California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Logisticians 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
TaskSkill 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
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

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 2020 for Logisticians in California is $83,395 annually, or $40.09 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas


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 at an average rate compared with the total for all occupations. Jobs for Logisticians are expected to increase by 11.3 percent, or 1,900 jobs between 2016 and 2026.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth 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 TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Management & Technical Consulting Svc10.7%
Federal Government9.2%
Management of Companies and Enterprises6.6%
Aerospace Product & Parts Manufacturing6.0%
Computer Systems Design and Rel Services5.6%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

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 and CalJOBSSM at

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
  • Logistics
  • 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.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Logisticians with links to more information.

Business Operations Specialists, All OtherProfile
Computer and Information Systems ManagersGuide
Software Developers, Systems SoftwareGuide
Computer Systems AnalystsProfile
General and Operations ManagersGuide
Industrial Production ManagersGuide
Management AnalystsGuide
Operations Research AnalystsProfile
Production, Planning, and Expediting ClerksGuide

Other Sources

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.

SOC - Standard Occupational Classification13-1081
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ECS
   Logistics Engineers13-1081.01
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ICR
   Logistics Analysts13-1081.02
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)CEI
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management.520203
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Logistics and Materials Transportation051000