Business is an expansive field, and some career journeys and degrees are easier to understand than others. Maybe you aren’t interested in becoming a VP at some prestigious firm. Perhaps you’re more interested in pursuing a degree that will unlock doors to the kind of job satisfaction you want—instead of the limited reality your current job has produced. This is where a position in supply chain management shines. But before you register for one of the nation’s best supply chain management programs within a premier business school, ask yourself a few questions: What does a supply chain management career look like? What can I do with an online MBA in supply chain management? What kind of job can I get? What is an expected salary in supply chain management? This article answers these questions and more. Let’s take a look at some of the best supply chain management jobs.
Supply Chain Intern
Supply chain interns assist with the procurement of inventory and oversee the purchase of products for their employers based on their organization’s needs. Since they are likely to be enrolled in business school while in this role, one of their primary goals is to gain experience and exposure to supply chains and their management to prepare for a permanent position after they graduate with an online MBA in supply chain management comparable advanced degree. Supply chain interns will often practice developing and monitoring supply chains, delivering presentations to managers and senior leadership, and using analytical skills and tools to help improve existing processes and procedures. Supply chain interns may also shadow management employees to learn additional and complex aspects of the supply chain industry. The primary qualifications for working supply chain interns may include enrollment in a relevant job-training program and meeting specific requirements for participation in the internship.
Average Annual Salary: $50,980
Vice President (VP), Supply Chain Management
Vice presidents of supply chain management are responsible for overseeing all essential aspects of the supply chain processes within their organization. They are also in charge of overseeing the functions of departments and motivating groups of individuals as they achieve company goals efficiently and effectively. Supply management VPs deal with vendors, find innovative solutions for supply chain problems, and report their status and progress to the supply chain president or department supervisor. Vice presidents of supply chains must adhere to strict regulations regarding all supply chain tasks and processes. They strive to minimize the use and depletion of company resources to maximize the potential for profitability. Supply chain management vice presidents coordinate regulatory compliance and work with department heads to conduct product planning. They will analyze business data regularly and make critical decisions based on their investigations, observations, and experience. VPs’ main functions include making decisions on warehousing and distribution methods, performing inventory oversight, managing transportation routes and costs, and developing long-lasting business relationships with vendors. This lucrative supply chain management job draws the highest salary in our list.
Average Annual Salary: $166,359
Senior Director, Supply Chain
Supply chain senior directors are responsible for monitoring their organization’s supply logistics processes and chain strategies. They also implement process improvement techniques to maximize their staff’s performance and optimal productivity. Senior directors of supply chains coordinate with third-party vendors and suppliers, negotiate contracts and maintain stable business relationships with active distributors. They are also responsible for identifying inconsistencies in supply chain operations, ensuring the adequacy of stock inventories, analyzing industry trends to identify future business opportunities, implementing quality control procedures, and meeting public needs and consumer demands. In addition to this, supply chain senior directors oversee logistics management, strategy development, process re-engineering, and information technology systems for their supply chain enterprise. With its long list of responsibilities, the profession also demands a high salary of over $150,000.
Average Annual Salary: $157,545
Director, Supply Chain Management
Directors of supply chain management lead in directing a company’s comprehensive supply chain operations. Tasks may include purchasing and inventorying raw materials, selecting and maintaining vendors, and overseeing the distribution of finished products. These leaders may also be responsible for evaluating past performance data to help forecast future needs and production schedules. Becoming a successful director of supply chain management means developing strategic plans that improve an organization’s productivity, efficiency, and overall quality of operations. This position typically requires an undergraduate degree, but many who hold the rank will also pursue an advanced degree like an online MBA in supply chain management. This type of degree is common among supply chain management directors as they will have procured five or more years of on-the-job managerial experience in many cases.
Average Annual Salary: $126,758
Senior Supply Chain Planning Manager
Senior supply chain planning managers are responsible for transporting goods, inventory control, and the purchasing of goods. In each of these sectors, they also look for ways to make processes more efficient and meet production and cost goals. As senior supply chain planning managers do a lot, they must be detail-oriented and very organized. Senior managers of supply chain planning maintain numerous responsibilities, and those needs may vary by the size of the organization they work for and the industry they work in. In today’s increasingly globalized society, supply chain managers are more critical than ever. Consumers who are used to getting their products on time consistently can thank senior supply chain planning managers for speedy delivery times on orders, low shipping costs, and the steady flow of favorite product availability. Senior supply chain planning managers oversee all stages of the process that gets products to consumers, from raw materials to finished products.
Average Annual Salary: $116,891
Senior Supply Chain Manager
Senior supply chain managers oversee and manage every stage of their organization’s production flow. This includes managing the purchase of raw materials to the final product’s delivery. These professionals ensure the right amount of product is produced at the right time and then coordinate the product’s storage. Skills expected of this position include high-level mathematics abilities combined with strong statistical and analytical capabilities to understand supply and demand specifics and use the information to track orders and shipments, demands, sales trends, and all inefficiencies and weaknesses in the system. Other skills senior supply chain managers are responsible for include project management, cost accounting, the ability to read and understand financial statements, troubleshooting, and decision-making skills. Educational requirements for this position include an associate or undergraduate degree in finance, supply chain management, business management, or a related field. Relevant proven work experience and an advanced degree like an online MBA in supply chain management are common among working senior supply chain managers.
