Transport and Logistics Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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Transport and logistics is a major sector that plays an essential role in the UK and global economy. It deals with the safe and efficient movement of people and products, supplying many companies with the items they need daily. This can include passengers that travel by road, rail, air and sea, as well as products that are imported and exported though the logistic supply chain.

There are over two million people in England who work in the logistics sector and over another 570,000 people work in passenger transport. Typical graduate employers for transport and logistics include:

  • Government and local authority schemes e.g. Department for Transport or the Highways Agency
  • Airports
  • Passenger transport companies, e.g. National express
  • Supply chain logistics

Logistics enables management of the supply chain by ensuring that goods or services are available where and when they are needed and that they are in good condition.

Transport management deals with the movement of passengers and freight from A to B. The aim is to provide quality and a cost effective service for passengers. This can be anything from air, sea, road, or rail.

There has been a investment in the transport infrastructure in the UK over the last few years. Projects include tram and light rail schemes, cycle routes and much more, creating numerous job opportunities for graduates. Entering a graduate role can also open up opportunities for promotion to management and supervisory levels.

This industry operates 24 hours and doesn’t stop so part time work and shift work is very common. Some jobs may require their staff to work early morning, evening and night shifts, as well as at weekends.

There are a variety of jobs based in a range of locations including airports, railway and bus stations, warehouses and offices. Transport and Logistic jobs usually involve a mixture of indoor and outdoor work and plenty of travelling.

The work can be stressful but also highly rewarding, and you should also be willing to take on responsibility early and have the ability to see the bigger picture so that you know the impact of your decision making.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

What degree you need to work in transport and logistics depends largely on what area of the sector you want to get into. It is an easy industry to enter at a high level with a degree, as many of those working in the sector have more vocational qualifications, and any of the following might be useful:

  • Business
  • Management
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Logistics
  • Environmental sciences
  • Geography
  • Maths
  • Statistics
  • Town planning
  • Social sciences

Although getting a general logistics job may be possible with any degree, certain transport jobs require very specific training. To become a pilot, for example, you are likely to need a maths or physics degree, followed by either an integrated piloting course or a modular training course - both of which lead to the Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (ATPL). To work as an officer in the Merchant Navy you will need an engineering degree, whilst working in the finance side of logistics or transport with probably require degrees in maths or economics.

You should check whether a degree is required for the job that you are looking to go into.

What skills do I need?TOP ^

Working in logistics and transport requires a large number of general skills, whichever of the many varied careers you choose to pursue. They include:

Depending on your specific job you may also need to demonstrate skills in management of people, research and mathematical, statistical or scientific interpretation.

An awareness of the built environment and how supply chain and transport can be ethical and green for all those involved is increasingly important.

What graduate logistics and transport job can I do? TOP ^

There are a number of leading employers that take on graduates. Two of the most well known organisations that run graduate schemes are Transport for London (TFL) and Network Rail.

Graduate schemes in transport and logistics may offer some or all of the following components (Network Rail offers a management graduate scheme, for example), and will offer a structured programme with clear targets and opportunity for progression:

  • Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Sales

Many of these graduate schemes are office based, as will be most graduate levels jobs in this sector.

Although many graduate schemes in general ask for a 2.1, in the logistics and transport sector candidates with 2.2s are also considered.

If you want to work in a very specific career, for example as a pilot or air traffic controller, you will need to investigate the extra training that is required before you can go on to apply for jobs.

Average transport and logistics salariesTOP ^

Salaries in the transport and logistics sector varies largely depending on your specific job. According to Payscale.com, averages wages in logistics are as follows:

  • Operations manager: £34,441
  • Warehouse manager: £27,249
  • General/ operations manager: £46,979
  • Office administrator: £17,228
  • Import/ export clerk: £17,702
  • Office manager: £29,067
  • Business development manager: £38,000

Graduate schemes in transport and logistics will pay around £20,000.

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