Logistics officers handle the distribution of a company’s merchandise. They work for retailers, manufacturers and many other industries, loading and unloading packages and sometimes even equipment. Most logistics officers are employed in warehouses, although some work on loading docks, where they remove or place items on large trucks, delivery vans and even boats.
Logistics officers who work in the receiving department make sure all items received are in good condition and stored in their proper place. Meanwhile, those in the shipping department often handle the weighing and packaging of items. Both types of logistics offers normally must check and sign invoices, as well as ensure the general upkeep of the warehouse. Logistics officers spend a great deal of their workday on their feet, or operating machinery used to assist with the process of distribution.
Logistics officers often need strength and stamina to move and package merchandise. They need to be strong communicators, as they regularly interact with everyone from supervisors to co-workers to vendors to delivery drivers. Most need to own basic math and computer skills, often used to help track orders and deliveries. On top of those things, logistics officers are almost always expected to be organized with a strong work ethic and positive attitude.
Logistics officers almost always need to possess a high school diploma, or at least the equivalent. Other than that, most can learn on the job with a limited amount of training. That’s especially true of those who handle labor only (as opposed to paperwork and filing). However, most companies prefer candidates with a certificate or degree when considering advancement. Areas of study for logistics officers aiming to move up usually include business, economics, math and perhaps communications and management.
Companies will always need workers to help with the distribution of the merchandise they sell, and therefore, opportunities for logistics workers are likely to always be available. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the warehousing industry that employs logistics officers is expected to grow by 11 percent between 2008 and 2018. That is about as fast as the national average for all professions, the BLS reported.
Logistics officers hold a number of titles and responsibilities, and their pay is usually reflective of such. For instance, the BLS reported that those with job descriptions fitting of a logistics officer earned anywhere $10.89 to $13.30 per hour in May 2008. Meanwhile, Pay Scale reported that logistics managers made a median annual salary of more than $57,500 in May 2010.