Average Annual Salary: $114,104
Logistics directors are responsible for ensuring that goods get where they need to go in an efficient timeframe. Much of their daily responsibilities include keeping track of costs, schedules, and timetables. They oversee the day-to-day operations of a logistics department and are expected to be strategic planners for their organization’s progress. Directors of logistics work full-time in a fast-paced environment but are compensated well with salaries averaging over $100,000, according to PayScale. These professionals will often need to travel to manufacturing plants and distribution centers to meet with department heads and decide on production matters. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics considers logistics directors as storage, transportation, and distribution managers and projects the job field to grow in the coming years with thousands of job openings due to new positions being created and pre-existing positions becoming available. Logistics Managers also work to make sure customers receive what they need on time and consistently while also advancing their organization’s objectives. Directors of logistics perform many tasks and need to make quick decisions daily.
Average Annual Salary: $100,921
Supply Chain/Warehouse Process Improvement Manager
A supply chain/warehouse process improvement manager is responsible for overseeing systems within an organization’s warehouse systems, inventory, and processes. They will spend time developing, monitoring, and elevating the performance of a company’s supply chain systems and processes. They will also detect problems within systems and plan solutions accordingly. Process improvement managers working within a warehouse or supply chain are tasked with designing a smooth running and profitable environment by removing unwanted inconsistencies, defects, and lags out of a work environment and process. Supply chain process improvement managers strive daily to find the best ways to get their organization’s work accomplished at the lowest cost and with the highest quality. A primary duty they perform is to refine and improve daily operations within a warehouse. This task is sometimes performed by discovering the simplest and quickest way to solve a problem, thereby helping to strengthen business costs. Supply chain/warehouse process improvement managers can earn a healthy salary each year of over $70,000 and will often have pursued an undergraduate and graduate degree in supply chain management.
Average Annual Salary: $73,312
Senior Logistics Manager
Senior logistics managers are a vital part of any successful supply chain. Their responsibilities include managing and planning an organization’s logistics, transportation, warehouse, and customer services. They also direct, optimize, and coordinate full order cycles while liaising and negotiating with vendors, suppliers, retailers, manufacturers, and consumers. Senior logistics managers often start as logistics managers and prove themselves as leaders who can solve problems and keep groups motivated. As this position is a senior role, it has a professional responsibility for an organization’s overall supply chain management. Senior logistics managers will study supply chain management as an associate, undergraduate, and even a graduate student. They will often have ample work experience in addition to their education. Business degrees in supply chain management helps professionals in logistics learn how to make wise decisions, troubleshoot problems in the supply chain, and manage the entire order cycle to enhance an organization’s business development, thereby ensuring sustainability and customer satisfaction. Professionals interested in becoming a senior logistics manager can expect to be responsible for many aspects of a supply chain but can also demand an attractive salary of nearly $100,000.
Average Annual Salary: $91,330
Supply Chain Consultant
As organizations work to compete in the modern business environment, their supply chains have become increasingly complex and global in nature. Continually dropping cost pressures and high customer demands for speed of delivery, quality, and overall performance require companies to remain on the lookout for opportunities to stay competitive. Supply chain consultants help organizations address growing challenges and complexities. These supply chain experts may work with key stakeholders to introduce industry-leading practices and tailor business solutions to meet an organization’s needs. A successful supply chain consultant will drive value and positive change with impacts that will last for years. Many of today’s business organizations face continuous and changing disruptions within their supply chains. Supply chain consultants can anticipate supply chain resilience as a critical area of focus as organizations adapt their systems to meet the demands of their environments. If helping clients identify and prioritize their next steps to addressing disruptions in their supply chain sounds interesting, you may want to consider pursuing this high-stakes and lucrative career.
Average Annual Salary: $81,377
Ask an Expert
If you are interested in one of these fascinating and lucrative supply chain management jobs, start by interviewing professionals currently in the field. Supply chain managers can prove to be excellent sources of knowledge as they have learned many things through experience and education.
Surf the Net
Go online and start researching high-quality associate, undergraduate, and master’s degrees in supply chain management or a related business field. With so many great online MBA programs with an emphasis on supply chain management, you will be able to keep a position wherever you live and take courses online through distance learning. Professionals like senior supply chain managers and logistics directors often get their starts this way.
Gain Needed Experience
Once you graduate with a bachelor’s degree, you may want to immediately enter the supply chain job market. If you are interested in jumping into a graduate degree, MBA programs are known for offering excellent internship opportunities.
Optimizing a supply chain can transform an organization. Brands like Amazon re-designed the traditional supply chain formula by removing latencies in inventory and lowering prices beyond what competitors could. Shipping brands like DHL and FedEx challenged the old paper-based processing systems at checkpoints by sending their customers paperwork before the packages arrived, greatly expediting the delivery process. In each of these cases, supply chain management was the answer that saved both the organization and the customer time, money, and hassle. Pursuing one of the top supply chain management jobs is an excellent use of time and resources as transportation, inventory, and resource management will never become obsolete.