How to Become a Supply Chain Manager

Supply Chain Manager Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $113,350
Avg. Pay / hour $54.50
Education 4+ Years
Job Outlook 8%

Supply Chain Managers are professionals who are responsible for overseeing the supplying and movement of a variety of goods from the point of manufacturing to the delivery.

Their goal is to get items into the hands of consumers or users.

These professionals can work in a variety of industries including the military or for commercial companies.

Individuals who would like to become a Supply Chain Manager will need to have some personal characteristics, experience in this field and an educational background in order to succeed in this profession.

Education Requirements to Become a Supply Chain Manager

Individuals who want to become a Supply Chain Manager will need to secure a postsecondary degree, gain experience in the field and seek certification in order to enter this profession.

Although not required, seeking certification is highly encouraged because it can distinguish individuals from other applicants.

Qualities that employers look for when hiring individuals include the following: communication skills, problem solving, organizational and critical thinking skills.

These qualities will help Supply Chain Managers create logistical plans to move inventory, create plans that are low cost and efficient and resolve any delivery issues that may arise.

Individuals who want to become a Supply Chain Manager need a minimum of an Associate’s degree; however, it is highly encouraged to seek a bachelor’s in order to stay competitive in this profession.

Securing a bachelor’s degree is also highly recommended because of the impact technology has had in this field; technology has made logistics more complicated and complex.

When beginning their college degree, individuals who want to become a Supply Chain Manager need to focus on an area that will help them succeed in this profession.

Typical programs and choice of studies include: Business, Process Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Supply Chain Management or a closely related feild.

Students will take the following classes under a typical program:

  • Database Management
  • Operations
  • Software and technologies including radio-frequency identification (RFID)

Individuals must also seek certification in order to stay competitive in the field.

Individuals must first complete an educational track, gain experience in the field and pass the certification exam.

Organizations that provide the certification include American Society of Transportation and Logistics ASTL or the International Society of Logistics

Visit their websites for more information on the steps needed to seek certification.

Supply Chain Manager Job Description

Supply Chain Managers are responsible for overseeing the process that transfers a product from a supplier to user or consumer.

This includes managing the entire life cycle from the beginning to when a product is available to consumers.

The following includes the typical life cycle of a product:

  • Purchasing a product
  • Acquiring a product
  • Inventory
  • Distribution
  • Transportation
  • Allocation
  • Delivery
  • Warehousing

Supply Chain Managers will start the life cycle of a product by coordinating and analyzing the system they will use to move a product.

They will then order the allocation of a variety of goods including: materials, supplies and finished products.

After a delivery, they will analyze any successes or look for improvements that will help with efficiency and reducing costs.

They will also have working relationships with their customers and suppliers to ensure that all products have been delivered on time.

Supply Chain Manager Salary and Career Path

According to reports from 2012, supply management professionals, including Supply Chain Managers, earn a median wage of $72,780 per year.

Exact wages will depend on the industry an individual works in.

For example, individuals working for the federal government supplying military supplies from one point of contact to another will earn a median annual wage of $78,000; individuals who work for the manufacturing industry can expect a median annual wage of approximately $71,940.

The job outlook for Logisticians which also includes Supply Chain Managers is expected to grow at a faster than average rate of 22 percent through the year 2022.

This growth is being attributed to the globalization and the transportation of goods from different areas of the world.

This profession is extremely important when dealing with several types of goods and services.

Supply Chain Managers will become more important because of the fast growth of products being sent across the globe.

A Supply Chain Manager is vital in preparing and managing the logistics for goods moving from one part of the world to another.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$156,010
New Hampshire$119,480
New Jersey$164,670
New Mexico$107,260
New York$144,830
North Carolina$117,130
North Dakota$97,470
Rhode Island$135,160
South Carolina$94,700
South Dakota$129,370
West Virginia$86,500
Puerto Rico$77,840
Virgin Islands$88,600

The top earning state in the field is New Jersey, where the average salary is $164,670.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New Jersey - $164,670
District of Columbia - $156,010
Delaware - $148,920
New York - $144,830
Massachusetts - $141,840
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for General and Operations Managers, OCC Code 11-1021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a supply chain manager do?

A supply chain manager is a specialist that is responsible for managing certain logistical details of a company (the management of hardware and equipment, for example).

The main responsibility of a supply chain manager is to purchase raw materials, deliver them, ensure that the company meets the customers’ demand, and deliver the output.

A supply chain manager oversees the creation of raw materials that are going to be used by the company; the specialists control how the materials are shaped, altered, and combined to form new products.

Supply chain managers also ensure that there is an adequate quantity of the product.

Last but not least, the experts create a delivery system to ensure that the product is shipped to the customers in the best possible time frames.

How much do supply chain managers make?

On average, a supply chain manager can make a little more than $107.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to choose this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $52.500 and $183.500 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the employer, the location, and so on.

The professionals that work in the District of Columbia, California, and Virginia, for example, have the highest average salaries.

An entry-level supply chain manager can earn around $25 per hour, while a top-level specialist with plenty of experience can make $88 and more per hour.

How much does it cost to become a supply chain manager?

You would need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in business or management, in order to become a supply chain manager.

To improve job prospects, you can consider getting a master’s degree or taking some postgraduate courses.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (bear in mind that the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).

A master’s degree will typically cost you over $30.000.

You can also go for certification; it will cost you around $300 to become a Certified Professional Purchasing Manager.

What is the demand for supply chain managers?

Between 2016 and 2026, the supply chain manager job market is expected to grow by 8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That is close to the average for all occupations in the United States.

This will happen due to the fact that more and more businesses will be opening, and the majority of companies need a supply chain manager.

The candidates that possess a master’s degree will have better chances of getting the highest-paid job.

The industry is mainly concentrated in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and California.

How long does it take to become a supply chain manager?

It will take you 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree and 1-2 years to get a master’s degree.

You can consider seeking an internship during your last year in university to get that on-job experience as the majority of employers prefer the candidates to have at least a few years of experience.

To earn the Certified Professional in Supply Management certification, you would have to have a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience in the industry; you would then be allowed to pass three certification exams.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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