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Supply Chain Manager Salary and Job Description

Written by: North Carolina Central University   •  Mar 18, 2024
Supply chain manager in a warehouse checking off a list of items from a clipboard.

Supply Chain Manager Salary and Job Description

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of strong supply chain management, and organizations are still struggling to maximize efficiency in this critical aspect of their operations. When consulting firm McKinsey & Co. surveyed more than 100 businesses across six continents in 2023, nearly half of those businesses reported that they continued to experience disruptions in supply chains that complicated their planning efforts.

Organizations worldwide rely on the expertise of supply chain professionals to bolster their resilience and help ensure that they can achieve their missions. Anyone who has an interest in becoming a supply chain manager and acquiring expertise by enrolling in an online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program can benefit from learning more about the field and how to launch a career in it.

What a Supply Chain Manager Does

While working as a supply chain manager, an individual serves in a leadership role, overseeing and optimizing all segments of a supply chain. This can include ensuring efficiency in multiple aspects of an organization’s operations, such as the following:

  • Sourcing materials

  • Manufacturing products

  • Shipping and delivering products

  • Disposing of materials

Responsibilities of a Supply Chain Manager

To optimize an organization’s supply chain, supply chain managers carry out a wide range of responsibilities. For example, they can be responsible for the following:

  • Developing overarching strategies for achieving cost-effectiveness and efficiency

  • Analyzing supply chain data and using benchmarking to identify specific ways to streamline aspects of a supply chain

  • Cultivating strong relationships with other businesses that play a role in the supply chain, such as suppliers or delivery services

  • Making forecasts related to sales and business operations

Working as a manager of a supply chain can entail the following:

  • Creating and executing plans to manage unexpected disruptions in supply chains, for example, by identifying additional suppliers

  • Pinpointing risks related to a supply chain and making plans to mitigate the effects of those risks

  • Managing customer concerns related to a supply chain

  • Measuring the financial performance of a supply chain

In executing their responsibilities, supply chain managers continuously monitor an organization’s supply chain infrastructure to improve its effectiveness and efficiency.

Supply Chain Manager Work Environments

The settings where supply chain managers work can vary. While they typically have an office, supply chain managers may need to spend part of their time working in manufacturing facilities, warehouses, or at the locations of suppliers and customers.

Supply chain managers can work for a wide range of organizations. While manufacturing firms might be the first organizations that come to mind when thinking about supply chain management, supply chain managers can also work for government agencies, scientific organizations, wholesale businesses, or shipping companies.

Supply Chain Manager Salary and Employment Outlook

A supply chain manager’s salary levels and prospects for employment are both attractive. According to Payscale, supply chain managers earn an average annual salary of about $88,340 as of February 2024. Those in the lowest 10% of the salary range earn an average annual salary of about $60,000, while those in the highest 10% of the salary range earn an average annual salary of about $123,000.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an impressive 18% growth rate for the employment of logisticians, such as supply chain managers, through 2032. That growth rate significantly exceeds the projection of 3% job growth across all occupations through 2032. The BLS attributes strong job growth in the profession to factors such as organizations’ recognition of the importance of supply chain management and increases in e-commerce.

How to Become a Supply Chain Manager

To become a supply chain manager, an individual acquires expertise both through education and experience in positions of increasing responsibility. The steps in the process of becoming a supply chain manager are outlined below.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Aspiring supply chain managers need to have a good educational background in the field. They typically acquire that education by earning a BBA degree, a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, or a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

In completing a relevant bachelor’s degree program, students have the opportunity to acquire skills and expertise in areas such as business systems, logistics, and data analytics that can inform their work as supply chain managers.

Step 2: Acquire Work Experience in the Field

Individuals typically start their supply management careers in entry-level positions in areas such as logistics or procurement. As they work in those positions, they can acquire real-world skills that augment their supply chain management expertise. For example, they have the chance to strengthen their skills in areas such as leadership, critical thinking, and working with stakeholders from other departments.

After five to 10 years of working in positions in which they can demonstrate their supply chain abilities, individuals typically have the skills and experience to begin working as supply chain managers.

Step 3: Consider Earning Certifications in Supply Chain Management

Both aspiring supply chain managers and individuals who are already managing supply chains can benefit from earning certifications in the field. For example, the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) offers certifications such as:

  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), a certification that provides evidence that an individual has broad supply chain knowledge

  • Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD), a certification that signifies that an individual has expertise in moving products efficiently

  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), a certification that demonstrates that an individual has expertise in managing risk and supply chain disruption

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) also offers certifications such as:

  • Certified Professional in Supply Chain Management (CPSM), a certification that signifies that an individual has competencies in supply chain management

  • Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD), a certification that indicates that an individual has expertise in decision-making related to supplier diversity

Earning supply chain certifications enables professionals to acquire new skills and demonstrate their dedication to the profession and commitment to learning more about their profession.

Supply Chain Managers Are a Critical Element in Organizational Success

Maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of supply chains is a key component of ensuring that an organization can achieve its goals. The skills and expertise of supply chain managers help organizations operate at their highest levels.

Individuals who are interested in working in supply chain management can explore North Carolina Central University’s online BBA degree program to learn how it can help them achieve their career goals. Offering students the opportunity to build skills in areas such as statistical analysis, finance, and business management, the program can set the stage for a rewarding career in supply chain management. Take the first step on the supply chain career path today.

Recommended Readings

How Technology Builds Resilience in Critical Infrastructure Security

How the Top Tech Companies in North Carolina Are Driving Industry Growth

What’s Information and Communications Technology?


Association for Supply Chain Management, Certifications and Credentials

Association for Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Manager

CIO, “The Top 12 Supply Chain Management Certifications”

Indeed, “What Does a Supply Chain Manager Do? (With Job Description)”

Institute for Supply Management, ISM Certifications – The Leader in Supply Management Accreditation

McKinsey & Co., “Tech and Regionalization Bolster Supply Chains, But Complacency Looms”

Payscale, Average Supply Chain Manager Salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Logisticians

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