How Much Can You Make in a Logistics Career?
Graduates with a bachelor's degree from an online logistics school can pursue a variety of careers. Graduates often work as logisticians and supply chain managers, overseeing the procurement, storage, and distribution of products for companies. They can serve in specialized roles, such as warehouse manager and transportation manager. Graduates with a logistics degree can also become management analysts and operations research analysts who help companies improve the efficiency of their logistics processes.
While no degree guarantees a specific career or salary, the table below details common logistics careers, including median annual salaries and job growth.
Logisticians oversee an organization's supply chain. As part of this role, they analyze products' life cycles. They work to increase efficiency and move products to clients in less time. Logisticians also propose strategies to decrease transportation time and minimize costs. Most logistician positions require a bachelor's degree in logistics or supply chain management.
Median Annual Salary: $74,600
Job Growth (2016-2026): 7%
- Industrial Production Manager
Industrial production managers oversee daily operations for manufacturing plants. They direct the activities required to create goods, including allocating resources, designing methods to create products on schedule, and determining how to meet production goals. Industrial production managers also hire and train workers, analyze production data, and ensure the plant meets performance and safety requirements.
Median Annual Salary: $103,380
Job Growth (2016-2026): -1%
- Management Analyst
Management analysts, also known as management consultants, create strategies to improve an organization's efficiency. They design plans to increase profits and reduce costs. These professionals create procedures to achieve the organization's goals, determine new equipment and personnel needs, and recommend organizational changes. A logistics degree prepares management analysts to address an organization's supply chain problems.
Median Annual Salary: $83,610
Job Growth (2016-2026): 14%
- Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts apply mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations improve efficiency. They identify problems in areas such as logistics, then develop solutions based on research. Operations research analysts may interview workers, conduct on-site observations, and gather feedback from customers. After analyzing the problem, operations research analysts advise managers on potential solutions.
Median Annual Salary: $83,390
Job Growth (2016-2026): 27%
- Purchasing Manager
Purchasing managers plan and coordinate the work of buyers and purchasing agents. They ensure their organization's purchasing needs are met, and they hire and train purchasing staff. Purchasing managers develop procurement policies and procedures to ensure the organization follows ethical standards and avoids potential conflicts of interest. These professionals may also handle complex procurement tasks. A background in logistics provides management training and helps purchasing managers oversee the procurement process.
Median Annual Salary: $67,600
Job Growth (2016-2026): -3%
Salaries for logisticians and supply chain managers vary by geographic location, with factors such as local demand and cost of living impacting earning potential. For example, professionals in states with higher costs of living tend to earn higher salaries. In addition to salary, job growth varies by state. Virginia and Maryland employ the highest concentration of logisticians, largely because the federal government is the largest employer of logisticians.
What Courses Can Be Taken for an Online Logistics Degree?
While earning a logistics bachelor's degree online, students build skills in supply chain management and logistics. Classes in inventory management and transportation management train students in specialized parts of the logistics process, while courses in management and operations help learners build practical skills.
Each online logistics school has a unique curriculum, so students should research each prospective program's course requirements. Most departments post core requirements and elective options online.
Introduction to Logistics:
Many online logistics programs begin with an introductory course in the field. The class often covers operational logistics, strategic support, logistics management functions, and differences between industries.
Supply Chain Management:
Students explore supply chain strategies for global companies, including methods for integrating supply chain components into a coordinated system. This class covers supply chain planning, risk pooling, and information sharing.
Learners examine inventory flow in supply chains, with a focus on improving service quality and decreasing costs. Students learn about forecasting, production planning, and supply management.
This course explores the transportation industry, related contemporary public policy issues, and managerial strategies in transportation. Students learn about various transportation modes, inventory and transportation, and supply issues.
This class addresses manufacturing and service operations control, with an emphasis on the long-term sustainability of organizations. Students learn about closed-loop supply chains, environmental management, and social responsibility.
How to Choose the Best Online Logistics Program
When selecting an online logistics school, prospective students should consider factors such as cost, accreditation, graduation requirements, and reputation. Students can also research concentration options, course requirements, and internship opportunities to identify programs that will prepare them for the workforce. Prospective students should consider their academic and professional aspirations to select the best bachelor's in logistics programs for their goals.
Q. How can I calculate the total cost of the logistics degree?
A. Many prospective students only consider tuition costs when comparing colleges and universities. However, tuition only comprises part of the total cost of a bachelor's in logistics. Students should also factor in technology fees, student fees, and additional expenses such as books. Distance students may also need to pay an online learning fee. Researching these fees in addition to tuition rates can help prospective students determine the total degree cost.
