles.
Development of Strategies
Your job as a logistics manager will be easier if you plan ahead. Analyzing data will help you establish logistical issues and potentially solve impending problems. You will be expected to provide the most cost-effective and efficient supply chain management methods.
Logistics Manager Certifications
To enhance your qualifications in the job market, you may need to attain a few certifications. A certification will help you land better jobs because it can validate your skills. Below you will find the best logistics manager certifications to grow your career prospects.
APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
The Association for Supply Chain Management provides a few well-known certifications. They can help you learn supply chain management, design, and best practices. For this particular certification, you need to have a degree and experience in the field. The exam fee ranges from $995 to $1,380. You only have to renew it every ten years.
APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
If you want to advance your career, you should consider this APICS certification. It will increase your credibility as a professional in the field. For this certification, you will need to pass two examinations within three years. For the two exams, you should pay between $495 and $690. You can also renew the certification after ten years for only $250.
ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
Awarded by the Institute for Supply Management, this certification can validate your extensive knowledge of supply management. This exam is an industry standard for professional logistics managers. To qualify for this exam, you must have three years of experience in the industry. The certification costs between $1,600 and $3,370.
NCMA Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM)
The National Contract Management Association offers different certifications for professionals in the field. To qualify for this specific certification, you need five years of work experience in any relevant field. The association charges an application fee of $210 to $410 and an exam fee of $100 to $130.
How to Prepare for Your Logistics Manager Job Interview
If you want to become a logistics manager, you should prepare for your job interview. Logistics managers are an important part of many businesses, so hiring teams want to find the best of the best. Research and practice interview questions to get ready. Read on if you want to ace your job interview and land a job as a logistics manager.
Logistics Manager Job Interview Practice Questions
- Which logistics management software are you most comfortable with?
- What makes you the best fit for the job?
- What are your intentions once you get this job position?
- Describe a day in the life of a logistics manager.
- Describe a time where you had to solve a problem on the spot.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Logistics Manager?
It can take you about six years to become a logistics manager if you earn a master’s degree. However, if you want an entry-level position, you can start with a four-year bachelor’s degree.
To earn a top position in logistics management, you should consider getting certified. Most hiring teams look for certifications. You may also need to work a few years in the industry before you will be considered for a managerial role.
Should you Become a Logistics Manager in 2021?
You should definitely become a logistics manager in 2021. Aside from a great job outlook, becoming a logistics manager is a fulfilling job. Once you master the skills, you can work with your team and your customers to succeed in the field. It can be an extremely rewarding career if you have excellent technical skills and all-important soft skills.
Logistics Manager FAQ
What is logistics?
Logistics is the planning, implementation, and control of goods and services between suppliers and clients.
Why is supply chain management important?
Supply chain management is important because of quality control. Customer demand has increased over the years, so logistics managers make sure the system runs smoothly.
What’s the major difference between a bootcamp and a degree?
Bootcamps are less expensive and take less time, but they are less reputable in the logistics world. If you want to get a great job in the field, you should get an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.
Where do logistics managers work?
Most logistics managers work in storage and warehousing. You may also work in inventory, transportation, or information and control.