Detailed Guide forLogisticians in California
May also be called: Logistics Analysts; Logistics Engineers; Logistics Planners; Material Planners; Production Planners; Supply Chain Directors
What Would I Do?
Many people contribute to the manufacturing of a product, from designers to team assemblers to machinists. However, only one person, the Logistician, is responsible for the entire life cycle of a product, including acquisition, distribution, internal allocation, delivery, and final disposal of resources. This person analyzes and coordinates the production functions of a firm or organization.
The positon of Logistician originated in the military. In fact, military officers who handled supply lines and resource distribution matters in the ancient Greek and Roman empires were known as "Logistikas." Many military scientists believe that "just-in-time" inventory—the coordination of time, location, and materials—is one of the most crucial aspects of military success, including the Allied victory in World War II. This position began to adapt gradually to the needs of the private sector in the late 1940s.
Also known as production planners or supply chain directors, Logisticians manage the availability and allocation of supplies, materials, and finished products, while protecting and controlling those proprietary materials. They develop and implement technical project management tools and report project plans, progress, and results to customers and management. They also develop and maintain positive business relationships with customers by understanding and meeting their needs.
Logisticians organize and execute logistics support activities such as maintenance planning, repair analysis, and test equipment recommendations. They participate in the assessment and review of design alternatives and design change proposal impacts. They must stay informed of advances in logistics technology and apply them to improve logistical processes.
Logisticians need to have a good working knowledge of computers and computer software including accounting, charting, computer-aided design (CAD), customer relationship management (CRM), database user interface and query, Earned Value Reporting, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
Important Tasks and Related Skills
Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.
|View the skill definitions|
|Task||Skill Used in this Task|
|Maintain and develop positive business relationships with a customer's key personnel involved in or directly relevant to a logistics activity.||Active Listening|
|Develop an understanding of customers' needs and take actions to ensure that such needs are met.||Customer and Personal Service|
|Direct availability and allocation of materials, supplies, and finished products.||Production and Processing|
|Collaborate with other departments as necessary to meet customer requirements, to take advantage of sales opportunities or, in the case of shortages, to minimize negative impacts on a business.||Coordination|
|Review logistics performance with customers against targets, benchmarks and service agreements.||Service Orientation|
|Protect and control proprietary materials.||Public Safety and Security|
|Develop and implement technical project management tools such as plans, schedules, and responsibility and compliance matrices.||Deductive Reasoning|
|Direct team activities, establishing task priorities, scheduling and tracking work assignments, providing guidance, and ensuring the availability of resources.||Administration and Management|
Below is a definition for each skill.
|View the tasks to skills list|
|Active Listening||Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.|
|Customer and Personal Service||Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.|
|Production and Processing||Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.|
|Coordination||Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.|
|Service Orientation||Actively looking for ways to help people.|
|Public Safety and Security||Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.|
|Deductive Reasoning||The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.|
|Administration and Management||Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.|
Logisticians usually work in well-lit, well-ventilated, and temperature-controlled offices; however, they sometimes visit production floors, warehouses, and delivery sites, where conditions may vary and they must adhere to safety procedures. Some work a 40-hour week, but the job may involve long and unusual hours. They may travel frequently, often to foreign countries, when negotiating contracts, consulting, or attending conferences.
The job can be stressful. Millions of dollars worth of goods and a company's success or failure are often contingent on the Logistician's decisions.
Since the Logistician generally is a management-level occupation, there is little to no unionization.
Will This Job Fit Me?
The job of Logistician will appeal to those who enjoy starting up and carrying out projects, persuading and leading people, and making quick decisions. This occupation will satisfy those who enjoy activities that involve business and require risk taking for profit. The job of Logistician may also appeal to those who like to work independently and make quick decisions.
What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?
The median wage in 2015 for Logisticians in California was $82,486 annually, or $39.66 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
Most Logisticians receive excellent benefits. Benefit packages usually include medical and dental insurance, retirement plans, vacation, sick leave, and holidays. Some employers also offer life insurance, flexible spending accounts, and stock options.
What is the Job Outlook?
The job outlook for prospective Logisticians is bright, especially for applicants with logistics-related experience and strong management skills. The computer systems design and consulting services industries are projected to be the areas of highest job growth for Logisticians.
Projections of Employment
In California, the number of Logisticians is expected to grow much faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Logisticians are expected to increase by 32.1 percent, or 4,400 jobs between 2012 and 2022.
|Estimated Employment and Projected Growth|
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Due to Net
|View Projected Growth for All Areas|
Annual Job Openings
In California, an average of 430 new job openings per year is expected for Logisticians, plus an additional 160 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 590 job openings.
|Estimated Average Annual Job Openings|
|Jobs From Growth||Jobs Due to|
|View Data for All Areas|
How Do I Qualify?
Education, Training, and Other Requirements
Most employers of Logisticians require applicants to have a bachelor's degree. However, some employers may promote experienced in-house employees with high school diplomas, then offer them the time off and tuition necessary to take logistics-related courses. Prospective Logisticians should pursue business degrees in concentrations such as supply chain management, manufacturing, procurement management, and strategic planning.
Experience, usually three to five years in the field, is an important factor in obtaining a logistics position. Employers seek candidates who have participated in internship or co-op programs (available through university business curricula). Employers also prize related paid work experience.
Early Career Planning
High school students interested in becoming Logisticians should take courses in mathematics, English, business, and computers. They should also take at least two years of a foreign language due to the international scope of the logistics profession.
Work Study Programs
California offers Regional Occupational Program (ROP) classes for students interested in business technology and business management. One such course is titled Virtual Business Enterprise. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.
Logisticians may hold one or more certificates such as: Certified in Transportation and Logistics, Certified Professional Logistician, Certified Master Logistician, or Association for Operations Management (APICS) Certified Supply Chain Professional. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.
Where Can I Find Training?
There are two ways to search for training information:
- Search by Field of Study to find what programs are available and what schools offer those programs. You may use keywords such as: Logistics; Planning; Procurement; or Transportation.
- Search by Training Provider to find schools by name, type of school, or location.
Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.
Where Would I Work?
The largest industries employing Logisticians are as follows:
|Industry Title||Percent of Total Employment for Occupation in California|
|Federal Government ||13.9%|
|Management & Technical Consulting Svc ||9.8%|
|Aerospace Product & Parts Manufacturing ||7.4%|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises ||5.9%|
|Computer Systems Design and Rel Services ||5.3%|
Finding a Job
Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Other strategies include browsing Internet job banks and help wanted ads, attending job fairs, using college job placement centers, and networking through a professional society or association. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.
To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).
Yellow Page Headings
You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Logisticians.
- Aircraft Equipment, Parts, & Supplies
- Contract Manufacturing
- Manufacturing Engineers
- Marketing & Merchandising Consultants
- Transportation Consultants
Find Possible Employers
To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:
- Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
- Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
- Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
- Contact the employer for possible employment.
Where Could This Job Lead?
Logisticians advance by moving into a number of higher-paying mid- to executive-level management positions, such as directors of logistics, inventory control managers, vice presidents of logistics, and warehouse operations managers. Some may also become self-employed or consultants in the logistics field.
Below is a list of occupations related to Logisticians with links to more information.
|Business Operations Specialists, All Other||Profile|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||Guide|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||Guide|
|Computer Systems Analysts||Profile|
|General and Operations Managers||Guide|
|Industrial Production Managers||Guide|
|Operations Research Analysts||Profile|
|Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks||Guide|
These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.
For the Career Professional
The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.