Supply Chain Manager Careers in Pennsylvania

The field of supply chain management can be confusing, but when you break it down to its basic parts, it’s easier to understand. The supply chain is a process used by businesses to manage the flow of their products or services from start to finish. It’s an integrative approach to streamline product activities such as design, work-in-progress inventory, shipping, warehousing and more. In other words, the supply chain is the route that a product follows from its creation until it’s in the hands of the consumer.

It takes a logistician or supply chain manager (SCM) to create, monitor and improve the supply chain process for a company. These professionals ensure that maximum profits are made, expenses are minimized and that the supply chain remains competitive with others in the industry. It’s a job that demands patience, attention to detail and an eye for analysis.

If you’re thinking about becoming a logistician, start by taking high school or college classes geared toward business. This will help you get accepted into a bachelor’s program in SCM. At the bare minimum, you should pursue your bachelor’s degree to secure entry level logistician work.

Start Your Career with a Bachelor’s Degree

There are many opportunities for bachelor’s degrees in supply chain management within the state of Pennsylvania, including:

  • Shippensburg University. Students at Shippensburg can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Supply Chain Management after studying for 120 credit hours. This training will prepare you to take the national APICS CSCP exam. Shippensburg is known for its business internship program that allows students to earn one full credit-hour for every 40 hours of internship work they complete. This school is accredited by the Associate to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • Duquesne University. The Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, located in downtown Pittsburgh, offers a BS of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management. It’s the only internationally accredited school to offer this degree. There is also a BSBA to MBA program, which can be completed in five years.

Brush up Your Resume with a Master’s Degree

After you earn your bachelor’s degree and also earn some experience in the supply chain field, you may want to further enhance your educational background with a master’s degree. This will help you advance to higher paying positions. These are some Pennsylvania schools offering master’s programs in SCM:

  • Penn State. The Smeal College of Business at Penn State offers a full range of degree programs from undergraduate to graduate degrees. The resident MBA program in supply chain focuses on a global perspective. The Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management is an online program. You can also pursue a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management from this school.
  • Penn State World Campus. This school’s supply chain master’s degree program is ranked number one in the country according to Gartner, Inc. GMAT and GRE waivers are available for applicants. The school is also AACSB accredited. Another option for students at this school is the 12-hour supply chain management certificate, which adds even more credentials to your resume. This program takes place 100 percent online.

Graduate SCM Certificates

For those who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and want to take a shorter certificate program in order to be certified in SCM, one of these shorter options may be desired:

  • The University of Scranton. This school offers a graduate certificate in supply chain management for those who have already completed undergraduate studies. The certificate teaches skills for managing the movement of raw materials, inventory and finished goods from point-of-origin to point-of-consumption. The program takes one year, and currently costs $11,280. Certificate credit can be transferred to an MBA degree.
  • Penn State, Hazleton. The Supply Chain Management Certificate is composed of 12 credit-hours. The certificate can be applied to an Associate Degree in Business Administration or a BSA degree at Penn State

Pursuing Certification Through APICS

The organization at the forefront of supply chain management is APICS, through which you can receive prestigious credentials and even pursue some educational options. There are workshops and certificate classes available through APICS, which will help you prepare for the credential tests.

The credentials available through APICS are CPIM, CSCP, CLTD and SCOR-R certifications. Each of these credentials will add value to your employability as a logistician.

What it’s Like for Logisticians in Pennsylvania

The job outlook for logisticians in Pennsylvania looks excellent. In 2017, logisticians in the state made a median income of $36.66 per hour, higher than the national median income of $35.86 per hour.

Furthermore, the Projections Managing Partnership estimates an 8.6 increase in employment by 2026 for logisticians within Pennsylvania. This is also higher than the national projection of 6.9 percent.

On average, there are 560 new logistician job openings per year in Pennsylvania, providing many opportunities for those who want to get started in this field.

Work in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were the cities in Pennsylvania that employed the highest number of logisticians in 2018. However, the areas with the highest logistician employment per 1,000 jobs that year were Harrison and York. Cities in Pennsylvania that paid logisticians the highest in 2018 were York, Philadelphia, East Stroudsburg and Chambersburg, which all paid at least $38 per hour median incomes.

It looks like no matter where you live in Pennsylvania, the chances of finding entry-level work as a logistician are good. If you first pursue your bachelor’s degree, you should be able to begin a robust career. Continuing your education with a master’s degree or post-graduate certificate will also increase your odds of doing well in the field.

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