Becoming a Logistics Supervisor: Job Description & Salary Info

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Learn about a logistics supervisor's job duties, salary and education requirements. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of this career choice to see if it is the right fit for you.
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Pros and Cons of Becoming a Logistics Supervisor

Logistics supervisors oversee the operations in the warehousing and shipping department of an organization. Evaluate the pros and cons of a position as a logistics supervisor as listed below.

Pros of Becoming a Logistics Supervisor
High median salary (about $85,400 in 2014)***
Opportunity to work in other areas of supply chain management, such as inventory control, purchasing or supply chain analysis**
Work in a variety of industries, such as manufacturing, distribution, retail and logistics**

Cons of Becoming a Logistics Supervisor
Some positions require a 4-year degree***
Considerable experience in logistics and management may be necessary***
Must have the ability to perform physical duties, such as lifting, bending and reaching*

Sources: *Graziadio Business Review, **Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, ***O*Net Online

Essential Career Information

Job Description and Duties

As a logistics supervisor, you direct the daily activities of the company's shipping and receiving employees, warehouse workers and transportation staff. You prepare reports, negotiate with vendors and collaborate with managers in other areas of the business, such as purchasing, planning, production and accounting.

You may also oversee the human resources activities for your department. For example, logistics supervisors hire, train and discipline their team. Maintaining the safety of workers in the warehouse, transportation and distribution areas of a company is also the responsibility of logistics supervisors. For this reason, supervisors implement training programs for moving materials and operating equipment.

Job Outlook and Salary Info

Projected job growth for logistics managers is expected to be between 3% and 7% during the 2012 to 2022 decade, according to O*Net Online (www.onetonline.org). This site also reports a median salary of about $85,400 as of 2014. Logistics managers working in the oil and gas extraction industry earn the highest annual mean salaries - approximately $150,000 yearly - according to the BLS.

What Are the Requirements?

O*Net Online reports some employers require a minimum of a bachelor's degree for a supervisory position in logistics, but some firms may hire workers with a high school education and experience in a leadership position or in supply chain management. Employers requiring a bachelor's degree may prefer you complete a program in supply chain management, business, economics, industrial engineering or finance.

What Employers Are Looking For

Employers look for logistics supervisors with experience in leading a team of workers in warehousing, transportation and supply chain activities. Job listings may also require candidates have experience with a manufacturing environment, inventory control and export regulations. The following are examples of job listings for logistics supervisors available in April 2012:

  • A Georgia employer in the manufacturing industry is searching for a logistics supervisor with a minimum of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in experience. In addition, the logistics supervisor must have 1-2 years' experience in logistics and 1-3 years' experience in a supervisory position.
  • An employer in Pennsylvania in the transportation industry is looking for a logistics supervisor to manage drivers, schedule deliveries and ensure that government regulations are followed by workers. The supervisor must have experience in transportation and supply-chain management.
  • A Georgia employer in the automotive parts industry is seeking a logistics supervisor to oversee the activities in the manufacturing warehouse, which includes inventory control, production planning and capacity analysis. The employer requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree, five years' experience in logistics, seven years' experience in supply chain management, five years' experience in a supervisory role and at least eight years' experience in logistics, material management and supply chain in a manufacturing environment.
  • An international slurry equipment distributor in Utah is searching for a logistics supervisor to oversee the flow of materials and products through the company. The candidate must have a bachelor's degree in logistics or management and 7-10 years' experience in logistics, distribution, transportation or warehousing. The employer also requires job candidates have at least five years' experience in a management position.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Certification is not a requirement to work as a logistics supervisor, but it may provide employers with proof of your knowledge and skills. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals offers certification to logistics and supply chain professionals. Applicants must meet education or experience prerequisites and then pass an examination. Maintaining certification also requires continuing education in supply chain management, which can further provide an edge in the field.

Other Careers to Consider

If a career in logistics and supply chain management is appealing, but the physical requirements for a logistics supervisor are a deterrent, a position as a purchasing manager may be a better opportunity. Purchasing managers oversee the purchase of materials and products for businesses to sell or use in manufacturing. Managers negotiate contracts with suppliers and vendors, monitor delivery of products and maintain inventory records. Purchasing managers earned an annual median salary of $97,000 as of 2011, according to the BLS.

Logisticians also have less physical demands on the job; they analyze a company's supply chain and develop improvements to reduce cost or delivery times. The median annual salary for a logistician in 2011 was $72,000, but the projected growth of 26% between 2010 and 2020 is higher than the average expected growth for logistics managers in the same time-frame, according to the BLS.

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George Mason University

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Saint John's University

  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business

What is your highest level of education?

Keiser University

  • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
  • Bachelor of Arts - Business Administration with a concentration in Transportation and Logistics
  • Associate of Arts - Accounting
  • Grad Business Certificate - Management and Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)
  • MBA: Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Bachelor: Business Admin - Logistics/Supply Chain Management
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

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American InterContinental University

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The University of Scranton

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  • Master of Business Administration
  • Supply Chain Management Certificate

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Colorado State University Global

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  • BS - Business Management
  • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management

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University of Delaware

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