Salary Outlook For Supply Chain Management Degree

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The world’s financial markets are both turbulent and increasingly global. This means that organizations are finding it more complex to properly coordinate their production efforts. Costs must be kept low, and a return on investment must be noticed. This is achieved thanks to the help of experts in the field of supply chain management. They manage the flow of funds, information, and products between the company they work for, their various suppliers, and their customers. There has been a significant shortage in qualified supply chain managers and one study by the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics showed that, between now and 2018, there will be a consistent demand for 250,000 qualified supply chain managers. It seems that now is the time to become involved in this field.

Job Outlook

Clearly, there is a very strong demand for supply chain managers. At the same time, however, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that demand for logisticians, who are often supply chain managers, will only experience a 2% growth between 2014 and 2024, which is much slower than the national average. Perhaps more worrisome is the fact that at their count in 2012, they had estimated a 22% growth.

Not everybody agrees, however. The Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics report is one example. The U.S. News and World Report, meanwhile, states that demand for those who hold an MBA in Supply Chain Management is particularly high. They do add that hours are very long, but that workers are well-compensated for the work that they do.

One of the issues that may explain these conflicting reports is that supply chain management transcends logistics, which would mean that the BLS figure only refers to those with specific skills. Additionally, the economy is still recovering from the recession, and this means that there continues to be some uncertainty in this field.

During the recession, those who worked in supply chain management did experience a slight increase in salary. At the same time, however, they were looking for better offers, perhaps in different fields. All of this has a knock-on effect on the entire industry, and a balance still has to be found.

Salary Expectations

A number of salary surveys have been conducted in the field of supply chain management, and they have been quite telling. Most of those who took part in the survey have reported significant pay increases, in excess of 10%. The study also showed that 43% of people in supply chain management now earn more than $100,000 per year. Two percent of respondents earned more than $250,000 per year. The average salary now stands at $107,802. Of particular interest during this survey was that people also felt an increase in job satisfaction, mentioning personal satisfaction and recognition for their skills and knowledge.

The study also demonstrated that those who have a degree in supply chain management earn the most. Those with more specific skills, like logistics, fleet, transportation, planning, warehousing, or purchasing, earn less. This would explain the discrepancy found in the BLS’ average salary.

The table below also highlights that there are significant differences in earnings depending on a professional’s job title.

Job Title Average Salary
Vice President or General Manager $167,650
Corporate or Division Manager $138,630
Supply Chain Manager $100,159
Logistics Manager $95,479
Operations Manager $89,180
Traffic Manager $76,546
Warehouse Manager or Supervisor $68,534
Assistant Traffic Manager, Supervisor, or Analyst $66,446

The study also showed that those who had the highest degree of education earned the most, with the MBA (Master of Business Administration) with a Supply Chain Management concentration, earning the most. The table below highlights this better.

Level of Education Average Salary
High School $64,835
Some College $87,022
Bachelor’s Degree $109,634
Graduate Degree $131,453
MBA $133,501

One perhaps worrying development is that the gender pay gap is very much present in the field of supply chain management. Where a man’s average annual salary now stands at $108,465, that of a woman in the same job is just $90,642, which shows a more than a $10,000 difference.

There is also a significant difference in salaries linked to the amount of investment a company makes into their transportation, as the table below demonstrates.

Investment in Transportation Average Salary
Less than $500,000 $80,501
$500,000 to $999,999 $77,090
$1 million to $6 million $92,219
$7 million to $20 million $104,116
$21 million to $100 million $112,882
$101 million to $500 million $141,797
$501 million to $1 billion $124,097
More than $1 billion $146,487

Geographical location is another factor that influences salary to a great extent, as the table below highlights.

Geographical Location

Average Salary

East South Central $85,144
West North Central $95,295
East North Central $95,854
Mid Atlantic $99,011
South Atlantic $105,210
West South Central $106,642
Moutain $107,115
Pacific $108,819
New England $114,113

It also showed how much higher or lower the average pay was compared to the national average depending on specific location. This showed that:

  • Those in San Jose earned 46% more.
  • Those in San Francisco earned 27% more.
  • Those in Philadelphia earned 14% more.
  • Those in Atlanta earned 13% more.
  • Those in New York earned 11% more.
  • Those in St. Louis earned 10% more.
  • Those in Seattle earned 1% less.
  • Those in Los Angeles earned 1% less.
  • Those in Cincinnati earned 2% less.
  • Those in Denver earned 4% less.

Different employers also have different levels of pay. The best employers are:

  • Apple Computer, Inc.
  • S. Air Force (USAF)
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Lockheed Martin Corp
  • Lam Research Incorporate
  • com Inc.
  • Dow Chemical Co

Meanwhile, the worse companies to work for were listed as:

  • S. Army
  • S. Marine Corps

Finally, the more experiences people have, the more they earn as well, although the differences are marginal. Furthermore, it seems that those in mid careers enjoy the highest salaries.

Resources and References:

Take the First Step

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