Magazine article Techniques

Career Curve

Magazine article Techniques

Career Curve

Article excerpt


LOGISTICIANS ANALYZE AND COORDINATE THE SUPPLY CHAIN THAT moves products from suppliers to consumers. They manage the procurement, allocation of materials and supplies, inventory, and distribution and delivery of finished products. Their duties may include finding strategies to ensure goods are moved with the least amount of time and expense, as well as reviewing the processes to identify areas for improvement. Those who work for the federal government will often be involved in directing the delivery of military supplies.

The Workplace

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) show that logisticians are employed mainly by manufacturing firms and the federal government. They work in scientific and technical services, manufacturing of transportation equipment, aerospace products and parts, and at freight-shipping companies.


The DOL notes that although logisticians may qualify for positions with an associate degree, the increasingly complex nature of the industry means that more companies will prefer to hire workers who have at least a bachelor's degree in supply chain management, business or engineering, with courses such as operations, database management and system dynamics.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual earnings for logisticians were $72,780 in May 2012, with the top 10 percent earning more than $112,100.

Job Outlook

The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that employment of logisticians will grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022 due to the role logistics plays in the transportation of goods and the need to Compete effectively in a global economy. Logisticians will continue to be needed by the government and the military for moving supplies and personnel.



Located in Norco, California, approximately 40 miles east of Los Angeles, Norco College is part of the Riverside Community College District. The school offers 64 certificates and more than 40 associate degree options. Although the campus opened in 1991, Norco College itself is among the newest of California's community colleges, having completed the accreditation process in January 2010. When the campus was built, the initial vision was an emphasis on technology programs, so among the first structures were the Science and Technology Building, the Applied Technology Building and the Center for Applied Technology, followed by the Industrial Technology Building.

Today the college offers more than 40 career and technical education programs, including Logistics Management. As Norco College President Paul Parnell notes, the strong links the school has with the local community, business and industry leaders, universities and the K-12 school district have enabled the college to provide "an education of excellence in emerging programs like Logistics Management and Supply Chain Technology ... ."

Not only does Norco College offer programs in Supply Chain Technology and Logistics Management, but it also hosts the National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education, a nationwide partnership with the goal "to increase the number of qualified supply chain technicians to meet the growing national need across the private and public supply chains." The center currently has three objectives: to conduct a gap analysis of existing technician training, identify technologies being used and develop training modules; to develop and deliver professional development training related to these technologies; and to disseminate information to students, educators and industry. …

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