The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the global leader in supply chain organizational transformation, innovation and leadership and the largest nonprofit association for the supply chain, recently released its 2021 Supply Chain Salary and Career Report. The report revealed a lucrative job market with too few workers. The median salary for supply chain professionals is around $86,000 annually, while the typical starting salary is $60,000.
The report illustrates that supply chain careers proved to be one of the most resilient throughout the pandemic regarding salaries, job stability and new opportunities. Nearly all respondents (95%) remained in their jobs, and more than half (59%) felt no economic impact.
Salaries continued to rise, as did workloads and the need for upskilling in the digital supply chain, leadership and supply chain risk management. As expected, more supply chain professionals worked remotely than ever before. However, what has remained constant is that professionals are very satisfied with their supply chain careers and would highly recommend the field as a rewarding path for others. Despite challenging times, nearly 90% of respondents have a positive outlook on their careers.
“The multitude of disruptions over the past year placed a spotlight on the critical role supply chain professionals play in building resilience and keeping our society running under the most difficult circumstances,” said ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi. “This report confirms what we already knew: Supply chain careers are not only invaluable but also offer the opportunity to build a stable career that has a meaningful impact on people’s lives.”
ASCM has launched several new certificate programs to help fill critical talent gaps along the various stages in the supply chain. In April, ASCM launched a new supply chain procurement certificate program. In May, ASCM and Prologis Inc., the global leader in logistics real estate, partnered to create a new industry certificate for global logistics. In October, ASCM and Prologis officially launched a new warehousing certificate program to prepare workers to fulfill the record number of warehousing jobs available now and in the future. The Supply Chain Warehousing Certificate program provides individuals with an extensive overview of warehousing, distribution, inventory management, product storage, packaging and shipment, sustainability and more.
The number of workers in the U.S. warehousing and storage subsector has reached record highs, with more than 1.4 million workers supporting the industry currently, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, the transportation, warehousing and related fields — which were the second-highest jobs growth sector in the United States reported in August — are projected to have 600,000 new openings by 2029.
“The use of e-commerce skyrocketed at the beginning of the pandemic when we went on lockdown and then kept rising even when in-person shopping was possible,” said Eshkenazi. “In addition, the industry has had to shift from just-in-time to just-in-case, resulting in more warehouses than ever before. The skills covered in this program are essential for supply chain professionals in the warehouse and out.”
The ASCM Supply Chain Warehousing Certificate program is beneficial for entry- and mid-level warehousing workers and suitable for professionals already working in sourcing, purchasing, supplier relationship management or contract management, and individuals looking to get into the supply chain field. Individuals who complete the 20-hour online self-paced course and pass the comprehensive 60-question final exam will receive a printable certificate along with a digital badge issued by ASCM that can be displayed on their social media profiles.
“This program provides job seekers a solid foundation to begin their logistics career and gives them a competitive advantage in the job market.”
— Steven Hussain, Vice President of Workforce Programs and Community Relations, Prologis
“The ongoing labor shortage is creating havoc with the supply chain and in communities across the nation. This program provides job seekers a solid foundation to begin their logistics career and gives them a competitive advantage in the job market,” said Steven Hussain, vice president of workforce programs and community relations, Prologis. “This is a real-world curriculum designed with input from industry leaders. The program will help logistics companies find the talent they need to continue to grow and meet the evolving demands of the modern economy.”
Illinois’ Innovative Approach to Building an Ecommerce Workforce
In February, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), in partnership with ASCM, announced the Illinois Supply Chain Management Training Program, which matches residents who have become unemployed or underemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic with training for careers in supply chain management — one of the fastest-growing fields in the state.
DCEO’s Office of Employment and Training provided $250,000 for the ASCM pilots through federal funds to support dislocated workers under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
“As our workforce is reshaped by the pandemic, two things have never been clearer — the need to invest in workforce programs that prepare our workers for the jobs of the future as well as strategic programs that can support our health response, which relies heavily on the supply chain,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “This innovative training model by the State of Illinois and ASCM responds to these needs and builds on the work we started from day one of this crisis to support Illinois workers and communities as we work to build back our economy.”
Since the pandemic hit, the rapid growth of e-commerce has generated an unprecedented demand for new skilled workers, with nearly 2,000 supply chain-focused job opportunities in Illinois unfilled today. In the next five years, more than 500,000 supply chain jobs will be added nationally. The program pairs a response to the demand for new talent today and in the years ahead with the state’s ongoing efforts to create new job training opportunities for residents and those especially impacted during COVID-19.
“As our communities across the state continue to feel the impact of the pandemic, we’ve made it our focus from day one to invest in training that will help workers get back on their feet and into well-paid, in-demand roles of today,” said DCEO Director Erin Guthrie. “Illinois is already home to one of the most talented workforces in the country and is a leader in the national supply chain. Through this new partnership with ASCM, we will develop a diverse pipeline of talent that allows companies to plan for long-term growth here while ensuring our residents can seize the thousands of jobs coming to Illinois in the years ahead.”
Several Illinois companies committed to the pilot program, including Continental Tires, Geodis, DB Schenker, Worldwide Technologies, PepsiCo and Phoenix Elevator. DCEO, in partnership with its local workforce agencies that are facilitating training, works directly with companies located in the pilot areas to identify additional underemployed individuals as candidates for training and scale the program to meet additional workforce demands.