Supply Chain Managers


Employment Prospects


Supply chain managers work in manufacturing, federal government; professional, scientific, and technical consulting services; management of companies and enterprises; and wholesale trade. Some examples of companies that use supply chain management professionals are Amazon, DHL, Dell Computers, and Wal-Mart, to name only a few. The Department of Labor does not provide data specifically for supply chain managers. Jobs that overlap supply chain managers include logisticians (182,050 employed), industrial production managers (185,790 employed), and transportation, storage, and distribution managers (132,040 employed). Memberships to professional associations can also give some idea of the scope of the field. For example, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals has more than 8,500 members and APICS, another association for supply chain professionals, has more than 45,000 members.

Starting Out

Supply chain managers start their careers in various ways. Their first job may be as an intern or in an entry-level position in a supply management department of a company. They may also gain entry to supply management through work in the industrial production department or other related departments.

Advancement Prospects

Supply chain managers may start as coordinators or analysts and work their way up through the ranks. Managers with at least five or more years of experience and certification may advance to become department heads. Those with a master's degree in supply chain management, business, or other related major may be department heads, managing larger groups. Some supply chain managers may leave full-time positions to start their own consulting companies.

Tips for Entry

Get an internship or entry-level job in a manufacturing company or a corporation with a supply chain management department

Learn more about supply chain management by visiting the Web sites of professional association such as APICS and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Attend or volunteer at a networking event hosted by a professional association; check the Web sites for a list of upcoming events that may interest you.

Read Supply Chain Quarterly ( for industry news, insights, and analysis, and to learn more about various supply chain organizations.