How to Become a Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers move cellphones, clothing, and cars from point A to point B.

How to Become a Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers work in almost every type of industry.

Ever wonder where cellphones and name-brand sneakers come from? Making highly desired products available to the public doesn’t stop at the manufacturing plant—everything from laptops to cars must get from point A to point B. It’s a complex process that requires collaboration, efficiency, organization, and tight deadlines. If you have a knack for moving products from conception to consumer acquisition, then read on to learn how to become a supply chain manager.

When you get your feet wet as a supply chain manager, you play a vital role in making goods and services available to the public. You can also expect to enjoy a fast-paced career with room for growth. The pay is pretty decent too. Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s delve into the details of supply chain management.

What Is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chains are networks used to deliver goods and services around the world. Every supply chain needs to be actively managed to ensure that products get from the factory to a retail store. Building materials for construction and vehicle parts for the military must also move along the supply chain.

There is a slight difference between logistics and supply chain management. Logistics is an integral part of supply chain management that involves the production, distribution, transportation, and storage of products while supply chain management involves overseeing the entire process and making connections between suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and customers. Global supply chain management focuses on the production, distribution, and transportation of goods on an international scale.

What Does a Supply Chain Manager Do?

The goal of a supply chain manager is to get products from the manufacturing plant into the hands of consumers. Supply chain mangers purchase materials from suppliers, ship them, and ensure that they’re delivered to stores within a reasonable amount of time.

As a supply chain manager, you will:

  • Manage each stage of a product’s life cycle.
  • Distribute products, supplies, and raw materials.
  • Oversee the purchasing, transportation, inventory, and warehousing of products.
  • Build business relationships with clients and suppliers.
  • Examine logistical functions and determine where improvements are necessary.
  • Use supply chain management software, such as SAP Supply Chain, Oracle SCM Cloud, and Epicor SCM, to track products and manage inventory.
  • Propose strategies to reduce the time and cost of transporting products.
  • Travel to manufacturing plants and distribution centers to ensure that production stays on schedule.

Supply chain managers work in almost every type of industry, including manufacturing, the federal government, professional and technical services, wholesale trade, and directly for supply chain management companies.

For more insight into the duties and responsibilities of a supply chain manager, check out Monster’s supply chain manager job description.

How to Become a Supply Chain Manager

If you’re planning on becoming a supply chain manager, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, logistics, or a related field. You can pursue a supply chain management degree at a number of highly ranked accredited colleges and universities. Typical supply chain management courses include:

  • business management
  • business analytics
  • finance
  • marketing
  • accounting

If you want to create more room for advancement, consider pursuing an MBA in supply chain management. There are many accredited colleges that offer master’s degrees with supply chain management concentrations. Graduate courses in this field cover specialized areas such as:

  • global sourcing
  • production and operations management
  • logistics
  • supply chain strategies
  • risk and disruption management

Need to maintain a flexible schedule while pursuing that graduate degree? Check out these top colleges offering a master’s in supply chain management online.

Even if you don’t have a college degree in supply chain management, some employers will make exceptions. For example, you may have a chance at landing a supply chain management entry-level job with an associate degree or related work experience. Supply chain management internships also allow you to gain hands-on experience while you’re still a college student, helping you to score an entry-level job without a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Getting an unpaid internship can be key to landing that first job, but education and training costs add up. Check out these scholarships for supply chain management majors to help reduce the price tag of your education.

Supply Chain Management Certification

Supply chain management certification isn’t a requirement, but it does help when you’re applying for jobs. It demonstrates that you have a broader range of supply chain management knowledge and experience than just a bachelor’s in supply chain management could provide.

You can obtain certification from the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM, formerly known as APICS) the International Society of Logistics (SOLE), or the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).

How Much Do Supply Chain Managers Make?

Monster data shows the median yearly supply chain manager salary is $85,163. Salaries range from $74,750 to more than $120,400 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Furthermore, salaries typically fluctuate by industry. For example, supply chain managers who work for the federal government earn an average of $85,450 per year, while those who work in wholesale trade earn $65,820.

You can look up the average salary for supply chain managers in your location by using the Monster Salary Guide.

How to Find Supply Chain Management Jobs

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to become a supply chain manager, let’s put your career strategy into focus. The best way to make yourself stand out to employers and recruiters is to create a solid supply chain manager resume and cover letter that show what you’ll bring to the table.

Then, once you’re ready, search through the supply chain management jobs posted on Monster.

The BLS shows the following are the top five states with the most supply chain management jobs:

Looking to move to a big city? Consider these five metro areas with the most supply chain management jobs:

Monster Will Supply You With the Goods to Get Started

So, you’ve learned how to become a supply manager. Now, let’s focus on the next stage in the process. When you sign up with Monster for free, we can help you get from point A to point B in your career. We’ll supply you with frequent job postings and tips on how to maximize your career potential. Monster is like the supply chain manager of jobs—we’ll handle the logistics; you’ve just got to sign off on your new career.