Junior Supply Chain Manager Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Junior Supply Chain Manager or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Junior Supply Chain Manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Junior Supply Chain Manager job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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How To Become a Supply Chain Manager

A supply chain manager helps businesses make sure they have the inventory and storage space they need to work smoothly. To become a supply chain manager, follow these steps:


Get your supply chain management degree.

To become a supply chain manager, you'll need a bachelor's degree in supply chain management, business, engineering, finance, or a similar field. A master's degree can help you stand out and get a better salary. Look for a university that's known for its strong supply chain management curriculum.


Gain some work experience with jobs such as inventory clerk and warehouse manager.

While you're completing your degree, consider taking a part-time, entry-level job that's related to supply chain management. Inventory clerk, inventory supervisor, receiving clerk, receiving supervisor, and warehouse manager positions are ideal.

After you get your bachelor's degree, whether you intend to go on to a higher degree or not, get a position in supply chain management. Entry-level positions for people with degrees include supply chain and logistics coordinators, supply chain and logistics customer service representatives, import-export specialists, supply chain and logistics sourcing specialists, logistics analysts, supply chain and logistics transportation specialists, purchasing agents, distribution managers, and operations managers as well as supply chain managers.


Acquire certifications like Certified Professional in Supply Chain Management.

Getting one or more certifications in supply chain management isn't mandatory, but it can make you more appealing to potential employers. The Association for Supply Chain Management grants the Certified Supply Chain Professional title to people who pass an exam and have a bachelor's degree and at least three years of entry-level work experience. The three-part test covers supply chain design, supply chain planning and execution, and supply chain improvements and best practices. People who aren't members of the association will need to pay a testing fee.

If you don't have a degree but you have three years of experience, you can take the Institute for Supply Management's exam and become Certified Professional in Supply Chain Management. The International Society of Logistics offers the Certified Professional Logistician title for people with a master's degree and at least five years of experience. Unlike the other two certifications, this one doesn't have to be renewed.


Refine your skills to be ready for high-pressure and unexpected situations.

Improving many core skills can make you better at your job as a supply chain manager. You'll need to react quickly to unexpected, high-pressure situations, so critical thinking and problem-solving skills are vital.

Computer skills are also essential. A large portion of your job will involve working with inventory and supply chain management software. As a manager, you'll need strong interpersonal communication, organization, and leadership skills to coordinate your teams efficiently. You'll have to maintain a multitude of relationships with suppliers, distributors, customers, and others over the course of your career, so you should also work on your customer service and conversational skills.

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Related careers in the Operations Industry

Interested in other Operations careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Junior Supply Chain Manager skills. Discover some of the most common Junior Supply Chain Manager career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Demand Planner
0% skills overlap
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