Entry Level Supply Chain Jobs in Various Industries

If you’ve chosen a supply chain career path you’re in for a career full of excitement and opportunities to grow. But what does that entail? 

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about entry-level supply chain jobs in various industries, the education you need, the skills required, and the challenges you may face along the way. 

Required Education and Skills

Education requirements for entry-level positions

Education requirements for supply chain entry-level jobs vary based on the industry.

You can’t go wrong with a certificate or Bachelor’s degree in supply chain management to truly get your foot in the door. 

Some industries will require some level of education. For example, healthcare and the government might need to hire employees that have an understanding of industry regulations. 

Relevant degrees and majors for supply chain management

There are various degrees and majors in supply chain management, including:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in supply chain management
  • MBA (focussing on supply chain management)
  • A Master’s in supply chain management
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certificate

Essential skills for entry-level supply chain jobs

There is a range of skills needed for an entry-level job, including being:

  • Accountable
  • Good with time management
  • A hard worker
  • A self-starter
  • Dedicated

Entry-Level Supply Chain Job Roles and Responsibilities

Materials Coordinator

A materials coordinator is responsible for the organization and management of materials within a company. Their main role is to ensure that materials are available when needed and that they are handled properly. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Purchasing materials
  • Planning and scheduling (logistics)
  • Inventory management 
  • Storage and handling
  • Analyzing and reporting
  • Quality management control
  • Compliance

Logistics Analyst

Logistic analysts are responsible for optimizing and analyzing the logistic operations of an organization. They need to identify any issues within the logistics process and look for ways to fix them that won’t affect the entire logistics supply chain. 

A logistics analysts role includes:

  • Logistical planning
  • Analyzing and implementing performance metrics
  • Data analysis
  • Understanding logistics systems and technology
  • Efficient communication 
  • Cost analysis
  • Management of logistical teams

Inventory Planner

Inventory planners ensure that the inventory levels of an organization are sufficient. They manage the ins and outs, making sure that the inventory is there when needed. Additionally, they ensure that there isn’t an overstock of inventory. It’s a balancing act to manage what the organization uses vs what they could potentially need. 

Major responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating and communicating with other departments
  • Inventory management
  • Optimizing inventory
  • Reporting and analyzing inventory data 
  • Managing communications with suppliers
  • Forecasting demand
  • Complying with safety standards

Supply Chain Coordinator

A supply chain coordinator ensures that there is a manageable flow of goods and services in an organization. They make sure that the products, materials, and services are available when the organization needs them. This means coordination to ensure everything is delivered at the right time and place. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Quality control
  • Supply management
  • Managing inventory
  • Logistics and planning
  • Planning of production
  • Analyzing needs
  • Compliance

Purchasing Agent

Purchasing agents buy the actual services and goods needed for a company. Their main priority is ensuring that the company has what it needs to run a tight ship. This involves managing time and cost effectiveness. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Supplier sourcing
  • Compliance
  • Managing stock
  • Working on price negotiations
  • Purchasing services and materials
  • Building vendor relations

Shipping and Receiving Clerk

A shipping and receiving clerk manages the receiving and shipment of materials and goods for a company. Their main goal is to ensure the goods are delivered and received on time and in good condition. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Reporting and identifying issues
  • Packaging and shipping
  • Processing orders
  • Quality control
  • Managing inventory with other supply locations

Customer Service Representative

Customer service representatives provide support to clients and customers before, during, and after goods or services are received. They ensure that the client is kept up to date and that the experience with the company is positive. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Processing orders
  • Maintaining client records
  • Responding to questions
  • Providing support
  • Communicating with clients
  • Managing complaints
  • Maintaining a level head in stressful situations.

