Working in logistics with GCSEs (or similar)

There are clerical and administrative opportunities in logistics for applicants with GCSEs.

You could start as a junior with a freight forwarding company or in a shipbroker's office. You may be able to get a trainee job or an apprenticeship straight from school or college. You must be prepared to work long hours and able to work under pressure to meet deadlines.

Example jobs

Trainee goods in clerk
Checking that the correct goods have been delivered and that they are stored using warehouse stock control systems.

Trainee forwarding agent
Organising the movement of goods, taking into account cost, time and safety.

Trainee courier
Making deliveries to customers, having responsibility for the vehicle you use for work.

Trainee port operator
Loading and unloading cargo using lifting equipment and vehicles at ports.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

pay level graph

Typical working conditions

  • You could be working in an office or warehouse. Or you could work in food processing or chilled goods, in clean, cold conditions.
  • You may be required to work shifts.
  • Working as a courier/driver will mean working on your own for much of the time.

Qualifications needed

You can start a career in logistics with GCSEs at grades A*–C (including English and maths).

You can gain qualifications while you are working. For example, you could take a Level 2 certificate in logistics and transport and a Level 3 certificate in logistics operations.

There are intermediate and advanced level apprenticeships available for school leavers, for example in purchasing and supply management or in logistics operations. A driving licence is essential for some jobs.

Career path

With experience and further qualifications, you can progress to technician-level jobs and possibly into management. You could start by working in a clerical job and with experience you could take on more responsibility and move into a team leader role. You might choose to move into a more specialised role.

It is possible to gain work-related qualifications and training to gain the skills for higher-level jobs.

Useful links

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Skills for Logistics

The Sector Skills Council for the freight logistics industry

The National Apprenticeship Service

Information and advice about becoming an apprentice