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Become An Inventory Analyst

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Working As An Inventory Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $59,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Inventory Analyst Do

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations solve problems and make better decisions.

Duties

Operations research analysts typically do the following:

  • Identify and solve real-world problems in areas such as business, logistics, healthcare, or other fields
  • Collect and organize information from a variety of sources, such as computer databases, sales histories, and customer feedback
  • Gather input from workers involved in all aspects of a problem or from others who have specialized knowledge, so that they can help solve the problem
  • Examine information to figure out what is relevant to a problem and what methods might be used to analyze it
  • Use statistical analysis, simulations, predictive modeling, or other methods to analyze information and develop practical solutions to business problems
  • Advise managers and other decision makers on the impacts of various courses of action to take in order to address a problem
  • Write memos, reports, and other documents explaining their findings and recommendations for managers, executives, and other officials

Operations research analysts are involved in all aspects of an organization. They help managers decide how to allocate resources, develop production schedules, manage the supply chain, and set prices. For example, they may help decide how to organize products in supermarkets or help companies figure out the most effective way to ship and distribute products.

Analysts must first identify and understand the problem to be solved or the processes to be improved. Analysts typically collect relevant data from the field and interview clients or managers involved in the business processes being examined. Analysts show the implications of pursuing different actions and may assist in achieving a consensus on how to proceed.

Operations research analysts use sophisticated computer software, such as databases and statistical programs, and modeling packages, to analyze and solve problems. Analysts use these mathematical programs to simulate current and future events and evaluate alternative courses of action. Analysts break down problems into their various parts and analyze the effect that different changes and circumstances would have on each of these parts. For example, to help an airline schedule flights and decide what to charge for tickets, analysts may take into account the cities that have to be connected, the amount of fuel required to fly those routes, the expected number of passengers, pilots’ schedules, maintenance costs, and fuel prices.

There is no one way to solve a problem, and analysts must weigh the costs and benefits of alternative solutions or approaches in their recommendations to managers.

Because problems are complex and often require expertise from many disciplines, most analysts work on teams. Once a manager reaches a final decision, these teams may work with others in the organization to ensure that the plan arrived at is successful.

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How To Become An Inventory Analyst

Although applicants may need a master’s degree for most operations research positions, a bachelor’s degree is enough for some entry-level positions. Because few schools offer bachelor’s and advanced degree programs in operations research, analysts typically have degrees in other, related fields.

Education

Although some employers prefer to hire applicants with a master’s degree, many entry-level positions are available for those with a bachelor’s degree. Although some schools offer bachelor’s and advanced degree programs in operations research, some analysts have degrees in other technical or quantitative fields, such as engineering, computer science, analytics, or mathematics.

Because operations research is based on quantitative analysis, students need extensive coursework in mathematics. Courses include statistics, calculus, and linear algebra. Coursework in computer science is important because analysts rely on advanced statistical and database software to analyze and model data. Courses in other areas, such as engineering, economics, and political science, are useful because operations research is a multidisciplinary field with a wide variety of applications.

Continuing education is important for operations research analysts. Keeping up with advances in technology, software tools, and improved analytical methods is vital.

Other Experience

Many operations research analysts who work with the military are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Some positions may require applicants to undergo a background check in order to attain a security clearance. 

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Operations research analysts use a wide range of methods, such as forecasting, data mining, and statistical analysis, to examine and interpret data. They must determine the appropriate software packages and understand computer programming languages to design and develop new techniques and models.

Communication skills. Operations research analysts often present their data and conclusions to managers and other executives. They also need to communicate technical information to people without a technical background.

Critical-thinking skills. Operations research analysts must be able to figure out what information is relevant to their work. They also must be able to evaluate the costs and benefits of alternative solutions before making a recommendation.

Interpersonal skills. Operations research analysts typically work on teams. They also need to be able to convince managers and top executives to accept their recommendations.

Math skills. The models and methods used by operations research analysts are rooted in statistics, calculus, linear algebra, and other advanced mathematical disciplines.

Problem-solving skills. Operations research analysts need to be able to diagnose problems on the basis of information given to them by others. They then analyze relevant information to solve the problems.

Writing skills. Operations research analysts write memos, reports, and other documents explaining their findings and recommendations.

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Inventory Analyst Career Paths

Inventory Analyst
Buyer Purchasing Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Buyer Senior Buyer Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Buyer Planner/Buyer Purchasing Manager
Director, Procurement
13 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Plant Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Consultant Operations Manager
Distribution Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Operations Manager Supply Chain Manager
Supply Chain Director
14 Yearsyrs
Inventory Manager Operations Manager Supply Chain Manager
Senior Manager-Supply Chain Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Warehouse Supervisor
Distribution Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Warehouse Supervisor Inventory Control Supervisor
Inventory Control Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Analyst Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Cost Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Analyst Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Planning Manager
Planning Director
10 Yearsyrs
Inventory Manager Material Manager Supply Chain Manager
Global Supply Chain Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Planner/Buyer Supply Chain Analyst
Senior Supply Chain Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Planner/Buyer Master Scheduler
Production Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Analyst Demand Planner
Demand Planning Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Inventory Manager Material Manager
Supply Chain Lead
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Warehouse Supervisor Shipping Manager
Fulfillment Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Demand Planner Demand Planning Manager
Plans And Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Inventory Analyst?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Inventory Planner 3.7 years
Inventory Manager 3.1 years
Inventory Lead 3.0 years
Inventory Analyst 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Inventory Analyst
Buyer 8.8%
Internship 6.3%
Cashier 5.8%
Accountant 4.1%
Manager 4.0%
Top Careers After Inventory Analyst
Buyer 11.3%
Analyst 4.3%
Manager 3.9%

Do you work as an Inventory Analyst?