Warehouse Associate

Warehouse associates oversee everything related to the organization, storage, and distribution of products within the warehouse. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Fulfilling orders
  • Quality control
  • Safety compliance
  • Operating distribution and packing equipment
  • Processing shipments
  • Communication
  • Managing inventory

Industries that Offer Entry-Level Supply Chain Management Jobs

  • Retail: Every retail store, no matter the size will have some sort of supply chain. The best retail stores for entry-level supply chain jobs include department stores, e-commerce, and grocery stores. 
  • Manufacturing: The manufacturing environment includes industries like consumer goods, automotive, and electronics which often require entry-level supply chain employees.
  • Transportation and logistics: Most entry-level supply chain jobs have to do with the logistical management and transportation of materials and goods. These include shipping companies and freight forwarders.
  • Healthcare: Medical supply companies and large healthcare facilities rely on a supply chain to meet the growing need for sufficient patient care. Entry-level supply chain jobs are usually in managing inventory, procuring supplies, and logistics. 
  • Government: Multiple government industries need supply chain workers. Whether it’s procuring materials for a new government-run building or shipping out materials to troops overseas. There are multiple ways to get into an entry-level supply chain position in government. 
  • Energy and utilities: Utilities and energy management require a lot from the supply chain. There is a lot of infrastructure that involves ordering, procuring, and receiving large materials. 

Advancement Opportunities for Entry-Level Supply Chain Jobs

Career paths in supply chain management

There are multiple career paths in supply chain management. If you’re in the industry for long enough you will deal with each of them at some point or another. But many supply chain managers have a passion for one or two of these career paths and tend to specialize:

Advanced degrees and certifications for career advancement

There are plenty of certifications and degrees to help further a career in supply chain management:

  • Certificate in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
  • Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on Supply Chain Management

Skills and experiences that lead to career growth

The more experience you have working with supply chains the better. If employers can see that you have experience working with a range of different issues, materials, and goods, there’s a good chance you’ll be hired on experience alone. 

While education is important, nothing can quite prepare you for the unforeseen in a supply chain than experience. 

Skills-wise, you should have the following:

  • Fantastic communication 
  • Good organization and coordination
  • A desire to learn
  • Strategic thinking
  • Problem-solving

Promotions and leadership roles in supply chain management

The longer you’re in a role in the supply chain, the more you learn. As you gain more experience and knowledge you gain the capabilities to take on more. This allows you to move forward and upskill in your industry. 

It’s not unheard of for managers to start at the bottom of the supply chain and work their way up. Their dedication and commitment to their job get them to where they need to be. 

Leadership roles in supply chain management depend on the size of an organization, but here are a few higher-up leadership roles:

  • Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO)
  • Logistics Director
  • Director of Supply Chain Operations
  • Vice President of Supply Chain
  • Global Supply Chain Manager
  • Procurement Director

Common Challenges Faced by Supply Chain Professionals

Common challenges faced by supply chain professionals

No job comes without its challenges, here are a few that supply chain professionals may face throughout their careers:

  • Risk management: Evaluating the risk factors that come with the industry.
  • Supply chain visibility: A global organization can struggle to find the ins and outs of what might not be working in the supply chain. 
  • Industry complexity: Some supply chains are in ever-growing industries that have a lot of people, moving parts, and higher-ups. A complex industry can struggle with building long-lasting and trustworthy relationships. 
  • Managing talent: As an organization grows, keeping a handle on skill levels becomes more difficult. 

Importance of adaptability and problem-solving skills in supply chain management

Supply chain managers need to have incredible problem-solving skills. There simply isn’t time to get into the nitty gritty of things all the time, so applying changes on the fly is a major requirement. 

To do this, supply chain managers need to be able to adapt to any type of situation to ensure that they are leading their organization and not causing panic. 

Tips for Success at the Beginning of the Career

  • Time management and organization skills
  • Communication and collaboration with colleagues and stakeholders
  • Adaptability and problem-solving skills
  • Professional development and continuous learning


Entry-level supply chain jobs are an absolute necessity for global organizations. Whether you’re starting at the top or just getting into the industry, you can be sure that the role you play has a profound impact on the entire supply chain. 

There are so many career paths for entry-level supply chain workers including inventory planning, warehouse management, logistics, and material coordination, to name a few. 

You may choose to expand further down the line and get a degree in supply chain management. But it’s not unheard of for entry-level workers to make their way up without a degree. 

Overall, if you’re adaptable, a good communicator, and detail-oriented when it comes to logistics, you might have just found the perfect career path. 


What are the typical job roles for entry-level supply chain jobs?

Entry-level positions depend on the industry, but generally, they include inventory management, procurement, and customer service. 

How can I find entry-level supply chain jobs?

There are so many job resources out there for supply chain jobs. Have a look online to find organizations that are hiring in your area. 

What is the average salary for entry-level supply chain jobs?

The starting salary depends on your location and industry, but it’s usually around $33,000 per year.