Logistics and Supply Chain Management Degrees in Alabama

The supply chain is the process in which products or services are moved from the supplier to the buyer, from the time they are designed or acquired up to delivery of the final product or service. This process must be overseen from beginning to end, monitoring the life cycle of the product, minimizing cost and using time efficiently. The qualified individuals who manage this movement are known as logisticians.

Entry-level logisticians usually hold at least a bachelor’s degree. You can be hired with as little as an associate’s degree, but many jobs in the logistics field are complex and require further skills and education than a two-year degree offers. Employers may help a logistician finish their degree if they have already been working toward it prior to being hired. Also, an employer may accept work experience in the place of education. A master’s degree is not required to work in this field but you may have better career advancement with more education and experience. Logisticians often seek a degree in business, operations management or supply chain management. Below you will find an overview of educational options available in this field in the state of Alabama.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Alabama

Employers typically prefer to hire logisticians who have a bachelor’s degree that is applicable to this field. Here are a few schools in Alabama to consider:

  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Management with a focus in productions and operations that can be completed in four years. Required courses for this degree include: Human Resource Management, Supply Chain Management, Project Management and Quality Management. The total credit hours for this degree are 120 credit hours, and this includes major-specific courses and general education courses. This degree can be completed on campus or online.
  • University of Alabama. Located in Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama offers a B.S. in Operations Management. This is a four-year program. Students are required to take the following courses as part of the degree program: Introduction to Management Science, Production Planning and Control, Statistical Quality Control, Computer Simulation, Production Scheduling Problems and Inventory Management. Students who major in Operation Management must complete either a second major, which can be business or non-business related, or a specialization. There is an option to specialize in Supply Chain Management, which consists of taking 12 extra credit hours that focus on that specialty.
  • Auburn University. Auburn University presents students with the opportunity to earn a B.S. degree in Supply Chain Management. This is a four-year degree program that consists of 123 credit hours.

Master’s Degree Programs in Alabama

A master’s degree is not required to work as a logistician in Alabama, but it could help you to gain more job opportunities or earn a higher wage. The following schools offer master’s degrees that have a business focus:

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). UAB offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program that is accredited through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This degree can be completed by taking an additional 36 credit hours over one to two years, in addition to earning a bachelor’s degree. The classes can be taken through evening classes once a week, or completely online at the student’s pace.
  • University of Alabama. The University of Alabama offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree with a focus in Operations Management. Students must possess good quantitative skills, as well as oral and written communication skills. The M.S. degree program consists of 30 credit hours that can be completed in two years or less.
  • Auburn University. At Auburn University, students can earn an MBA that can be completed full-time and on campus, online or with an executive or physician’s executive focus. All programs consist of 39 credit hours that can be completed in one two years.

Other Educational Programs for Logisticians in Alabama

In addition to bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, there are other educational options available in Alabama. If you choose to complete a two-year degree program or certificate program, Jefferson State Community College offers a certificate program, advanced certificate program and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in Business Management. Sixty-three credit hours are required for the AAS degree, or two years of coursework. The advanced certificate consists of 30 credit hours, and the short certificate consists of 21 credit hours. All programs are a combination of general education and business courses.

Also, there are various certifications that you can pursue as a logistician. You can get Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSPC), Certified in Production Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) certifications through the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS).

Employment and Salary Outlook

It is predicted that the job field for logisticians will increase by 10 percent in the state of Alabama between the years 2016 and 2026. This is slightly higher than the national growth rate of seven percent.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, logisticians in the state were making an average of $42.52 an hour in 2017. That same year, the average annual rate for logisticians was $88,450. The highest earners in the state make as much as $121,150 annually.

Working in Supply Chain Management in Alabama

Logisticians can find work in almost any industry, including manufacturing, the federal government, managing companies, scientific and technical services and wholesale trade. They may work for a company that specializes in logistics or they may work for a company’s logistical department. Logisticians often work 40-hour weeks, and sometimes overtime. The job may require them to travel at times.

Strong communication, critical-thinking and customer service skills are required to work in this field. Logisticians will often be working with both the suppliers and the customers and may have to think quickly to handle problems that arise. With the steady growth rate in this field, you probably won’t have trouble finding work in supply chain management anywhere in the state. However, Huntsville is the top-paying city and holds the highest employment rate for this career in the state.

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