District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) Supply Chain Managers

Products and services in almost every industry must pass through a number of events, from their point of origin to the point when they hit consumers’ hands. This process includes product design, production, freight and warehousing, among other processes. These complex processes must be managed by professionals, who are often called logisticians or supply chain managers (SCMs).

Logisticians look over the supply chain process, from the conceptualization of new products to inventory management and the sales of finished products.

The steps in a supply chain may or may not include:

  • Product design
  • Distribution
  • Inventory control/warehousing
  • Raw materials management
  • Packaging
  • Purchasing
  • Quality control
  • Receiving
  • Transportation/traffic/shipping
  • Marketing and Sales

These are only a handful of supply chain function examples. Most logisticians specialize in a just a few aspects of the supply chain, while others oversee the system as a whole.

A bachelor’s degree in SCM or another business-related field is usually necessary for entry-level logistician work. Later, logisticians may wish to pursue post-graduate degrees to further enhance their career skills and resumes. By specializing in a specific area of supply chain management, SCMs can focus their careers on one aspect and command higher incomes.

While 25 percent of logisticians work in the manufacturing industry, another 20 percent work for the federal government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). After that, logisticians work in public and private service industries, management and wholesale trade industries as well. The typical work setting for a logistician is an office, and they should expect to work typical 40-hour work weeks or overtime schedules.

Begin Your Logistician Career in D.C. With a Bachelor’s Degree

Since a bachelor’s degree is generally required for entry-level logistician work, you should start thinking about your education as soon as possible. Schools offering bachelor’s degrees in Washington, D.C. include:

  • University of the Potomac. On the Washington, D.C., campus of this school, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in International Business, which will prepare them for entry-level work as logisticians. Students take courses in management, accounting and supply chain management. Application requirements include high school and college transcripts, any test scores available and an interview.
  • American University. The Kogod School of Business at this school is AACSB-accredited and offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA). Applicants must demonstrate satisfactory SAT or ACT scores, which prove they can handle the intense math and science requirements for the degree. The program is 120 credit-hours and requires a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Master’s Programs for Logisticians in D.C.

A master’s degree can help you take your logistician career further, especially if you didn’t major specifically in supply chain management for your undergraduate studies. Some master’s degrees can be found in the areas surrounding the District of Columbia, including:

  • University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business. This college is located in College Park, MD, and offers a MS in Supply Chain Management. It’s nearby D.C., so it’s a convenient way for those who live in the District of Columbia to attend a master’s program in SCM. The program can be completed within one or two years.
  • University of the District of Columbia. At this school, students can earn their Master of Business Administration, which teaches some of the important skills necessary for logistics. This school is accredited by the ACSBP and values its low student-to-teacher ratios. The MBA program requires a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Intro Education for Logisticians

If you’re just looking for an introduction into the SCM field, you might want to try a shorter course offered through APICS. In D.C., you can study at APICS DC Metro. This includes a set of programs offered by APICS, the national organization overseeing the certification of logisticians. Those who already have some experience in the supply chain field can take short courses with APICS in order to earn credentials that will improve their resume.

Professional Certification

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) oversees the national certification of logisticians and SCMs. APICS is the branch of this organization that grants credentials to qualified logisticians. To earn a credential, you must pass an exam. There are four certifications available from APICS:

  • Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD)
  • Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
  • SCOR-Professional (SCOR-P)

APICS offers limited training options in supply chain management as well, in order to prepare students to pass certification exams and become certified.

D.C. Logisticians Have Excellent Careers

In D.C., logisticians are paid extremely well compared to their national counterparts. With a median salary of $50.77 per hour reported by the BLS in 2017, their income was much higher than the national median income of $35.86 per hour for this field.

Projections for employment growth in D.C. are slightly higher than the national average, with the Projections Managing Partnership predicting 9 percent employment growth rate in D.C. by 2026. It’s also estimated that Washington, D.C. logisticians will see an average of 160 new job openings per year.

Where to Work in Washington, D.C., as a Logistician

The BLS lists that 6,640 logisticians were employed in Washington D.C. and its surrounding areas in 2017, with an excellent rate of employment per 1,000 jobs: 2.117.

In the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area, logisticians were paid a median income of $43.13 per hour. This is not as high as the median for just the city of Washington, D.C., but it still shows that those in the wider area are paid well.

With such excellent career statistics and projections into the future, becoming a logistician sounds like a good idea for those living in the District of Columbia. If you have a knack for business and enjoy managing complex systems, you might want to start looking at educational options right away.

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