Distribution Manager: Employment Info & Requirements

Apr 13, 2019

Distribution managers oversee the organization and transportation of goods and products from a distribution center. Managers can find employment opportunities with large businesses, manufacturing firms, retail chains and wholesale distributors. Read on to learn more details about this profession.

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Career Definition for a Distribution Manager

According to the O*Net Resource Center, www.onetcenter.org, distribution managers are responsible for planning, coordinating and organizing the storage and distribution of products and materials. Managers oversee and assign duties to any on-site staff members. They also monitor the movement of domestic and foreign shipments.

Education Bachelor's degree in business management or administration
Job Skills Great leadership, organizational, and communication skills; able to motivate staff; understand administrative software
Median Salary (2018)* $94,730 (for transportation, storage, and distribution managers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 7% (for transportation, storage, and distribution managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

Most employers require that a distribution manager completes a bachelor's degree in business management or administration. Distribution managers receive on-the-job training and extensive education on how warehouses and distribution centers operate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, shows that managers need to be educated on sales, purchasing, machinery, packaging, shipping, transportation and any related operations.

Skills Required

Distribution managers need to have excellent organizational and leadership skills. They must be able to communicate well with others and have the ability to assign and delegate duties. Managers need to motivate staff members and have strong problem-solving abilities. They should also have solid computer skills and understand how to operate administrative software.

Economic and Career Outlook

Employment opportunities for transportation, storage, and distribution managers are expected to grow at an average rate of 7% during the 2016-2026 decade, according to the BLS. Per 2018 BLS data, transportation, storage, and distribution managers can expect to make an annual median salary of $94,730.

Alternate Career Options

Similar careers to a distribution manager include:

Top Executive

With at least a bachelor's degree along with extensive work experience, top executives help their organizations meet their goals through effective directing and planning of operational activities. Average employment growth of 8% was forecast by the BLS for these positions during the 2016-2026 decade. As of May 2018, the median annual salary for top executives was $104,980, per the BLS.

Financial Manager

With a bachelor's degree and five or more years of experience as an accountant, loan officer, financial analyst or auditor, these managers develop plans for a company's financial goals, produce financial reports and make decisions about investments. Professional certification is also available for these professionals. According to BLS records, financial managers earned an annual median wage of $127,990 in 2018 and could anticipate a much faster than average rise in employment options, with 19% growth expected from 2016 through 2026.

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