How To Start A Career in Logistics



The logistics industry is fast growing but like any career, it requires thorough preparation to find a job. At the College for Adult Learning, we are here to help you kick start your career in logistics and navigate the process to make it as simple and effective as possible.

Skills required to start a career in logistics

Some roles in the logistics industry will require a specific degree or qualification but there are also opportunities for graduates from all backgrounds. If you can handle responsibility, are an able decision maker and have excellent analytical and people skills, a career in logistics could be great for you. Below are some of the skills required in this field:

General skills

  • Problem Solving – The ability to think fast on your feet and make good decisions to keep things running smoothly.
  • Analytical Skills – This includes strategic planning so you can meet goals and help you to prepare for the unexpected.
  • People Management – To get the best out of your staff most productively and effectively.
  • Project Management – This relies heavily on your organisational skills, to make sure your projects are progressing to plan.
  • Communication Skills – Be able to communicate with anyone including workers, the public, clients, senior management and anyone else you may encounter.

Logistics skills

  • Commercial Awareness – The ability to fully assess the impact of certain actions on the business and be able to source goods and equipment as well as being able to keep costs down where you can.
  • Numeracy – The ability to use IT systems to keep track of the various stages of the process.
  • Marketing – Being able to sell ideas to clients or upper management

Determine your logistics career goals

Like any career, to reach your career goals and land a job in logistics you must start by defining your ambitions. Are you looking to become a logistic leader, or do you want to specialise in a specific field? Start by thinking about your short-term and long-term career goals. Write out a clear career plan of what you are hoping to achieve and how you plan to achieve these goals.

Find a logistics mentor

Explore your career aspirations with someone who currently works in the logistics industry or the specific sector you are hoping to pursue. This could mean talking with a coworker, friend or a new connection made through networking. If you are currently working in the logistics industry, have a discussion with your manager about what you can do to get a promotion and prepare yourself for your desired career path. Ask your mentor or industry connections to introduce you to others in your field or even particular companies you would like to work for.

How to start a career in logistics

Look for entry-level job titles in logistics, some of these jobs may include van driver, dispatcher, merchant buyer assistant, or clerk for operations, distributions, and traffic. There are also some entry-level jobs such as operations research analyst which will require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree or other qualifications. Determine your current skills and any educational requirements before you begin applying for jobs and consider studying a logistics course like the Diploma of Logistics (TLI50219). Preparing yourself accordingly for the job you are hoping to achieve, as well as realistically setting career goals you will be able to accomplish, will save you time and also the heartbreak of rejection.

Develop your computer skills

Logistics professionals rely on computer system skills to complete their work more quickly and efficiently. Many logistics companies use computer management systems to monitor their inventory and transportation. If possible look for opportunities to work with these systems to familiarise yourself as well as open up more job opportunities.

Request more responsibility

If your current job allows, get involved in project-based work and become an active team member. Take on as much responsibility as you feel comfortable with whenever possible, this could mean scheduling, warehouse inventory or creating new ideas to help improve current operations and processes. A successful career in logistics requires a wide range of skills so no matter what your current job there will be a range of different roles and processes that will help you land a job in logistics.

Research companies

Before you land a job in logistics you should spend time researching companies. All of the information your prospective company would expect you to know will be located on the company’s website. Important and useful information to make note of could be company growth and performance history. You can also find out which jobs you should not be applying for, and steer clear of companies that have recently been cutting jobs or that show declining profits.

Your Career in Supply Chain Management

Do you want to learn more about supply management and logistics skills employers demand, emerging job roles and salaries, and recent industry insights? 

Discover your career in supply chain management.