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Logistician salary & career outlook

Ever wonder how a product goes from the supplier to that nice, shiny package in the store? If that intrigues you, then you may want to look into becoming a logistician.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), logisticians "manage the entire life cycle of a product, which includes how a product is acquired, distributed, allocated, and delivered." Becoming a logistician often requires an associate degree in business or engineering, though some companies prefer a bachelor's degree, according to the BLS. Some important qualities to possess as a logistician, according to the BLS, include problem-solving skills, communication skills, organizational skills and critical thinking skills.

Earning a logistician education online or at one of the many logistician schools may help you prepare for this career.

Logistician salary

According to the BLS, as of May 2012 logisticians in America made a mean annual wage of $75,670, with the lowest-paying 10 percent earning an annual wage of $45,190 and those in the 90th percentile making an annual wage of $112,100.

Industry may impact pay for logisticians. According to the BLS, the top-paying industries in America for logisticians as of May 2012 were:

  • Software publishers ($114,730 annual mean wage)
  • Support activities for mining ($99,200 annual mean wage)
  • Petroleum and coal products manufacturing ($93,050 annual mean wage)

Living in one state over another can also affect pay as a logistician. According to the BLS, the top-paying states in America for logisticians as of May 2012 were:

  • District of Columbia ($96,810 annual mean wage)
  • Maryland ($85,750 annual mean wage)
  • Virginia ($84,260 annual mean wage)

The metropolitan area you live in can also play a factor in your pay as a logistician. According to the BLS, the top-paying metropolitan areas in America for logisticians as of May 2012 were:

  • Bellingham, WA ($105,350 annual mean wage)
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($96,820 annual mean wage)
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division ($91,960 annual mean wage)

Job outlook for logisticians

According to the BLS, employment of logisticians is expected to grow by 26 percent nationally from 2010 to 2020, which is nearly double the rate of all occupations. That comes out to approximately 27,800 new jobs. The explanation for this projected growth, according to the BLS, is the important role logisticians will play in an increasingly global economy. Job prospects are good for those with a bachelor's degree in supply chain management, industrial engineering, business, or a related field, the BLS states.

It's unclear where the most growth will happen, but perhaps it will be in the states that, as of May 2012, had the highest concentration of logistician jobs and location quotients. According to the BLS, they were:

  • Washington
  • Alabama
  • Maryland

Or maybe the most growth for logisticians will happen in the metropolitan areas that, as of May 2012, had the highest employment level for logisticians. According to the BLS, they were:

  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan

Regardless, a logistician career can be fulfilling, sustainable and secure for the right individuals. Are you one of them?

Sources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Logisticians, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/logisticians.htm#tab-2

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Logisticians, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131081.htm