Learning Supply Chain Management in Iowa

Products and services move through an extensive process before they are delivered to the intended user. They must be designed, produced, packaged and transported, and each step in this process can be highly detailed. A logistician uses their deep understanding of product design and transportation to oversee each step of the product or services’ movement through this process, called the supply chain, using time and money efficiently to ensure that everything happens in a timely and affordable manner.

The majority of entry-level logistician jobs require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant business field. In some cases, an associate’s degree or equivalent work experience may be sufficient, particularly if employers are willing to assist employees in continuing their education. However, succeeding as a logistician typically requires the more specialized knowledge that a bachelor’s degree provides. Having a master’s degree is not necessary for your first job, though pursuing one later in your career can open additional work opportunities. Popular degree fields include business, operations management and supply chain management. The following information can help you select a program that best suits your needs.

Four-Year Degrees

A bachelor’s degree is typically required for entry-level jobs as a logistician. You can consider the following schools in Iowa for your education:

  • University of Northern Iowa. Students at the University of Northern Iowa can enroll in the Supply Chain and Operations Management degree program. Coursework includes product development, sourcing, production, logistics management and information systems, among other relevant business topics, to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of business principles.
  • Iowa State University. Iowa State’s Supply Chain Management degree provides students with a wide range of supply chain knowledge, including demand planning, transportation and warehouse management and information technology. Various student organizations and clubs can supplement formal coursework and provide valuable networking opportunities for students outside of the classroom.
  • Briar Cliff University. Briar Cliff’s Business Administration degree uses project-based learning to give students a hands-on approach to their education. They will learn organizational communication, strategic management, production management and several other topics relevant to supply chain management.

Master’s Degree Programs

A master’s degree is not necessary at the beginning of your career but can qualify you for more experienced roles in the future. The following schools offer Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) programs:

  • St. Ambrose University. St. Ambrose’s Master’s in Business Administration can be completed online or on campus. Students must select a concentration, which allows them to take a deep dive into a particular area of business in addition to their general studies.
  • University of Dubuque. The University of Dubuque takes a global approach to its MBA program. Students develop communication and technology skills while participating in team projects that reflect actual business situations in which they may find themselves after graduation.
  • University of Northern Iowa. UNI’s MBA program is tailored to working professionals, allowing you to complete your degree without giving up your job. Courses use case studies, computer simulations and client projects to educate students about various areas of business.

Associate’s Degrees and Other Education

Community colleges in Iowa offer two-year associate’s degree programs that can help you launch your career. Kirkwood Community Collegeoffers several business degrees, including one in Business Administration and Management that can be completed on campus or online.

Many logisticians choose to pursue certifications through organizations like the American Production and Inventory Control Society. Programs like Certified Supply Chain Professional, Certified in Production Inventory Management and Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution can demonstrate specialized knowledge in a particular area of supply chain management.

Salary and Employment Expectations

Jobs for logisticians in Iowa are expected to grow by 9.7 percent over the 10 years to 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. This represents slightly faster growth than the rest of the nation, which is averaging expansion of 7 percent in this field during the same time period.

The average hourly salary for logisticians in Iowa is $28.39, or $59,050 annually. The highest salaries in Iowa can exceed $85,000 in this field.

Working in Supply Chain Management in Iowa

Logisticians can find work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, government contracting, management, scientific and technical services and wholesale trade. Jobs include roles within in-house teams at a business or as part of a logistics firm. In both cases, you can expect to work 40-hour weeks with occasional overtime and travel as needed.

In addition to technical knowledge, good communication, critical thinking and customer service skills are essential. Logisticians coordinate with both suppliers and customers to solve problems, and having these skills will assist you in successfully completing your duties. Logisticians can find work throughout the state, though cities like Dubuque offer the most options and highest salaries to compensate for the cost of living in the city.

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