Inventory Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

51.0%

Female

40.0%

Unknown

9.0%
Ethnicity

White

61.7%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

8.4%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.6%

French

9.9%

Chinese

6.9%

Mandarin

4.3%

Korean

3.0%

Carrier

2.6%

Portuguese

2.6%

Arabic

2.6%

Russian

2.2%

Italian

2.2%

Polish

1.7%

Turkish

0.9%

Hindi

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

German

0.9%

Japanese

0.9%

Urdu

0.9%

Swahili

0.4%

Gujarati

0.4%

Wolof

0.4%
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Inventory Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.2%

Northern Illinois University

7.6%

Michigan State University

6.2%

Purdue University

6.2%

Pennsylvania State University

5.6%

Strayer University

4.7%

DePaul University

4.5%

University of Houston

4.2%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Ohio State University

3.7%

Northeastern University

3.6%

University of Washington

3.1%

Eastern Michigan University

3.0%

San Jose State University

3.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.8%

Kaplan University

2.8%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

2.8%

University of Iowa

2.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.7%

University of Memphis

2.7%
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Majors

Business

42.2%

Accounting

11.6%

Finance

6.8%

Supply Chain Management

5.6%

Management

5.0%

Marketing

4.2%

Economics

2.9%

Communication

2.3%

Criminal Justice

2.2%

Psychology

2.0%

General Studies

1.9%

Computer Science

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.6%

Industrial Engineering

1.5%

Operations Management

1.5%

Human Resources Management

1.5%

Education

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Political Science

1.3%

Health Care Administration

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.7%

Masters

17.0%

Other

16.7%

Associate

10.2%

Certificate

3.5%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$59,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$59,000
Median 50%
$59,000
Median 50%
$59,000
Median 50%
$59,000
Median 50%
$59,000
Median 50%
$59,000
Median 50%
$59,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Viasat
Highest Paying City
Billerica, MA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does an Inventory Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Inventory Analyst in the United States is $60,004 per year or $29 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $97,000.

Real Inventory Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Inventory Analyst EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 08, 2016 $118,000
Inventory Analyst III Sprint Nextel Corporation Warren, NJ Dec 26, 2011 $115,000 -
$125,000
Valuations Inventory Analyst Campbell Global, LLC Portland, OR Sep 22, 2014 $95,000
Inventory Analyst II Sungard Availability Services Wayne, PA Apr 20, 2012 $92,000
Inventory Analyst (Business Intel. Analyst) 1Stdibs.com, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $90,000
Inventory Analyst (Inventory Management) Carefusion Corporation San Diego, CA Jan 01, 2012 $82,500
Inventory Analyst CVS Pharmacy, Inc. Woonsocket, RI May 18, 2015 $80,000
Analyst, Inventory Strategy Ann Taylor, Inc. New York, NY Oct 02, 2015 $75,100
Inventory Analyst Harmless Harvest Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 20, 2015 $75,000
Inventory Analyst Rockwell Automation, Inc. Mequon, WI Aug 24, 2015 $73,500
Inventory Analyst/Analysis and Operations Xerox Corporation Webster, NY Sep 16, 2016 $72,575
Inventory Analyst/Analysis and Operations Xerox Corporation Webster, NY Dec 25, 2016 $72,575
Inventory Analyst Omnicell, Inc. Milpitas, CA Nov 26, 2012 $65,800
Inventory Analyst Omnicell, Inc. Mountain View, CA Nov 16, 2012 $65,800
Inventory Recovery Analyst Ciber, Inc. Center Line, MI Sep 25, 2015 $65,260
Algorithmic Inventory Optimization Analyst Lifestreet Corporation San Carlos, CA Oct 01, 2011 $65,000
Inventory Analyst Us LBM Holdings, LLC Covington, GA Sep 15, 2016 $65,000
Production and Inventory Analyst MAVI Jeans, Inc. Secaucus, NJ Mar 17, 2012 $63,700
Analyst, Inventory Management Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Feb 11, 2015 $63,128 -
$87,000
Inventory Analyst Staples, Inc. Framingham, MA Aug 01, 2014 $63,000
Inventory Analyst International Food Source LLC Dover, NJ Sep 09, 2014 $56,909
Inventory Analyst H-E-B Grocery Company, LP San Antonio, TX Sep 28, 2015 $56,341
Inventory Analyst International Food Source LLC Dover, NJ Sep 11, 2013 $56,160
Inventory Analyst International Food Source LLC Dover, NJ Sep 18, 2013 $56,160
Financial Inventory Analyst The Sherwin-Williams Company Cleveland, OH Sep 14, 2016 $55,000 -
$65,000
Analyst, Inventory Management Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. DBA CONDÉ Nast New York, NY Aug 03, 2015 $55,000
Inventory Analyst Ageatia Technology Consultancy Services Inc. Schaumburg, IL Sep 07, 2015 $55,000

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Top Skills for An Inventory Analyst

  1. Inventory Levels
  2. Purchase Orders
  3. Cycle Counts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage company operations ensuring optimum inventory levels to achieve maximum cost savings without hampering the operations.
  • Analyzed vehicle replacement part inventory levels and placed purchase orders when necessary to guarantee proper inventory levels were maintained.
  • Maintain inventory by performing cycle counts regularly.
  • Maintain current and creation of new procedures to insure inventory accuracy, Audit internal accuracy of procedures.
  • Worked with IT, management, manufacturing, engineering, technical and customer service departments, ensuring operational efficiency.

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Top 10 Best States for Inventory Analysts

  1. Virginia
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Maryland
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Alabama
  6. Hawaii
  7. California
  8. New York
  9. Delaware
  10. New Hampshire
  • (549 jobs)
  • (145 jobs)
  • (278 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (1,129 jobs)
  • (534 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)

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