If you’re interested in a career in warehousing or logistics, this article is for you. Despite general perception, a job in warehousing doesn’t have to be mundane. There are many roles in warehouses that you need to be qualified for that allow you to progress in your career from simply having a job to building a career. In this article, we will discuss some interesting options for a career in logistics and warehousing, as well as the training and qualifications you need to do to get there. Additionally, we will talk about how you can build your warehousing career and the skills that you will develop along the way.
What is logistics?
A career in warehousing is quite self-explanatory. But when we say a career in logistics, what do we mean? Logistics is defined as the derailed organisation and implementation of a complex operation. Essentially, a career in logistics puts you in charge of the inner workings of a warehouse to ensure all operations are running optimally at all times. So, what does a career in logistics entail?
The most obvious role you could work in when you have a career in logistics is warehouse manager. You can achieve this job in various ways, including taking university or college courses, proving your skills and building yourself up from an apprenticeship, or applying directly.
If you choose to go the university route, the course of choice would be a degree or higher national diploma in logistics, supply chain management, or transport management. The entry requirements themselves are actually relatively easy to acquire. For example, you may only need an A-level (or equivalent) for a foundation degree. But if you’re going for a degree, you will need two or three A-levels (or the equivalent), to get onto the university course.
You will need to be a strong leader, have knowledge of transport methods, pay meticulous attention to detail, and maintain software packages competently.
With enough time in the role, you could progress further to be a regional or national operations manager or director, or you could progress to supply chain management or freight transport. No day will be the same as a warehouse manager, especially when your colleagues report to you for help, which is what makes it so interesting!
When it comes to a career in warehousing, you could take several avenues to reach your goal. The beauty of a career in warehousing is that there is so much flexibility between job roles that could either have you training to use specialised machinery or out on the open road. Below, we’ll discuss some of your options.
Although not technically in the warehouse, delivery drivers are an essential extension of the warehouse. What’s the point in warehousing if the stock is just going to sit there forever? The delivery drivers are responsible for making sure that stock gets to where it needs to be on time.
There are only a few attributes you will need to have to be a successful delivery driver. The most integral aspect is ensuring that your driver’s licence is clean and up to date at all times. An ordinary driving licence will only allow you to drive a van that is under 3.5 tonnes, so if you would like to drive heavier vehicles, you will need a C1 licence, which will allow you to drive vans up to 7.5 tonnes.
To achieve a C1 Licence, you will have to complete three theory tests as opposed to just one on a standard B licence to drive a car. There are 15 types of licences in the UK, so if you want to drive something in particular, flip your licence around and see the category the vehicle you want to drive falls into!
A forklift operator is different from a warehouse assistant in that unlike a warehouse assistant, forklift operators are qualified to drive forklifts. Similarly to warehouse manager, there are several routes you can take if you want a career in warehousing being a forklift operator. You could do a college course, or an apprenticeship, or apply directly for a job and ask if they offer forklift training.
To be a forklift operator, spatial awareness, cooperation skills and a comprehensive understanding of health and safety are necessary.
As a warehouse assistant, you would be responsible for ensuring that goods of various values are safely unloaded, carefully packed, and picked to perfection to ensure that those who need their products get them on time and in one piece.
Aside from this, you will receive training with different types of machinery including cranes and electric pallet stackers to make retrieving items from high shelves easier. To succeed with machinery, you will need to have excellent technical skills with risky equipment such as those named above and understand the computer software the warehouse uses to keep things in check. This involves scanning devices and spreadsheets. Faultless documentation of information and concise management of inventory is the difference between a warehouse that functions correctly, and one that doesn’t.
If you don’t have any training or work experience in warehouse settings that certify you to use warehouse machinery before applying for the job, obtaining a licence for operating heavy machines will help exponentially with jump-starting your career in warehousing.
Now that you know a little bit more about how you can start your career in logistics or warehousing, you can hopefully make a more informed decision when it comes to choosing your career path. All that’s left to do once you’ve decided the route you want to follow is to get your certifications and apply!