Doctor. Lawyer. Accountant. Teacher. These are a few of the professions which may first come to mind when contemplating potential career paths. However, there are plenty of other lesser known options with equal or greater potential for everything from compensation to job satisfaction. At the top of that list? Logistics. Let's take a closer look at this quickly growing field, along with why a career in logistics may be right for you.
What is Logistics?
According to Logistics World, "Logistics means having the right thing, at the right place, at the right time." While this definition may be a simplification, it encapsulates the field of logistics in its most basic sense. In the business sense, logistics applies to the supply chain of goods and services between the point of origin and the point of consumption. The ultimate goal of workers in this field? To meet customer needs in the most efficient, effective way.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "logisticians analyze and coordinate an organization's supply chain - the system that moves a product from supplier to consumer." This comprises the entire life cycle of a product -- including everything from developing business relationships with suppliers to directing the allocation of materials to comprehending customer needs. Ultimately, logisticians seek to minimize cost, time and risk when it comes to safely moving goods from one point to another.
Not all people who work in logistics are logisticians, however. The field also has jobs for people across a wide range of academic backgrounds and experiences -- from truck drivers and forklift operators to upper level logistics executives.
Because of the variety of opportunities, there is also significant opportunity for career advancement for hardworking individuals. In fact, many logistics company prefer to train and promote from within rather than pursuing external hires.
If you aspire toward a career in international business, meanwhile, logistics is a great starting point. Many workers in this field use entry-level skills and experience to transition to mid- and upper-level positions in other countries.
The Many Benefits of a Career in Logistics
Job opportunities for logisticians are projected to grow by a whopping 22 percent between 2012 and 2022. This is significantly faster than the average rate for all other occupations. With this growth comes job security, along with the possibility of increased compensation due to the in demand status of professionals in this field. While the median annual wage for logisticians is $72,780, top earners can make upwards of $112,000.
Why is logistics expanding so quickly? The field's exponential growth largely relates to the expansion of the global economy. As geographic borders continue to break down, new opportunities are constantly developing. Logisticians will assume responsibility for exploring these opportunities, pushing current boundaries, and conquering the rising challenges along the way.
No matter where you live, a career in logistics is within your reach. Nearly every company that offers a product or service requires people to handle logistics. While some areas, such as Chicago and Los Angeles, are logistics activity hubs, every industrialized region of the world has companies in need of logistics experts.
If you're looking for career fulfillment, logistics offers the potential of great satisfaction. The work is constantly changing, and logistics environments -- from the warehouse to the boardroom -- bustle with activity and innovation. This fast-paced work ensure that you'll never be bored.
There's a reason why logisticians earned the sixth spot on U.S. News and World Report's list of "Best Business Jobs." If you like to solve problems, work collaboratively with others, and value not only job security, but also the promise of quick career advancement, a career in logistics can help you realize these goals while also enjoying rare professional fulfillment.
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