How to Become a Logistics Officer (With Required Skills)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 19 June 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A logistics officer's role involves overseeing a company's logistics process and can be extremely rewarding. Professionals in this field typically perform particular duties that may require them to complete specific education and training before beginning their careers. Discovering the path to pursuing this job may help you plan your future career. In this article, we discuss what a logistics officer does, explain how to become one and outline some of the key skills.
How to become a logistics officer
Knowing how to become a logistics officer and the different career paths available can help you decide what steps to take to follow your chosen career. Some employers accept candidates with extensive work history and may not require a specific qualification. Most employers, though, prefer candidates with relevant education and training. Here are a few steps to help show you how to become a logistics officer:
1. Complete a VET qualification
Vocational education and training (VET) is school and work-based learning where you can learn specific and practical job skills for different industries. Two VET qualifications may help you work towards becoming a logistics officer. These are a Certificate III in Supply Chain Operations (Warehousing Operations) (TLI30321) qualification or Diploma of Logistics (TLI50219) qualification. Here are some details about these qualifications:
Certificate III in Supply Chain Operations (Warehousing Operations) (TLI30321)
The first qualification helps provide you with the skills and knowledge required for routine and non-routine work. The industry helped develop the curriculum for this course, which means you can learn relevant, practical and valuable skills to help you reach your professional goals. Most programs don't require you to complete qualifications in sequential order, so you can begin your studies at the level that matches your interests and experience.
Diploma of Logistics (TLI50219)
You can pursue this nationally accredited qualification at any institution because, although different institutions may implement varying courses, they all meet the standard educational requirements. A diploma is like a certificate, but it often prepares you for more advanced tasks and prepares you with more skills. This diploma may help you use technical and theoretical concepts to make important decisions in your job.
Related: FAQ: What Is a Diploma?
2. Get a bachelor's degree
If you'd prefer to attend a university instead, consider enrolling in a bachelor's program in a subject such as business, logistics and supply chain management. Earning a bachelor's degree may help you find a broader range of career options. Some universities also offer students additional resources, including help finding scholarships, internships and industry-related projects.
Most bachelor's programs last at least three years, although this often depends on a student's full-time or part-time status. Students usually complete at least 300 credits, including major, minor and elective courses. You may learn concepts related to forming creative solutions, working collaboratively, using business concepts and principles and critically evaluating research. Here's a list of courses you could take with a major in logistics and supply chain management:
innovative business practices
big data management
business information systems
industry consulting practices
3. Earn specific licences
After gaining your qualifications, some employers may encourage you to get other specific licences, such as a forklift certification or a commercial driver's licence. Consider asking your employer about any licences you may require for the job. Some employers may pay for you to get the licence, while others may require that you pay for them yourself. Here are other licences that you may find helpful:
heavy vehicle licensing and accreditation
local and international trade regulations
qualifications for storing and transporting specific goods, such as food or toxic materials
4. Join a professional organisation
Although not all employers require you to join a professional organisation, doing so may help you stay updated on current industry practices and network with other logistics and supply chain professionals. Many logistic and supply chain organisations advocate for innovation, accountability and application of industry standards. People who are part of professional organisations also sometimes benefit from membership because it may show employers, clients and other industry professionals that they know how to practice ethics and proper industry standards. Here are some logistical and supply chain management organisations:
Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA)
Australian Logistics Council
Australian Warehousing Association (AusWA)
Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics (ISCL)
What does a logistics officer do?
A logistics officer is a professional who plans, supervises and supports the overall logistics processes of an organisation, such as storing, dispatching and receiving or importing and exporting goods. This may also include maintaining a fleet of dispatch vehicles and planning transportation and warehousing. They also often help set up work or project sites and direct employee activities throughout the project. Logistics officers often work in warehouses, manufacturing facilities, ports, depots and airports. Here's a list of other duties and responsibilities these professionals may perform:
schedule staff, contractors, vendors and consultants during a project
create spreadsheets and reports for moving supplies, materials and employees according to project requirements
conduct dispatching and receiving activities
crate and pack materials, prepare shipping documentation
manage customer-based queues
repair or schedule maintenance of equipment
prepare delivery schedules
compare purchase orders against inventory stock
Common logistics officer skills
If you're considering becoming a logistics officer, you may benefit from learning about the value of the following skills and how they help these professionals perform their duties:
Logistics officers typically use digital word processing applications to create spreadsheets, reports and correspondence between clients and vendors. Many companies also use specific software to complete daily operational tasks. A logistics officer may also perform research and complex tasks, check inventory levels and send invoices using a computer. Computer skills are important in helping them complete some of their duties and assisting them in other areas such as problem-solving and communication.
Working as a logistics officer often means interpreting and evaluating complex information from various sources. This may include reviewing multiple complex forms for the same project or processing several invoices at once. Analytical skills often help reach logical conclusions and solve issues as they arise.
Logistics officers often use multiple forms of communication daily when contacting clients, subcontractors, employees, supervisors, stakeholders and other industry professionals. Verbal and written communication skills are important as they can help these professionals draft emails and reports to clients. They may also help them explain instructions to employees or answer questions clearly and concisely.
Their role often requires these professionals to adapt and remain flexible to changing work conditions as plans and deadlines may change, or clients or stakeholders may request additions or alterations to a project. Supply chain issues and other obstacles may arise outside of the company's control, which means flexibility may help logistics officers find solutions and work around challenges. Flexibility may also help them manage stress during high-pressure situations.
Logistics officers often focus their attention on clients to ensure the organisation completes projects on time and pays attention to stakeholders' specific guidelines or concerns. A customer-oriented attitude often helps them understand client needs, find solutions or suggest alternative actions to resolve customer issues. This may lead to customer retention and help the organisation improve its responses to future challenges.
Logistics officers often possess excellent organisation skills because they manage concurrent projects with different deadlines and communicate with clients and vendors. They may also update or use company databases when completing routine operational work. Organisational skills often help these professionals plan, prioritise and manage their workflow during stressful times to keep the company running efficiently.
Time management skills
Time management skills typically help these professionals manage strict project deadlines and accomplish tasks. Time management may include prioritising the most important tasks, setting aside a certain amount of time to work on specific projects or delegating tasks to other capable employees. These skills often assist logistics officers in maintaining optimum efficiency in their companies.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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