Schools for Washington Supply Chain Managers

When a product or service is first conceptualized and designed, it’s at the beginning of its supply chain, or the number of events it will go through before eventually reaching a consumer. These events may include the gathering of raw materials, production in factories, shipping through trucking companies, warehousing and more.

Every step of the supply chain is a complex system in itself, and the whole process is managed by logisticians, or supply chain managers (SCMs). These business professionals are trained in the functions of supply chains from multiple perspectives: in production, storage and marketing.

Supply chains are becoming increasingly global, so today’s logisticians need to understand how to integrate global systems into their supply chains. If you can pay close attention to details, enjoy managing large projects and communicate well with others, a career in supply chain management may be for you. It’s also important that you can work with complex computer data systems.

To become a logistician, you will need a specialized business education. At minimum, SCMs should hold a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management or a related business administration field. A strong business background helps a logistician clearly understand product processes and chains-of-events in depth. Further education in the form of master’s degrees or post-graduate certificates will also teach SCMs more specific skills.

Washington Bachelor’s Degrees in Supply Chain Management

A bachelor’s degree is the best start to a career in supply chain management. It provides the basis of skills necessary for logisticians to understand business processes. Only then can they maximize the efficiency of the supply chains within those businesses.

Here are a few schools in Washington where you can earn a BS in supply chain management:

  • Western Washington University. Located in Bellingham, this University offers a BS in Manufacturing and Supply Management. The program’s enrollment is generally small, with only 100 to 130 students per class. Industry scholarships and internships are available to students who qualify.
  • Central Washington University. This school is located in Ellensburg. Students can earn a Certificate in Supply Chain Management as part of their undergraduate business degree, or they can choose to specialize in supply chain management, which involves more SCM core courses.

Specializing Your Career with a Master’s Degree

Those who have already received a bachelor’s degree in SCM or business administration and have some experience in the field might wish to pursue a master’s degree. One program is available at The Foster School of Business, University of Washington.

At this school, a Master of Supply Chain Management (MSCM) degree is available in a one-year program. Classes are in-person and take place at the Seattle Campus on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Hands-on learning is accomplished in real-world settings. The schedule is mainly evening hours to account for those who are working while pursuing their degrees.

Alternative SCM Education Options

Whether it’s a shorter associate’s degree program or a post-graduate certificate in SCM, sometimes you’re looking for alternative education options. Here are a few shorter SCM programs within Washington:

  • Washington State University. If you have a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management or a similar business administration degree, you may wish to pursue further post-graduate education in SCM. This school has a Logistics and Supply Chain Management Graduate Certificate that is 12 credit hours long. Prerequisites for admission include a bachelor’s degree, an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, a personal statement and a professional resume. Students must first be admitted to the graduate school.
  • Shoreline Community College. Located in Shoreline, Washington, this school offers multiple shorter supply chain certificates ranging from 26 credit-hours to 51 credit-hours long. Shoreline also offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, which lasts 90 credit-hours. All programs are available to be taken fully online.

Professional APICS Certification for Logisticians

The organization that oversees professional credentials and certifications for SCM is APICS. This organization provides training to individuals and company groups on a standardized basis that is tested by exam.

Four different types of credentials are available from APICS by exam. Employers see certifications from APICS as a good reason to hire potential logisticians, because they know these logisticians have received adequate training. APICS certification tells employers that logisticians will attend to their supply chains professionally.

Washington Logisticians Earn High Salaries

Washington logisticians are paid very well compared to the rest of the country, with a median income of $42.44 per hour reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2017. Nationally, logisticians made a median income of $35.86 in 2018, for comparison.

The Projections Managing Partnership also predicts an average of 630 new job openings per year for Washington logisticians. Working in SCM in this state seems to be a well-paid and well-employed opportunity.

Washington Logisticians by Location

Seattle employed the highest number of logisticians in Washington in 2018, according to the BLS. However, that same year, the highest logistician employment level per 1,000 jobs was located in Bremerton. This means that Bremerton was the place to be if you were an aspiring logistician.

The highest paid logisticians lived in Walla Walla, with a median income reported at $44.69 per hour. The eastern Washington nonmetropolitan area followed closely in wages, with a median income of $42.41 per hour.

No matter where you live in Washington, logisticians are paid very well. With such high rates of pay reported by Washington logisticians, this career path seems to be a good financial choice.

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