Graduate Careers Advice

Graduate Logistics Manager Careers

James Thornhill

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.

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. 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.

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.

There are over two million people in England who work in the logistics sector.

How Much Can I Earn as a Warehouse Manager? 

Salaries in the logistics sector vary 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

On a structured graduate scheme you are likely to start with a salary of around £20,000.

What Qualifications do I Need to be a Warehouse Manager?

Logistics is an easy industry to enter at a high level with a degree. Any of the following subjects might be useful:

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

Whilst many graduate schemes in general will ask for a 2.1 from their applicants, logistics is one of the few industries that happily takes on graduates who have received a 2.2.

What Skills Do I Need to be a Warehouse Manager?

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

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • A very high level of organisation and planning
  • Problem solving
  • Negotiation
  • Leadership
  • IT literacy
  • Working to deadlines
  • Customer service
  • Commercial awareness
  • Business awareness
  • An eye for detail
  • Good numeracy

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 logistics can be ethical and green for all those involved is increasingly important.

What Experience Do I Need to Get a Job in Logistics?

Work experience within large logistics companies, for example in the warehouse or in administration, should be easy to organise and can set you apart from other candidates applying for the same position. Contact a number of companies and ask if you can shadow a member of staff to start with.

If you are taking a degree with a sandwich year or year in industry, this is a good opportunity to find experience in logistics that can set you apart when you graduate. 

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