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Supply Chain Manager: Job Description & Salary

Learn all about the supply chain manager, including job duties and salary details. Find out the skills and education required to secure this position, and get information about career prospects.

Career Definition of a Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers oversee activities related to an organization's products and services, including placing orders, organizing services and storing, packing, loading and transporting products to clients. Managers typically ensure an organization has necessary equipment, supplies and storage space. They manage work and shipment schedules and take necessary steps to meet all security guidelines.

Managers analyze and take any steps needed to improve overall supply chain productivity. They develop strategies to streamline the processes of packing, loading and shipping goods. Other responsibilities include developing and managing budgets, measuring and improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs whenever possible.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Analytical, math, problem-solving, coordinating and decision-making skills
Median Salary (2019)* $81,409
Job Outlook (2016 - 2026)** 7% for all logisticians; 5% for all purchasing managers

Sources: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most supply chain managers possess a bachelor's degree, while some managers have a master's degree or post-baccalaureate certificate, according to O*NET Online. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that logisticians, who are responsible for managing an organization's supply chain, generally hold bachelor's degrees in areas like supply chain management, systems engineering or business, but can also secure positions with an associate's degree. Purchasing managers, who oversee the buying and selling of products and services for organizations, typically hold a bachelor's degree and have five or more years of experience working as purchasing agents or buyers, according to the BLS.

In addition to securing appropriate education, individuals seeking positions related to supply chain and purchase management might benefit from certifications from APICS, the International Society of Logistics (SOLE) or the Next Level Purchasing Association.

Required Skills

Supply chain managers should be skilled at analyzing and making decisions related to storing, packing and shipping inventory; managing budgets; making purchases; and maintaining productivity. Problem-solving skills can help managers address issues that arise during any stage in the supply chain process.

The ability to coordinate employee and inventory-related schedules is highly important for ensuring workplace efficiency. Math skills can help supply chain managers measure and analyze data and effectively compare supplier costs.

Career Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, career opportunities for logisticians were projected to increase by 7% and purchasing managers by 5% between 2016 and 2016. The expected employment increase for logisticians was due to business' need for logistics expertise when shipping goods worldwide, while a greater need for assistance in acquiring and managing products and services would likely increase employment for purchasing managers.

Payscale.com estimated in February 2019 that supply chain managers earned a median annual salary of $81,409. The BLS noted that logisticians earned a median annual wage of $74,590 while purchasing managers earned a median annual wage of $115,760.

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