Materials ManagerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Materials Managers oversee a company’s inventory and purchasing operations. They collaborate with engineers and designers to determine the materials needed to complete manufacturing or construction projects according to specifications, research vendors for those materials, then order them. A Materials Manager is also responsible for maintaining the inventory of those materials once they arrive. Also, a Materials Manager oversees the receiving procedures for their company’s warehouse.

A Materials Manager needs to have high-level organization and record-keeping skills to maintain a consistent flow of materials to the company’s factories or work sites. Influencing and negotiation skills are also crucial for Materials Managers, as it’s up to them to negotiate the materials’ purchasing agreements. Materials Managers also supervise a team of workers, so soft skills like leadership, coaching, and training are essential for this position.

Sample job description

Materials managers maintain ideal levels of materials and supplies to ensure optimal working conditions and customer satisfaction. They establish procedures, monitor prices, and maintain relationships with suppliers. Are you excellent at anticipating and forecasting needs? Do you have great logistical understanding to keep shelves stocked and supplies on hand? If so, apply to our newest open materials manager position! These managers use logistic tools, physical inventory checks, and follow purchasing procedures and specifications to accomplish their jobs. They strive to make sure all departments receive supplies and materials accurately, reliably, and for a good price.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Purchase raw materials and supplies according to project specifications
  • Negotiate purchasing agreements with vendors
  • Oversee procedures for receiving and storing raw materials
  • Maintain inventory levels to ensure projects finish on deadline
  • Search for new materials, vendors, and processes to ensure optimum quality, value and reliability
  • Supervise and maintain the physical inventory of materials
  • Ensure materials acquisition and storage comply with company and government guidelines
  • Supervise, evaluate and coach staff members
  • Maintain inventory records

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in logistics or a related field, experience managing team members, and knowledge of supply chain maintenance.

Required skills and qualifications

  • In-depth knowledge of supply chain and inventory management systems
  • Hands-on experience with forecasting and budgeting
  • Excellent organization and time-management skills
  • Analytical thinking with problem-solving aptitude
  • Outstanding communication and leadership skills

Preferred qualifications

  • 2-year degree preferably in industrial or quality engineering
  • Experience working in a manufacturing environment
  • Proficiency with MS Office suite of applications

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a materials manager is $86,800 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$86,300$116,800
Los Angeles, California$97,400$131,750
Denver, Colorado$81,150$109,800
Washington, DC$98,850$133,750
Miami, Florida$80,800$109,300
Orlando, Florida$74,500$100,800
Tampa, Florida$75,250$101,800
Atlanta, Georgia$78,950$106,800
Chicago, Illinois$90,750$122,800
Boston, Massachusetts$98,150$132,750
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$78,200$105,800
New York City, New York$103,300$139,750
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$84,100$113,800
Dallas, Texas$81,900$110,800
Houston, Texas$81,150$109,800
Seattle, Washington$94,450$127,800
National Average$73,800$99,800

Typical work environment

Materials managers will find themselves in a variety of different work conditions. However, they will spend some time at a desk in front of a computer. Some amount of time working seated in front of the monitor should be expected. Physical inspections of inventory in a variety of locations, oftentimes in a warehouse environment, is likely. Meeting with managers to discuss and coordinate the needs of departments should be expected as well.

Typical hours

Most Materials Managers work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Available certifications

As Materials Managers work in a variety of industries, there are many institutions that offer certifications, including:

  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management. The CPIM demonstrates the holder’s proven knowledge and skills to intentionally and strategically make operations more streamlined. This certification is for those that have some experience in a logistics and inventory management position and requires renewal every 5 years.
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional. The CSCP teaches key strategies for improving customer service while increasing efficiency with the supply chain and logistics operation. The American Society of Transportation and Logistics offers this course and exam to demonstrate an entry-level understanding of knowledge and training for those wishing to enter this field.
  • Certified Security Supervision and Management. The program provided by the International Foundation for Protection Officers isn’t directly useful for a position in logistics, supply chain management, or warehouse inventory. This certification provides the groundwork necessary to teach managers how to respond to several common workplace emergency events that require immediate and direct management action. While it won’t move you into a more logistical field, it will help round out your general skills as a manager.

Career path

A bachelor’s degree in logistics or a related field is required to become a Materials Manager. Many companies also need Materials Manager candidates to have experience managing team members and knowledge of supply chain maintenance. Successful Materials Managers can often progress into higher management positions, perhaps supervising logistics for an entire division or region in large companies.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-3061

2020 Employment74,400
Projected Employment in 203079,000
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 6% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift4,600 increase

According to the industry website Materials Handling & Logistics, a shortage of qualified workers and increasing competition for labor are two key trends in the Materials Manager field. Because of the deficit, industry thought leaders say companies will have to look at adjusting salaries for some positions to stay competitive. They’ll also have to make changes to the company’s culture to remain attractive to prospective employees.

The increasing use of cloud-based software for materials management is another trend in the field. More companies are using cloud-hosted systems for things like warehouse management and transportation management. This process allows companies to update workers on warehouse inventory in real-time, increasing efficiency in managing the supply chain, and getting materials out to project sites on time.

Sample interview questions

  • How do you go about determining the materials needed per shift?
  • How would you go about maintaining the best possible relationships with suppliers you work with?
  • Let’s say there’s a last-minute order from a customer, and there isn’t any material available in production or the warehouse. What would you do in this situation?
  • In your opinion, what role does monitoring and reporting play within the scope of a materials manager?
  • Can you describe inventory control? What are the effects of good and bad inventory control?
  • What’s the difference between purchasing requisition and a purchase order?
  • How do you go about forecasting to more accurately determine inventory?

Materials Manager Jobs in Ashburn

    Loading RSS Feed

Need help hiring a Materials Manager?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. Your next career move or star employee is just around the corner. Review our career content and advice, browse our latest job openings, or email us your resume. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Browse A-Z Job Descriptions