Materials Manager Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Materials Manager Do?

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. Additionally, a materials manager may oversee the receiving procedures for the company’s warehouse.

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

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National Average Salary

Materials manager salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Materials Manager is:


Materials Manager Job Descriptions

When it comes to recruiting a materials manager, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.

Example 1

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

Example 2

ABC Company is currently looking to add a Materials Manager to our growing group of hardworking, intelligent, and dedicated employees. The Materials Manager will assist in the planning, procurement, storage, control, and distribution of materials and products according to company needs and customer requirements. The Materials Manager will work daily with Operations Management, Project Management, and Logistics to assure company targets are met as efficiently as possible. The candidate should be meticulous and accurate, have a strong work ethic, and quality mindset.

Main responsibilities:

  • Evaluate suppliers based on delivery speed for their products and services, price, and quality
  • Negotiate with suppliers for product cost, delivery, and contract parameters
  • Function as company purchasing agent for all direct and indirect materials
  • Directs production and inventory control, shipping and receiving, and materials storage
  • Directs production planning and scheduling based on sales forecasts
  • Maintains inventory levels to ensure deliveries occur within customer timelines
  • Maintains and ensures the accuracy of the perpetual inventory
  • Works with suppliers to schedule delivery of materials, supplies, and equipment
  • Oversees receiving functions related to purchased parts and incoming supplies
  • Identifies opportunities to reduce materials and consumable costs and charges
  • Manages and monitors storage of purchased parts and finished goods
  • Assures write-offs on damaged or obsolete inventory to reflect the accurate value of inventory
  • Track material scrap and act or make recommendations to reduce or eliminate
  • Improve and own procedures for conducting and valuing year-end physical inventory
  • Performs other related duties as assigned


  • Excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and work well with all levels of management and staff
  • Proficient with inventory reporting systems
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or similar software

Education and experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or related field required desirable
  • 2+ years of related experience

Example 3

Job summary

In this key role, the Materials Manager is responsible for managing inventory and purchasing raw materials and other supplies for ABC Company. The MM oversees the overall planning, procurement, storage, control, and distribution of materials and products according to ABC Company’s needs and customer requirements.


  • Manages and trains team members
  • Manages inventory control and materials storage
  • Works with production planning and scheduling based on forecasts
  • Maintains inventory levels to ensure deliveries occur within customer timelines
  • Maintains and ensures the accuracy of the perpetual inventory system
  • Works with client services and logistics department to schedule delivery of materials, supplies, and equipment
  • Identifies opportunities to reduce transportation costs and charges
  • Identifies and recommends other purchasing options
  • Manages and monitors storage of purchased parts and finished goods
  • Performs change controls and deviations on appropriate inventory to reflect the accurate value
  • Establishes procedures for conducting and valuing year-end physical inventory
  • Perform other projects and duties as assigned by the CEO for the overall benefit of the organization

Required skills and abilities

  • Excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the proven ability to work well with all levels of management and staff

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business or a related field required
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of related experience preferred
  • Experience required with ISO 9001
  • Proficient with inventory reporting systems and ERP systems
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite

Example 4

Position summary

The Materials Manager is accountable for ensuring the successful scheduling of plant production and assisting in the analysis of long-term production planning. This position is responsible for planning, tactical buying, production scheduling, controlling inventory levels, and working with plant teams to assure that all customer due dates are met. Directs activities and efforts required for optimum utilization of material and provides direction for prioritization of these materials required to support our production plans.

Essential job functions and accountabilities

  • Oversees cycle counts and corrections
  • Participation in SIOP Plan (sales, inventory, and operation planning) process at the plant level
  • Manages the production planning and scheduling of capacities
  • Manages plant-level tactical buying of purchased material
  • Manages the daily expedite process, attends all levels of production meetings
  • Manages warehouse, shipping, and receiving departments and processes
  • Responsible for freight costs and minimized premium freight
  • Responsible for metrics reporting and attainment
  • On-time delivery
  • Production results
  • Past due and recovery plan dates
  • Responsible for inventory management
  • Perpetual inventory total
  • Meeting Safety Stock Settings Health
  • Inventory Accuracy Cycle Count and Projects
  • Annual Physical Inventory
  • Responsible for escalation as necessary
  • Supervise, coach, and develop team
  • Lead recovery plans and capacity analysis, as necessary
  • Participate in projects and continuous improvement activities
  • Work on procedures to continue toward/stay consistent across plants with peer managers
  • Current ERP System IFS
  • Other activities as requested

Reporting to this position

  • 2 Planner Buyers
  • Inventory Accuracy Specialist
  • Shipping Supervisor + Warehouse Team

Knowledge, skills, and abilities

  • A minimum of five years of materials management experience in the areas of operations, production planning, purchasing, warehousing, and logistics
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills
  • ERP/MRP, warehouse management, and logistics systems experience
  • Experience in leading Lean/Six Sigma projects
  • Proven strategic planning skills

Education & certification requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, supply chain, operations, engineering, or related fields
  • APICS and ISM certifications are a plus

Software skills

  • Infor XA/Mapics or IFS ERP platform is a plus
  • Microsoft Office, Teams/Comfortable with video calls

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management. The CPIM demonstrates a candidate’s proven knowledge and skills to intentionally and strategically make operations more streamlined. This certification is for candidates who 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 candidates 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 candidates into a more logistical field, it will help round out their general skills as a manager.

Sample Interview Questions

  • 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?
  • How do you go about forecasting more accurately to determine inventory?
  • How have you optimized materials planning and inventory management in the past?
  • Which strategies have you used to minimize delays or shortages in the past to ensure materials are delivered on time to production?
  • Are you familiar with supply chain management, and how have you ensured that suppliers meet quality and delivery standards?
  • What strategies have you used to make sure your materials management team works efficiently and effectively?
  • Describe how you manage and monitor material costs, and how you minimize waste and maximize spending.
  • How have you used ERP systems for materials management in the past?
  • What steps do you take in the materials management process to ensure compliance with safety regulations and environmental standards?

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