Supply chain jobs comprise many diverse careers and are an essential part of helping the world function uninterrupted. Supply chain careers involve manufacturing, logistics, procurement, inventory management, and order fulfillment of products and merchandise.
Supply Chain Job Description
Supply chain jobs involve activities that plan, manage, and execute the flow of a product, from its inception and production through distribution points to the end-user or customer. The goal is to streamline the tasks cost-effectively and efficiently.
Supply chain careers have any given number of paths to choose from. The great thing is, you can start small and evolve in different positions over time as you build a rewarding and fruitful career. What’s more, is that supply chain jobs are in very high demand. Nearly every industry you can think of needs supply chain workers, from e-commerce to automotive to manufacturing to the medical industry, retail and consumer goods, and so many more!
Examples of supply chain jobs at the entry-level are inventory clerk, logistics manager, and customer service rep. Mid-level supply chain jobs are usually in management. A couple of examples are a logistics analyst or a sourcing specialist. Examples of upper-level management positions are a purchasing agent and a supply chain manager.
Depending on the tasks involved with each job, supply chain job responsibilities could include planning, procurement of goods, sourcing, managing logistics, fork truck operations, inventory control and management, scheduling, processing orders, quality control, cash flow, budget management, analytics, and more.
The type of supply chain job you ultimately choose will depend on your skills, interests, and level of education. Some jobs are physical and involve working in a warehouse, while others are in an office environment. Many upper management jobs in supply chain first start at the entry-level.
Supply Chain Job Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that entry-level positions range in salary from $37,210 annually for inventory clerks to $76,270 per year for logistics managers. Logistics analysts, sourcing specialists, and purchasing agents earn similar wages as logistics managers.
Supply chain managers typically fare better with a starting salary of $74,000 and the potential to earn $122,000 at the high end.
- Lockheed Martin lists several open entry-level and upper management supply chain jobs in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, and more.
- Teknor Apex offers a variety of supply chain jobs, including high-level director and analyst positions.
- Medical technologies company Stryker has dozens of supply chain positions open all across the U.S.
Education and Training Requirements for Supply Chain Jobs
Entry-level supply chain jobs, such as inventory clerks, will not require any formal education. A high school diploma will usually do. Forklift experience and certification will help you get your foot in the door faster. From there, the company will usually train while on-the-job for entry-level positions.
Hiring managers in the supply chain industry will usually require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum if you want a mid-level or upper management position. The degree can be in business administration, logistics, management, systems engineer, or a similar field of study.
Experience in customer service is also helpful, as well as possessing soft skills such as excellent communication, great interpersonal skills, superior analytical and math skills, organizational skills, the ability to lead, and more.