Q. What specialization options can I pursue?
A. Many logistics and supply chain management programs offer specializations or concentrations to prepare students for specific career paths. Logistics programs may provide concentrations in areas including transportation, warehousing, and procurement. Some programs offer concentrations related to specific industries, such as retail logistics or food service logistics. Earning a concentration helps graduates demonstrate their specialized knowledge to employers. Students can also consider designing their own specialization through elective courses.
Q. Do online students complete internships?
A. Online students in logistics programs often complete internships, which provide practical experience. Internships may be required or optional. Online students typically complete internships locally, and many programs help students identify opportunities in their area. Learners typically pursue internships in their concentration area or with a company they are interested in working for after graduation.
Q. What strategies should I use when choosing courses?
A. Logistics programs typically include required major courses and electives in the field. Prospective students can research course options when choosing a program. Once enrolled, logistics majors should choose electives that align with their career interests. For example, students interested in retail logistics can take courses in that field.
Q. Are online logistics degrees respected by employers?
A. Employers respect online logistics degrees earned through accredited institutions. These online programs meet the same academic standards as on-campus programs, and many institutions provide the exact same diplomas to both online and on-campus students. Online logistics programs often include the same curriculum and graduation requirements as the institution's on-campus program.
Q. What careers can I pursue with a logistics degree?
A. After earning a bachelor's degree in logistics online, many graduates pursue careers as logisticians, warehouse managers, transportation managers, and supply chain managers. Logistics students also develop managerial and organizational skills, which benefit professionals in operations research analysis and management analysis. These fields generally offer high earning potential for candidates with a bachelor's in logistics.
Q. Does an online degree meet certification requirements?
A. An online degree from an accredited institution meets the same certification requirements as an accredited on-campus degree. For example, candidates with an online bachelor's degree in logistics from an accredited institution qualify for the certified supply chain professional credential. Prospective students should only consider accredited institutions to ensure they earn a degree that meets certification and licensure requirements.
Scholarships and Financial Aid for Logistics Programs
Many logistics students rely on financial aid and scholarships to fund their bachelor's degree. Students at accredited institutions can receive federal loans based on their estimated financial need. Prospective logistics students should complete the FAFSA form to determine their eligibility for federal financial aid programs.
Scholarships and grants are generally the most appealing funding sources; unlike loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid. Logistics students can apply for various scholarship opportunities from organizations such as professional associations and foundations.
- R. Gene Richter Scholarship
Granted in partnership with the Institute for Supply Management, this scholarship supports a senior enrolled full time in an accredited supply chain management program. Applicants submit a resume, unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended, and two letters of recommendation, including one from a faculty member at the student's current institution. Applicants also submit three essays. Winners receive a $10,000 scholarship to cover educational expenses. Recipients participate in an executive mentoring program and attend the Annual International Supply Chain Management Conference.
- Howard Bernstein Scholarship
The Material Handling Educational Foundation awards several $5,000 scholarships each year to qualifying students. Applicants must study material handling, industrial distribution, engineering, logistics, or supply chain management. To qualify, candidates must either have junior or senior standing at a prequalified school or attend a program accredited by ABET, AACSB International, or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Applicants provide a resume, evidence of commitment to a qualifying industry, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.
- National Restaurant Association Educational Fund Scholarships
Supply chain management and logistics majors focusing on the restaurant or food service industry can apply for a National Restaurant Association scholarship. These awards range from $2,500-$10,000. Eligible students must be enrolled full time or part time at an accredited college or university. Candidates submit an online application. The National Restaurant Association grants hundreds of scholarships annually; students submit a single application to qualify for multiple scholarship opportunities.
- Ivan A. Olson Scholarship
The North American Rail Shippers Association awards this scholarship, which provides $500-$1,000 for qualifying students. Applicants must be college students in good standing and must pursue a degree in transportation, logistics, or supply chain management from an accredited institution. Applicants submit academic transcripts, a list of extracurricular activities and work-related transportation activities, and a personal statement. Candidates must also provide a letter of recommendation from a professor or college counselor.
- Inbound Logistics and APICS Scholarship
This annual scholarship awards $2,500 to a qualifying supply chain management or logistics student. Applicants must be full-time students pursuing a degree in logistics or a closely related field. Students provide a 1,500-word essay detailing their career goals and reasons for studying logistics. Candidates submit their application and essay online.