Inventory Management Degree and Certification Programs

Oct 20, 2019

An inventory manager maintains accurate information regarding the production of supplies and finished goods stored within businesses and warehouses. Although inventory management skills are often learned on the job, there are several degree options available in the field.

Essential Information

These degree programs often feature inventory management courses, and students could learn about the technical aspects of accurate record-keeping, industry regulations, and business communication. Students are also provided with the training and skills necessary to oversee the shipping, warehousing, transportation and other manufacturing-related departments of a particular business. Such programs often include courses related to inventory management that teach students how to control and maintain inventory in a variety of environments. Graduates of these programs who meet experience and education requirements can obtain voluntary certification after passing competency examinations. Associate's programs are generally 2 years long and students must have a high school diploma or GED to be considered for admission.

Associate's Degrees in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

These programs combine classroom lectures on management and business principles with hands-on demonstrations in warehouse management procedures. Some examples of courses might include:

  • Inventory control
  • Warehouse and inventory management
  • Traffic management
  • Supervision and leadership
  • Purchasing
  • Computerized logistics

Salary Information reports that inventory managers earn an annual median salary of $52,426 according to their September 2019 data. It also mentions that salary can vary significantly by metropolitan area, with the higher end of the salary ranges in San Francisco and Seattle being significantly more than those in Phoenix and Atlanta, for example. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( reported that the employment rate for transportation, storage, and distribution managers is expected to rise by 6% between 2018 and 2028. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers earned a median annual salary of $94,730 as of May 2018, according to the BLS.

Certification and Continuing Education

The Association for Operations Management offers certification for inventory managers in the form of the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) credential. Individuals must complete examinations proving their competency in inventory management, scheduling, and operations before they can earn the certification. Inventory managers who are looking to advance into positions of production managers, supply chain managers or logistics managers might consider enrolling in a bachelor's degree program in operations management or logistics.

Inventory management is a great field for students who are detail-oriented and have an interest in business. There are a couple of degree programs available in this field.

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