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Working as a Supply Chain Lead

The role of a Supply Chain Lead is to oversee and manage the production of a company's products. They are involved in every part, from the acquisition of the raw materials to the finished product and sometimes even further to its shipment off to stores and customers.

Of course, due to the nature of their job, the Lead will have to interact and build relationships with a number of different people, such as procurement managers and customers, suppliers, and inventory and product managers, and other leads. They will also have to negotiate contracts, do research on materials, factories, and manufacturing processes, manage budgets and deadlines, oversee the storage of materials and products, oversee inventory, and plan and apply strategies.

A person hoping to work in this position should generally have a university degree in a subject relevant to the position, such as business or supply chain management, finance or transport management, or a similar field. Excellent planning and communication skills are a must, as are computer literacy, negotiation, and risk assessment and management.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a supply chain lead. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.57 an hour? That's $96,859 a year!

What Does a Supply Chain Lead Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a supply chain lead, we found that a lot of resumes listed 24.7% of supply chain leads included supply chain, while 10.9% of resumes included customer service, and 8.2% of resumes included project management. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the supply chain lead job title. But what industry to start with? Most supply chain leads actually find jobs in the manufacturing and technology industries.

How To Become a Supply Chain Lead

If you're interested in becoming a supply chain lead, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 44.9% of supply chain leads have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 36.5% of supply chain leads have master's degrees. Even though most supply chain leads have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a supply chain lead. When we researched the most common majors for a supply chain lead, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on supply chain lead resumes include high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a supply chain lead. In fact, many supply chain lead jobs require experience in a role such as purchasing manager. Meanwhile, many supply chain leads also have previous career experience in roles such as supply chain manager or buyer.

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Average Salary$96,859

Supply Chain Lead Career Paths

Top Careers Before Supply Chain Lead

Buyer
8.1 %

Top Careers After Supply Chain Lead

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Supply Chain Lead

Supply Chain Leads in America make an average salary of $96,859 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $128,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $72,000 per year.
Average Salary
$96,859

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range98k - 172k$130k$130,373
Englewood, CO
Salary Range91k - 145k$116k$115,694
Columbia, MD
Salary Range89k - 146k$114k$114,369
Seattle, WA
Salary Range90k - 142k$113k$113,428
Wilmington, DE
Salary Range78k - 130k$101k$101,385
Austin, TX
Salary Range78k - 127k$100k$100,027
$55k
$172k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Supply Chain Excellence Lead (11116)
Supply Chain Excellence Lead (11116)
Orica
Orica
01/25/2021
01/25/2021
$95,00001/25/2021
$95,000
Supply Chain Technician Lead Weekend Days)
Supply Chain Technician Lead Weekend Days)
University of Washington
University of Washington
10/23/2020
10/23/2020
$38,95210/23/2020
$38,952
{Title:Category Leader I or II-Supply Chain}
{Title:Category Leader I or II-Supply Chain}
Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare
06/30/2020
06/30/2020
$73,58806/30/2020
$73,588
TMI Central Supply Lead
TMI Central Supply Lead
Colorado State University
Colorado State University
04/17/2020
04/17/2020
$33,16804/17/2020
$33,168
Category Leader I or II-Supply Chain
Category Leader I or II-Supply Chain
Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare
02/25/2020
02/25/2020
$73,04502/25/2020
$73,045
See More Recent Salaries

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Supply Chain Lead Demographics

Gender

male

68.2 %

female

26.9 %

unknown

4.9 %

Ethnicity

White

70.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.4 %

Asian

8.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.3 %

French

11.3 %

Portuguese

8.1 %
See More Demographics

Supply Chain Lead Education

Degrees

Bachelors

44.9 %

Masters

36.5 %

High School Diploma

8.0 %

Top Colleges for Supply Chain Leads

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME • Public

In-State Tuition
$13,478
Enrollment
979

5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

6. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

8. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

9. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

10. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Supply Chain Lead

Best States For a Supply Chain Lead

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a supply chain lead. The best states for people in this position are California, Colorado, Maryland, and Nevada. Supply chain leads make the most in California with an average salary of $118,325. Whereas in Colorado and Maryland, they would average $115,497 and $114,068, respectively. While supply chain leads would only make an average of $113,146 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Supply Chain Lead Jobs:
261
Highest 10% Earn:
$173,000
Location Quotient:
1.48
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Colorado

Total Supply Chain Lead Jobs:
163
Highest 10% Earn:
$177,000
Location Quotient:
1.16
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Supply Chain Lead Jobs:
897
Highest 10% Earn:
$193,000
Location Quotient:
1.15
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Supply Chain Lead Employers

1. PepsiCo
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$84,391
Supply Chain Leads Hired: 
44+
2. Schlumberger
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$95,476
Supply Chain Leads Hired: 
36+
3. Cummins
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$89,616
Supply Chain Leads Hired: 
33+
4. Frito-Lay
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$82,265
Supply Chain Leads Hired: 
31+
5. General Electric
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$120,807
Supply Chain Leads Hired: 
29+
6. Honeywell
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$88,060
Supply Chain Leads Hired: 
29+

Supply Chain Lead Videos

Updated October 2, 2020