Learning Supply Chain Management in Montana

Products and services move through a process called the supply chain before they can be purchased by their intended users. This process, known as the supply chain, involves the design, production, transportation and final delivery of each product or service. It is overseen by logisticians, who use their understanding of business processes and inventory management to move everything through the supply chain as affordably and quickly as possible. As they do so, logisticians also communicate with suppliers, shippers and customers to inform each stakeholder of items’ progress.

To become a logistician and obtain an entry-level role in the field, you should enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in a relevant subject, such as business management, operations management or supply chain management. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree ensures that you will have the specialized knowledge needed to properly manage supply chain operations. Some employers, however, may be willing to hire applicants with equivalent experience or an associate’s degree and can even help these new employees finish their education at a college or university.

A master’s degree is not necessary for entry-level work in this field, but obtaining one later in your career can help you secure higher-paying and more senior roles in supply chain management. The following information about available degree programs in Montana may help you create a plan for your education.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Montana

Prospective logisticians who hold bachelor’s degrees in a relevant business subject are more likely to easily find entry-level work. These schools offer four-year programs to consider:

  • Rocky Mountain College. The Business Administration and Management degree at Rocky Mountain College focuses on leadership, communication and reasoning skills in addition to business knowledge. Each student has the option to pursue an internship while they are in school.
  • Carroll College. At Carroll College, students in the Business Administration major can select rom a range of concentrations, including economics, international business and management. Each emphasizes using data and statistics, including financial figures, in decision making.
  • University of Providence. Business Administration majors at the University of Providence can take the courses online or on campus and enroll on a part-time basis if necessary. In addition to instruction in business principles, students will learn interpersonal, technological and problem-solving skills.

Available Master’s Degree Programs

A master’s degree is not necessary at the beginning of your career as a logistician but can prove useful later on. Consider the following schools for your degree:

  • University of Montana. The University of Montana pays special attention to its online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) students. They’re eligible to participate in teleconferences and receive career counseling services from the school’s on-campus career center. UM also offers Montana’s only MBA program.
  • Northwest Nazarene University. In nearby Idaho, students can receive their Master’s in Business Administration from Northwest Nazarene. The program can be completed in as little as six months and is also available online.
  • Idaho State University. Idaho State’s MBA program offers concentrations in project management, informatics and other relevant areas of business.

Associate’s Degrees and Certificate Programs

Many logisticians get their start at a community college, where they can pursue an associate’s degree in general business and later transfer to a four-year school if desired. Flathead Valley Community Collegeoffers a degree in Business Administration that provides students with a basic understanding of business strategies and practices useful to supply chain management.

In addition to various colleges and universities, several organizations offer certifications in more specific topics within supply chain management and logistics. These include the American Production and Inventory Control Society, which confers the designates and certificates of Certified Supply Chain Professional, Certified in Production Inventory Management and Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution.

Salary and Employment Projections

The Projections Managing Partnership projects that the job market for logisticians in Montana will grow by 7.1 percent during the 10 years to 2026. This is on par with the national average of 7 percent growth within the same time period.

Logisticians in Montana can expect an average hourly wage of $31.50 per hour and an average annual salary of $65,530. The highest salaries in the state can reach more than $95,000 per year.

Working in Supply Chain Management in Montana

Logisticians can work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, scientific and technical services, wholesale trade and government. These roles can be found in individual businesses or in logistics firms, which manage the supply chains of multiple clients. Logisticians who work full time can expect to work about 40 hours per week, with occasional overtime and travel necessary to complete assignments.

Several soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking and customer service, will help you excel as a logistician. These abilities will allow you to effectively establish business relationships and solve any problems that may arise.

Logisticians can find work throughout the state, but larger cities, such as Billings, will provide the largest selection of jobs. These roles often come with higher salaries as well to compensate for the higher costs of living in a city.

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