What Kinds of Careers are in the Supply Chain Industry? 

April 25th, 2024

In today’s interconnected world, the efficiency and effectiveness of supply chains are vital for businesses to thrive. The supply chain is the backbone of the global economy. It is the intricate network that moves goods from raw materials to finished products, ultimately landing them in the hands of consumers.  Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of overseeing this flow of goods, ensuring efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and timely delivery. 

The supply chain industry offers a diverse range of exciting career opportunities.  Whether you are detail-oriented, analytical, or enjoy problem-solving, there is a role waiting for you.  This article explores various career paths within the vast world of supply chain management in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. 

What is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management encompasses all the activities involved in getting a product from conception to the customer.  This includes: 

  • Sourcing raw materials: Identifying and negotiating with suppliers for the materials needed to produce goods. 
  • Production planning: Forecasting demand, scheduling production runs, and managing inventory levels. 
  • Warehousing and distribution: Efficiently storing and transporting goods to retailers or directly to consumers. 
  • Logistics: Coordinating the movement of goods, including transportation, customs clearance, and warehousing. 
  • Inventory management: Monitoring stock levels to avoid stockouts or excess inventory. 
  • Returns management: Developing processes for dealing with product returns. 

Effective supply chain management is crucial for business success. It ensures products are available when and where customers need them, minimizes costs, and mitigates risks associated with disruptions. 

Careers in the Supply Chain industry

Supply Chain Planner 

Supply chain planners are the strategists behind the scenes.  They analyze market trends, customer demand, and production capacity to develop optimal production and distribution plans.  This role requires strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to forecast future needs. Supply chain planners often use specialized software to model and optimize supply chain processes. 


Dispatchers are the traffic controllers of the supply chain.  They schedule deliveries, assign routes to drivers, and track shipments in real-time.  Dispatchers need excellent communication, problem-solving, and organizational skills.  They must ensure deliveries are made on time, within budget, and adhere to safety regulations. 

 Freight Agent 

Freight agents act as intermediaries between shippers and transportation companies. They secure the most cost-effective shipping options for clients, negotiating rates and arranging logistics.  Freight agents require strong communication, negotiation, and customer service skills.  They must stay up-to-date on transportation regulations and industry trends. 

Logistics Coordinator 

Logistics coordinators oversee the day-to-day operations of warehouses and distribution centers.  They are responsible for receiving, storing, picking, and packing goods for shipment.  This role requires strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. 

Inventory Analyst 

Inventory analysts ensure companies have the right amount of stock on hand to meet customer demand without incurring unnecessary storage costs. They analyze sales data, track inventory levels, and develop forecasting models to predict future needs.  Inventory analysts require strong analytical skills and a good understanding of inventory management principles. 

How Much Does a Career in the Supply Chain Industry Pay?

Salaries in the supply chain industry vary depending on factors such as job role, experience, location, and the size of the organization. According to data from the Government of Canada Job Bank, an entry-level position such as Logistics Coordinator may start at around $40,000 CAD per year, while a senior role such as Supply Chain Manager can earn upwards of $130,000 CAD annually in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. 

How to Train for Careers in the Supply Chain Industry

There are several paths to entering the supply chain industry in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  Here are some options to consider: 

  • College Diplomas and Certificates: Eastern College offers programs in supply chain and logistics, both in online and in-person formats. These programs provide students with the essential knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce. Students will study key concepts in supply chain and logistics and learn from instructors with expert knowledge of the field. Over the course of a 16-week internship, students will apply what they’ve learned in real-world scenarios and graduate with the hands-on experience that employers want.
  • On-the-Job Training: Many companies offer on-the-job training programs for entry-level positions in the supply chain industry. These programs typically combine classroom learning with practical experience. 
  • Professional Certifications: Earning a professional certification, such as becoming a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) or Certified Logistics Professional (CLP) can enhance career prospects and demonstrate expertise to employers. 

The supply chain industry offers a wide range of rewarding career opportunities for individuals with diverse skills and interests. Whether you’re drawn to planning, logistics, analysis, or coordination, there’s a role for you in this dynamic and essential field. With the right education, training, and experience, you can build a successful career in supply chain management and contribute to the efficient flow of goods and services in the global marketplace.