Supply Chain Manager Careers in West Virginia

If you’re trying to decide on a career and are interested in the business field, a job in supply chain management might be the right one for you. Supply chain managers (SCMs) are tasked with monitoring, troubleshooting and maximizing the efficiency of supply chains.

But what is a supply chain? It describes the life of a product, from its early stages of conceptualization to its manufacturing, to shipping and sales of the final product. The supply chain, in other words, is the life process of a product before it reaches the consumer. All of these processes must run smoothly and efficiently in order to save companies money and ensure that products are on hand in a timely manner.

Supply chain managers, also known as logisticians, need to have a specialized education and background in the field of business and supply chain management in order to find entry-level work. The general education requirement for these professionals is a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management or a business administration bachelor’s degree. Understanding the inner workings of business processes is a major requirement.

The typical work environment for SCMs is an office setting, whether in-house at an agency or a home office where they serve multiple clients. Usually, logisticians work 40-hour weeks, and often overtime hours are necessary. However, most logisticians are paid well above minimum wage for the work they do, and their employment levels are growing at a steady rate.

Getting Started with a Bachelor’s Degree

You have quite a few options for SCM and business bachelor’s degrees in West Virginia. Here are a few of them:

  • American Public University. This school offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Transportation and Logistics Management. It focuses on the maritime, air and ground transportation systems involved in supply chains. The program lasts 120 credit-hours and currently costs $270 per credit. Courses begin on a monthly basis, and there is no application fee.
  • Bluefield State College. This school in Bluefield offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration. The major offers three concentrations: Accounting, Marketing and Management. Students can also choose to minor in one of the previously stated areas or the following: Information Systems and Health Services Management.
  • West Virginia University. The relevant major available at this school is called the Global Supply Chain Management major because it has a global focus in the increasingly global field of business. The curriculum focuses on core supply chain skills as well as essential business skills such as team building. The University has connections with major companies, which actively recruit WVU graduates.

Bump Up Your Education with a Master’s Degree

Earning a master’s degree could be the next step in your logistics career. This type of post-graduate study can help you specialize further in the business field, making you more employable and worth a higher income.

  • West Virginia University. Combine real-world experience with classroom study at WVU while earning your Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The full-time program lasts 12 months. Prerequisite classes include basic accounting and economics courses, in which students must earn at least a C average.
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College. This college offers two tracks for an MBA: a traditional post-graduate, two- to three-year program, or a combined bachelor’s and MBA program that takes five years to complete. There are six available concentrations: health care administration, human resource management, labor and law, nonprofit management, a customized concentration or the standard MBA.

An Associate’s Degree: A Quick Way into the Field

A bachelor’s degree will be your best start in the supply chain management field, but some students choose shorter degree options at the beginning of their academic careers to save money and find out if the business field is right for them. West Virginia has lots of options for associate degrees and certificates in business, including:

  • West Virginia Junior College. With locations in Morgantown and Charleston as well as online courses, this community college offers an associate’s degree in Business Administration. This type of program is great for those who want to dip their toes into the business field before pursuing a four-year degree program.
  • Valley College. Students can take an online program in Business Administration Training at this school. This training can later be applied toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Valley College also offers a full associate’s degree in Business Administration, which can be completed within 16 months.

APICS Certifications

Logisticians don’t typically need to hold any particular certifications besides a college degree, but gaining professional credentials can help them advance in their careers and earn higher wages. APICS is the national organization that tests for and awards these credentials. APICS offers four certifications as well as some prep training for them.

West Virginia Logistician Details

In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median income for West Virginia logisticians was $31 per hour. By the year 2026, the Projections Managing Partnership predicts a 6.7 percent increase in logistician employment within the state.

Where to Work as a Logistician in West Virginia

The West Virginia city with the highest number of logisticians employed in 2018 was Morgantown, followed closely by the northern West Virginia nonmetropolitan area. Out of those two areas, Morgantown employed the highest number of logisticians per 1,000 jobs. However, the highest paid logisticians were found in Charleston that year, with a reported median income of $34.65 per hour.

With a steady job outlook predicted across the country and within West Virginia, now is a good time to start looking at a supply chain management career. If you are a good leader, can communicate effectively and enjoy managing complex systems, this might be a field you want to enter. Start looking at your educational options today.

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