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Materials Coordination: Job Duties and Requirements

Whenever production schedules are crucial for a company's success, a materials coordinator is the professional who oversees the operation to ensure that all the right goods, documents, and/or products are available and serving their proper function. Read further to explore the requirements and benefits of a career as a materials coordinator.

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Career Definition of a Materials Coordinator

Materials coordinators, also known as materials managers, supervise the movement of goods between a company's departments. They may also supervise the flow of materials between distributors, suppliers, and other business partners. Coordinators are expected to make business decisions based on a complete assessment of costs, inventory levels, work progress reports, and other efficiency indicators.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree preferred
Job Skills Comfortable leading others, expert knowledge of quality control and resources, and a general knowledge of typical business practice
Median Salary (2015)* $108,120 (all purchasing managers)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* Little or no change (all purchasing managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Many purchasing managers hold bachelor's degrees, although it is possible to gain access to the field through extensive experience. There are a number of certifications that a worker looking to gain access to this field can undertake, although not all employers will require certification. Some certification programs, such as the Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) certification as awarded by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC), require applicants to have a bachelor's degree prior to starting the course.

Required Skills

Materials managers are comfortable leading others and are experts on quality control and managing resources. A general knowledge of sound business and management principles strategies is also helpful.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the employment of purchasing managers working in the U.S. is expected to show little or no change between 2014-2024. While salary is largely dependent upon the size and success of the employer, the median annual salary earned by purchasing managers was $108,120 in May 2015, according to the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Those looking to become employed in this field may also want to consider:

Wholesale and Retail Buyer

Closely connected to the occupation of purchasing managers, these buyers purchase goods to resell to consumers and can expect somewhat average employment growth, with a 6% increase anticipated during the 2014-2024 decade. They usually learn their skills through on-the-job training. Wholesale and retail buyers except those working with farm products were paid an annual median wage of $52,940 in 2015, per the BLS.

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative

While a high school education usually suffices for these reps, those selling scientific or technical products normally need a bachelor's degree for selling manufacturers' and wholesalers' goods to businesses and organizations. An average increase of 7% in jobs was forecast by the BLS from 2014-2024. A median salary of $76,190 per year was earned by wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives including technical products in 2015, and a median annual wage of $55,730 for others, according to the BLS.

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