Career Spotlight: Logistics Engineer

An In-Depth Guide to a Career in Logistics Engineering and Management

Logistics engineers oversee the planning, organizing, and management of supply chains. In other words, they are responsible for making sure products get from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Logistics engineers are successful at their job because they can use their technical and scientific background to develop solutions to improve the manufacturing and distribution of products. The field of logistics also involves management, so these engineers often have background knowledge in sales and management.

If you like working with hard data and facts, read on to see if a career in logistics engineering matches your goals.

What Is Logistics Engineering?

So what is logistics engineering? To put it simply, it is the umbrella term that covers the field of engineering responsible for designing, purchasing, transporting, operating, distributing, maintaining, and warehousing finished goods and products. As you may have guessed, it is a complex discipline that requires attention to detail and a good technical background.

What Does a Logistic Engineer Do?

As mentioned, logistics engineers oversee the supply chain. Let’s take a look at some of the more specific responsibilities and roles they take on.

  • Developing and maintaining relationships with vendors
  • Reviewing data to find potential problems and to suggest solutions
  • Conducting research on new technologies
  • Conducting logistics studies
  • Developing and implementing plans for transporting materials
  • Developing logistic metrics, internal analysis tools, or key performance indicators
  • Collaborating on supply chain procedures
  • Developing plans for improving efficiency
  • Customizing and implementing supply chain management software
  • Ensuring compliance with industry standards and safety regulations
  • Training and overseeing employees
  • Staying aware of developments in supply chain engineering

In addition to the above, some logistics engineers may also see to daily facility needs and contractual obligations, and oversee the maintenance and logistics of certain equipment.

How to Become a Logistics Engineer?

There are certain requirements for becoming a logistics engineer. First and foremost is a bachelor’s degree in business, management, logistics, or a similar field. You may choose to specialize in a particular area of logistics like transportation, so it’s important to also take courses specific to your area.

It’s also important to gain experience. One way you can do this by interning, volunteering, or working in the transportation industry at a shipping or trucking company, or in transportation for a manufacturer. This will show potential employers that you are familiar with the way logistics in business runs.

Furthermore, you may also choose to demonstrate your skills and knowledge by earning a professional certification, like the Certification in Transportation and Logistics (CTL) offered by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL) or the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS). Earning a certification is optional, but it will certainly make you stand out from the crowd.

Logistics Engineer Qualifications

Just like there are certain steps you must take to become a logistics engineer, there are also certain skills you should possess. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Communication skills: The ability to communicate verbally and nonverbally with other engineers, managers, clients, and suppliers.
  • Technical skills: Having the knowledge of software, hardware, and machinery necessary to fulfill your responsibilities as a logistics engineer.
  • Analytical skills: The ability to solve problems and make decisions. In logistics engineering, this refers to analyzing and evaluating how a system should work and identifying actions needed to improve performance.
  • Problem-solving skills: Finding solutions to complex problems that may arise.
  • Organizational skills: Keeping track of projects and tasks, as well as tools and resources, in an structured and efficient way.

Logistics Engineer Education Requirements

The educational requirement to become a logistics engineer is a bachelor’s degree, although a master’s degree is a bonus. Excelsior’s Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Business and Management program includes coursework in accounting, financial management, marketing, project management, employee relations, leadership, management practice, business communication, and global commerce. The Bachelor of Science in Business program helps you gain skills you can use in areas including accounting, business strategy, communication, computer skills, economics, business ethics, finance, global business, leadership, management, marketing, data analysis, teamwork, and cultural diversity. Both programs are appropriate choices if you want to start on the path toward becoming a logistics engineer.

How Much Do Logistics Engineers Make?

Logistic engineer salaries vary depending on education, experience, and the size of the company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2021 average salary for logisticians, a field that includes logistics engineers, was $77,030 per year.

The BLS projects about 24,800 openings for logisticians each year over the next decade. The total employment of this position is projected to grow 28 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This is most likely due to the need of companies to improve their supply chains and reduce costs. So the good news is that logistics engineers will consistently be needed to help design and manage efficient supply chains so companies can transport products effectively.

If a career as a logistics engineer sounds in line with your plans, consider talking with an Excelsior admissions counselor to get started on a business degree.