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Career and Education Opportunities for Logistics Specialists in Columbia, Maryland

Logistics specialists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 2,590 jobs for logistics specialists in Maryland and this is projected to grow 21% to about 3,140 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for logistics specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.6% over the next eight years. In general, logistics specialists analyze and coordinate the logistical functions of a firm or organization.

A person working as a logistics specialist can expect to earn about $37 per hour or $78,740 annually on average in Maryland and about $31 hourly or $66,480 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for logistics specialists are better than earnings in the general category of Logistics and Planning in Maryland and better than general Logistics and Planning category earnings nationally. Logistics specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: logistics system engineer, logistician, and logistics manager.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a logistics specialist, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Logistics specialists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a logistics specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Logistics Specialist

In general, logistics specialists analyze and coordinate the logistical functions of a firm or organization. They also responsible for the entire life cycle of a product, including acquisition, and final disposal of resources.

Logistics specialists report project plans and results. They also collaborate with other departments as needed to fit customer requirements, to take advantage of sales opportunities or, in the case of shortages, to minimize negative impacts on a business. Equally important, logistics specialists have to furnish project management services, including the provision and analysis of technical data. They are often called upon to explain proposed solutions to customers or other interested parties through written proposals and oral presentations. They are expected to develop an understanding of customers' needs and take actions to insure that such needs are met. Finally, logistics specialists participate in the assessment and review of layout alternatives and layout change proposal impacts.

Every day, logistics specialists are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for logistics specialists to direct team efforts, establishing task priorities, scheduling and tracking work assignments and ensuring the availability of resources. They are often called upon to redesign the movement of goods to maximize value and minimize costs. They also inspect logistics performance with customers against targets, benchmarks and service agreements. They are sometimes expected to direct availability and allocation of materials and finished products. Somewhat less frequently, logistics specialists are also expected to oversee subcontractor efforts, reviewing proposals, developing performance specifications, and serving as liaisons between subcontractors and organizations.

Logistics specialists sometimes are asked to protect and control proprietary materials. And finally, they sometimes have to develop an understanding of customers' needs and take actions to insure that such needs are met.

Like many other jobs, logistics specialists must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Logistics Specialist Training

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Operations Management and Supervision which graduated zero and seventy students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Operations Management and Supervision which graduated thirty-three and 135 students respectively in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a master's degree program in Operations Management and Supervision which graduated seventy-six students in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree program in Logistics and Materials Management which graduated fifty-four students in 2008.

Capitol College - Laurel, MD

Capitol College, 11301 Springfield Rd, Laurel, MD 20708. Capitol College is a small college located in Laurel, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 701 students and an admission rate of 38%. Capitol College has a one to two year and a bachelor's degree program in Operations Management and Supervision which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified in Transportation and Logistics: AST&L is the premier professional organization that develops and administers the Certification in Transportation Logistics.

For more information, see the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, Inc. website.

Demonstrated Logistician Program : There are three levels of Designation in the Demonstrated Logistician Program.

For more information, see the International Society of Logistics website.

Certified Professional Logistician: The practice of logistics is a professional discipline.

For more information, see the International Society of Logistics website.

APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional: The Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) program is a new industry educational and certification program created to meet the rapidly changing needs of the supply chain management field.

For more information, see the The Association for Operations Management website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.