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Career and Education Opportunities for Logistics Specialists in Vancouver, Washington

If you want to be a logistics specialist, the Vancouver, Washington area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 3,350 people work as logistics specialists in Washington. This is expected to grow by 13% to 3,780 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for logistics specialists are expected to grow by about 19.6%. Logistics specialists generally analyze and coordinate the logistical functions of a firm or organization.

The income of a logistics specialist is about $32 per hour or $67,020 yearly on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $31 hourly or $66,480 annually on average. Earnings for logistics specialists are better than earnings in the general category of Logistics and Planning in Washington and better than general Logistics and Planning category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: logistics manager, logistics engineer, and logistics system engineer.

There are forty-eight schools of higher education in the Vancouver area, including two within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree to start your career as a logistics specialist. The most common level of education for logistics specialists is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be 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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Vancouver include:

  • Special Events Coordinator. Coordinate activities of staff and convention personnel to make arrangements for group meetings and conventions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Logistics Specialist Training

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has 2 areas of study related to Logistics Specialist. They are:

  • Logistics and Materials Management, less than one year and one to two year which graduated eighty and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Operations Management and Supervision, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated eight, zero, and two students respectively in 2008.

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has 2 areas of study related to Logistics Specialist. They are:

  • Logistics and Materials Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Transportation/Transportation Management, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.


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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.