• Careers and Employment Outlook

    The Production and Logistics Management program is designed to provide the skills needed to enter the job market or advance in supply chain management positions. The growing demand in jobs related to transportation, product distribution and supply chain management provides new opportunities.

    The program includes specialized courses in warehousing, distribution, business logistics, leadership, and decision making, as well as general management training. Industries vary from aviation, energy, retail products and manufacturing to the military.

    Employment change:  Purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents held about 527,400 jobs in 2008. About 42 percent worked in the wholesale trade and manufacturing industries and another 10 percent worked in retail trade. The remainder worked mostly in service establishments, such as management of companies and enterprises or professional, scientific, and technical services. A small number were self-employed.

    Job prospects:  Employment of purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents is expected to increase 7 percent through the year 2018. Job growth and opportunities, however, will differ among different occupations in this category.

    Persons who have a bachelor's degree in engineering, business, economics, or one of the applied sciences should have the best chance of obtaining a buyer position. Industry experience and knowledge of a technical field will be an advantage for those interested in working for a manufacturing or industrial company. Government agencies and larger companies usually require a master's degree in business or public administration for top-level purchasing positions. Most managers need experience in their respective field.

    Median annual wages of purchasing managers were $89,160 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $67,370 and $115,830. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,490, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $142,550.

    Median annual wages of purchasing agents and buyers of farm products were $49,670 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $37,930 and $67,440. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,990, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $96,220.

    Median annual wages of wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products, were $48,710 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $36,460 and $66,090. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,710, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $90,100.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos023.htm  (visited November 16, 2011)..