How to Become a Logistician in Kentucky

Becoming a logistician, or supply chain manager (SCM), requires education and training. Most people who work in this career earned a four-year bachelor’s degree. Some go on to earn graduate degrees, and some even get into supply chain and operations management with a two-year degree or work experience and on-the-job training. In Kentucky, it will depend on employers to determine what qualifies you for this position.

What logisticians do can be complicated, so a degree or training is important. They manage the entire life cycle of products, from when they are acquired or manufactured to when they are sold and shipped to buyers. SCMs have to be able to work with and have strong relationships with everyone else involved on this product pathway and manage a lot of details with excellent communication.

As a supply chain manager you can expect to be responsible for building relationships, allocating supplies and processes, troubleshooting the supply chain, finding ways to make the process more efficient, and coming up with ideas to save time and money.

Requirements for Becoming a Logistician in Kentucky

Kentucky does not require that logisticians be certified or have any particular degree or type of training. It is up to employers hiring these professionals to determine job requirements. Most prefer to hire candidates with a minimum of a four-year degree in business with a focus on operations or supply chain management. It is possible to be hired with a two-year degree or with relevant on-the-job training from a previous job. For instance, if you work as a clerk or dispatcher, you may work your way up to logistics.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Logisticians

Kentucky has just a couple of four-year programs for logisticians. One of these is at Murray state, and it offers a Bachelor of Science in Business degree with a focus in logistics and supply chain management. Students may complete the program through online classes and at one or more regional campuses at Paducah, Madisonville, Hopkinsville and Henderson.

After completing general education requirements, students take classes in information systems and decision making, fundamentals of operations, process management, purchasing and supply management, quality control, logistics management and much more. The curriculum totals 120 hours. Murray State also has a Logistics and Supply Management Club that presents students with opportunities to network.

Sullivan University in Louisville has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a concentration in logistics and supply chain management. Like Murray State’s program, this one can be completed both online and on campus. Campus courses are available in Louisville, Lexington and Fort Knox.

Other Supply Chain Management Programs in Kentucky

A few other schools in Kentucky offer associate degrees and certificates in supply chain management or logistics, which can be a great way to get started in this career:

  • Gateway Community and Technical College, Florence. At Gateway, students can earn certificates in supply chain specialist, logistics operation or logistics quality technician. Another option is a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Supply Chain Management. Students who choose the degree can transfer their credits to Sullivan, which has an agreement with Gateway, and earn a bachelor’s degree in just 18 months.
  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Paducah. West Kentucky offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Logistics and Operations Management. Students may also choose shorter certificate programs in international logistics, logistics technology, logistics management or supply chain management. The degree program includes 61 to 66 credit hours, while the certificate programs require between 12 and 18 credits.

Logistician Certification

You do not need to be certified or licensed in Kentucky to work as a logistician, but there are a couple of organizations that offer certifications. Employers may prefer to hire someone who holds one of these. You can choose from several types offered through the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). These include Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSPC), Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) and Certified in Production Inventory Management (CPIM).

Salary and Outlook for Logisticians in Kentucky

In Kentucky, growth in logistics careers mirrors that seen throughout the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Growth in the number of positions for people in logistics or supply chain management is seven percent nationwide and in the state. In the next few years, there should be more than 100 new jobs for logisticians in Kentucky.

The average salary for a logistician in Kentucky in May of 2017 was $71,480 per year and $34.36 per hour. This is a little lower than the national averages of $74,600 and $35.86, respectively, but the logisticians earning the most in Kentucky make over $106,000 per year.

Working as a Logistician

Logisticians can work in any field or for any employer with supply chains. This includes all types of manufacturing companies as well as companies that specifically manage logistics for other companies. You may also find a position with the federal government, with scientific and technical companies, and in wholesale.

The kind of work that logisticians do is detailed, complex and fast-paced. It can be stressful at times, and while most work 40 hours per week, many logisticians do work overtime. In Kentucky, you can expect to find openings in supply chain management in most areas, but look around Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green.

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