Tip of the Week
How to Decide if a Career
in Logistics is for You
If you’re looking for a career in logistics, or transportation, now is a great time to get started on it.
America’s economy continues to strengthen after a deep recession, and that’s creating an opportunity for one industry that keeps the economy moving — literally. From truck drivers to warehouse workers, jobs are being created at a fast pace in the logistics industry as more goods need to be transported quickly and efficiently across the country and around the world.
If you’re thinking about a career in logistics, here are some things to consider.
STRONG JOB GROWTH
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in logistics-related fields are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.
Jobs for truck drivers are predicted to grow 21 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is considerably faster than other fields. And the more the economy grows, the faster these jobs will be created as drivers are needed to keep the supply chains moving for all types of industries.
The outlook is even better for cargo and freight agents, who coordinate incoming and outgoing shipments at transportation companies. Employment in the field is predicted to grow 29 percent between 2010 and 2020, creating a tremendous career opportunity for people with strong computer and customer service skills.
The bottom line is that the transportation field can present a secure, stable source of employment for a wide variety of people. If you’re currently working in a field with slow or stagnant growth, or if you’ve been laid off from a job in a struggling industry, the bright future expected in logistics makes it a great time to consider a career change.
It also presents an opportunity for people who aren’t necessarily interested in driving a truck themselves. There is plenty of demand for good recruiters who can use their networking and interpersonal skills to bring more truck drivers into the industry. If you think you can connect with people and can explain the many benefits of a career in logistics, you might find a successful career as a recruiter.
A Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required, and some types of cargo — such as hazardous materials — require specialized training and certifications before you’ll be allowed to transport it.
Not only will drivers sometimes be responsible for loading and unloading cargo, but they will need to carefully follow all traffic laws, inspect their equipment and record any problems with it, log their activities, notify the appropriate personnel about any maintenance needs, and keep their gear in good working order.
By paying attention to the small details, drivers are contributing to an industry that has focused intensely on safety and professionalism in recent years.
FREEDOM ON THE ROAD
While truck drivers will always have rules to follow and delivery times to meet, they actually have a lot of freedom when doing their jobs on the road.
Most tractor-trailer truck drivers plan their own routes, for example, deciding the best roads to take for various weather or traffic conditions. They may use satellite tracking to help them plan the path to take, and they will stay in touch with dispatchers to communicate any incidents they encounter while on the road.
People who enjoy time to themselves will often succeed as drivers, since the job allows for some quiet time and legally required rest periods.
Drivers also often have the choice between short-haul routes, which allow them to be home frequently, and long-haul routes that require days away from home.
With around 1.6 million people employed as tractor-trailer drivers in 2010 — and hundreds of thousands more needed in the next few years — it’s clear that the transportation industry presents a major job opportunity for the right person. If you’re interested in logistics, talking to a transportation company recruiter could put you on the path to a rewarding new career with plenty of growth potential.