Shipping Manager: Job Duties & Career Requirements

Read on to see what shipping managers do. Learn what the education and training requirements are. Get the details about career prospects to decide if this job is right for you.

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Career Definition for a Shipping Manager

Shipping managers, who are a specific kind of storage and distribution manager, oversee shipping and receiving departments. Common duties of shipping managers include packing items for shipment, verifying the contents of received packages, monitoring subordinate employees, and ordering supplies. They are also responsible for preparing departmental budgets, training personnel, reviewing invoices, and implementing security or safety programs. Large corporations, warehouses, manufacturing companies, shipping groups, and related firms often employ shipping managers.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent, additional requirements vary according to position and employer
Necessary Skills Management, multitasking, mathematics, interpersonal skills
Median Salary (2018)* $94,730 (for transportation, storage, and distribution managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 5%-9% (for transportation, storage, and distribution managers)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

The exact education requirements for a career in shipping management will vary with the position and employer. You will need a high school diploma at the least or the GED equivalent; some positions as a shipping manager require post-secondary education, such as a certificate program or an associate's degree. Common courses in a 1- or 2-year certificate or associate's program that will help prepare you for a career as a shipping manager include records and information management, shipping and receiving, computer applications, office administration, and business communication.

Required Skills

Shipping managers are responsible for overseeing both processes and people; they need strong managerial and multitasking skills. Basic math and strong interpersonal skills are also necessary for a career in shipping management.

Employment and Economic Outlook

The employment outlook for transportation managers, which includes shipping managers, is expected to grow at a rate of 5%-9% from 2016-2026 based on data reported by O*NET OnLine ( The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, reported that the median annual salary for transportation, storage, and distribution managers was $94,730 as of May 2018.

Alternate Career Options

Some skills necessary to become a shipping manager will help prepare you for careers in other areas, such as:

Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers coordinate the process of buying supplies and merchandise for a company. They watch for industry trends, monitor company inventory, assess suppliers' capabilities, arrange for and review contracts, and address problems as they arise, like defective materials or late shipments. Employment requirements can vary, but depending on the industry, purchasing managers usually have a high school diploma, bachelor's degree or master's degree, and previous experience as a buyer. On-the-job training is common. Purchasing managers can also earn several professional certifications. According to the BLS, jobs in this field are predicted to increase 5% from 2016-2026, and they paid a median salary of $118,940 in 2018.


A logistician keeps all the components of a company's supply chain working well together, including purchasing, warehouse, transportation, and inventory activities. Logisticians are responsible for moving products and people and can find work in a wide array of industries, like manufacturing and the military. Most logisticians have a bachelor's degree in a field like business or supply chain management and previous relevant industry experience. Logisticians can earn voluntary professional certification. Job prospects are expected to be as fast as average, with the BLS predicting an increase of 7% in employment from 2016-2026; this job paid a median salary of $74,600 in 2018.

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