Global trade is a bit turbulent these days, resulting in chokepoints and delays that often have more to do with politics than commerce. This means it’s more complex than ever to coordinate all aspects of production – everything from shipping and warehousing to procuring the materials and components that go into manufacturing product. Costs must be kept in check at every point in the supply chain, and every dollar spent needs to move projects closer to completion. Supply chain managers are the ones that make it happen. They manage the flow of funds, information, materials and product between suppliers, production lines and the end consumer. For anybody that has the unique blend of skills to do the job and the MBA or master’s in SCM that employers expect to see on a CV, now is the time to bring those talents to the field.
Even as vital as supply chain managers are to industries that rely on efficient production and transport – and try to find one that doesn’t – those aren’t the kind of jobs where you see a lot of turn-over. And when corporations get somebody who knows the game and how to play it, they make sure to keep them in the ranks. As a result, even as the need for efficient supply chains increases year over year, you don’t see big job growth projections in the field. To some extent that can also be attributed to the very fact that the 132,000-plus existing SCM managers working in the field today are improving efficiencies all the time and reducing the need for more boots on the ground.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that jobs for transportation, storage and distribution managers are only expected to grow by about 1 percent in the ten-year period leading up to 2029, while logistician jobs are set to increase 4 percent over that same timeline, which is about on pace with normal growth across all job classifications.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies SCM and logistics management professionals in its broader classification for Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers. With an average salary of $103,320 and the median coming close to the six-figure mark at $95,560, this is a job where you can expect to do well even with basic qualifications. It only goes up from there with an MBA in SCM, with the top ten percent in the field earning more than $160,500.
And it’s just as interesting that surveys conducted by industry trade groups find that supply chain managers really love what they do, reporting a high rate of job satisfaction that comes with being recognized for their skills and knowledge.
An MBA or other master’s in supply chain management will position you to earn the most, developing high level management skills to understand both the process and business side of logistics, fleet and transportation planning, warehousing and purchasing.
The table below highlights the differences in earnings in the industries where most supply chain managers work.
|Industries with the Most SCM Jobs||Average Salary|
|Warehousing and Storage||$96,980|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises||$133,390|
|Federal Executive Branch||$103,490|
Some industries revolve completely around logistics and supply chain processes, so SCM professionals comprise a significant part of the workforce. Industries with the highest concentration of supply chain managers as of 2019 can be seen below, along with the average salary in each.
|Highest Concentration of SCM Professionals||Average Salary|
|Freight Transportation Arrangement||$94,370|
|Deep Sea and Waterway Transport||$109,634|
|Nonscheduled Air Transportation||$125,110|
|Support Activities for Water Transport||$114,500|
A look at sectors where SCM managers earn the most offers a sense of which industries rely most heavily on top talent with MBAs and other SCM graduate degrees.
|Top Paying Industries for SCM Managers||Average Salary|
|Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil||$148,070|
|Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing||$145,820|
|Credit Intermediation and Related Activities||$139,380|
|Oil and Gas Extraction||$138,690|
SCM managers chasing the best opportunities often pick up and relocate to where the jobs are, and that’s often dictated by industry and the infrastructure it runs on – oil pipelines and shipping in Alaska, deep water ports on the Jersey coast, industrial production along the Rust Belt regions of Illinois, big-ag in the great plains. Below you’ll find the states with the highest concentration of jobs in the BLS category for transportation, storage and distribution managers.
|States with the Highest Concentration of SCM Jobs||Average Salary|
To some extent, the states where SCM managers pull down the biggest paychecks align with where the biggest industry demand is, but also where the top paying tech-driven industries like aerospace manufacturing and telecommunications are located.
|States with the Highest SCM Salaries||Average Salary|
|District of Columbia||$138,000|
You’ll find some familiar names in the list of corporations known to employ a lot of SCM managers. These companies are just as well known for offering impressive compensation packages:
- Apple Computer, Inc.
- Hewlett-Packard Company
- Lockheed Martin Corp
- Lam Research Incorporate
- Dow Chemical Co
Resources and References:
- May 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics data for Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers and Logisticians. Figures represent national data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2021.
- Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – Organization for supply chain managers. (CSCMP.org)