Supply chains are all around us and fundamental to how we live. The food we eat, clothes we wear, buildings we inhabit, transport and equipment we use each and every day are all examples of how we use and benefit from multiple supply chains. New technologies, automation, big data and sophisticated analytics are rapidly changing how supply chains operate and quickly evolving the job roles and skills needed by individual workers.

Supply chain roles and responsibilities now encompass a wide range of occupations such as demand planning, design analyst, inventory control, customer service and fulfilment, logistics and freight, production planning, sourcing and purchasing, supplier management, IT and finance to name but a few.

Supply chain career paths are changing with plenty of new and exciting opportunities available! The development of digital systems and applications throughout the domestic and international supply chain ecosystem will see many more diverse and different supply chain careers becoming available.

In an increasingly interconnected world, the benefits of a diverse supply chain workforce that’s well trained and technologically adept will be critical to the success of Australia’s businesses.

There are many different types of supply chain jobs available at every level. If an exciting career with plenty of opportunities is what you want, then a career in the supply chain industry is for you!

The scope of supply chain management and operations is very broad; as a career choice the industry offers a wide variety of jobs at every level.


Supply chains begin with the process of manufacturing and end with consumers purchasing  products. The production environment is an important part of the supply chain so it is possible to enter the supply chain profession by way of a manufacturing job.

One of the most popular roles within manufacturing is that of production manager. Among other duties, production managers are responsible for coordinating production schedules, determining how long the manufacturing process for a product will take and keeping track of  finished product inventory.

Supply chain roles in manufacturing can include:

  • Engineer
  • Maintenance operative, supervisor and manager
  • Materials analyst
  • Materials scheduler
  • Production operative, supervisor and manager
  • Production planner
  • Production warehouse manager
  • Purchasing manager
  • Quality manager

Supply chain planning

Planning is required at every stage of the supply chain. Planners typically monitor and manage inventories, forecast sales and production levels, undertake capacity planning, map out material requirements and track delivery performance.

Planning roles available in supply chains include:

  • Capacity planner
  • Demand planner
  • Load planner
  • Logistics resource planner
  • Production planner
  • Supply chain planner

Data analysis

With the increase in digital systems and applications in supply chains the analysis of all the data that is collected is going to be critical to meeting domestic and international business requirements. All of the processes involved in meeting consumer requirements will be data driven.

Data analysis roles in supply chains include:

  • Data acquisition engineer
  • Data administrator
  • Data analyst
  • Data manager
  • Statistician


Procurement, including sourcing and purchasing, can provide a fantastic grounding in how sales, services, inventory management and logistics interconnect throughout supply chains.

Individuals working in procurement identify and purchase raw materials needed to create products, engage in commercial negotiations over product price and supplier service, make contractual agreements with suppliers and ensure that inbound transportation of all purchased goods is achieved within required time frames.

There are a variety of opportunities in supply chain procurement including:

  • Buyer
  • Category manager
  • Commodities manager
  • Procurement analyst
  • Procurement officer, manager or specialist
  • Purchasing and inventory officer or manager
  • Strategic sourcing manager

Transportation and Logistics

Logistics is primarily concerned with the movement of materials, goods and information. Getting products to where they are meant to go is the main goal of a supply chain and this would not be possible without transportation.

The advantage of working in logistics is that an individual can start on the warehouse floor and from there progress into other roles. It is not uncommon to find that Chief Supply Chain Officers have typically spent time managing warehouses and/or transport operations.

There are a wide range of supply chain career opportunities in logistics and transportation including:

  • Driver
  • Inventory controller
  • Logistics administrator
  • Logistics analyst
  • Logistics director
  • Logistics manager
  • Reverse logistics manager
  • Transport administrator
  • Transport analyst
  • Transport manager
  • Warehouse administrator
  • Warehouse manager
  • Warehouse operative

Customer service

There are customer service career opportunities in supply chains ranging from entry level through to managerial roles. Customer service roles typically have responsibility for overseeing customer and/or client levels of satisfaction and the resolution of all complaints.

Customer service roles in supply chains include:

  • Account specialist
  • Customer service manager
  • Resolutions manager

Other supply chain roles

Other roles in supply chains that can provide exciting and satisfying careers include:

    • Supply Chain Solution Design Analyst:  This role is responsible for analysing supply chains and designing solutions to improve their performance.
    • Supply Chain Finance Management: Larger businesses may require expertise in the financial management of supply chain expenses.
    • Supply Chain IT: Larger businesses often have IT departments that provide and manage the technology for supply chain functions.
    • Sales roles: Ocean, air and overland transportation carriers, 3PL and 4PL specialists sell their services in support of supply chain operations. A sales role requires a good understanding of every aspect of the supply chains operation.
    • Project Management: Larger businesses can have a variety of supply chain projects requiring oversight to ensure KPIs are met.
    • Supply Chain Consulting: Consulting firms that specialise in supply chains offer a diverse variety of projects for consultants to work on. Consultants are generally expected to have experience in supply chain management before they take on a consulting role.

You can choose to either generalise or specialise your supply chain career. Your supply chain vocational education and training qualifications can open doors to exciting opportunities in Australia or oversees. 

Supply Chain Director/General ManagerPostgraduate
Supply Chain/Logistics General ManagerPostgraduate
Supply Chain/Logistics Solution Design ManagerPostgraduate
Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain/Logistics Chief AnalystDegree
Supply Chain Operations ManagerDegree
Supply Chain Chief OfficerDegree
Planning and Scheduling
Demand ManagerDiploma/Degree
Demand/Inventory PlannerDiploma/Degree
Supply Planner/SchedulerDiploma/Degree
Supply Chain PlannerDiploma/Degree
Procurement and Purchasing
Procurement/Strategic Sourcing Director/General ManagerPostgraduate
Procurement /Strategic Sourcing ManagerPostgraduate
Contracts ManagerDegree
Category/Commodity ManagerDiploma/Degree
Purchasing/Procurement Buyer/Agent/ManagerDiploma/Degree
Procurement AnalystDiploma/Degree
Purchasing/Inventory OfficerCertificate IV/Diploma
Sales Director/ManagerDegree
National/State Sales ManagerDegree
Marketing ManagerDiploma/Degree
Contract Account Manager/ExecutiveDiploma/Degree
E-Commerce Executive/ManagerDegree
Business Development ManagerDiploma/Degree
Sales/Marketing AnalystDiploma/Degree
Sales RepresentativeDiploma
Category Executive/AnalystDegree
Retail ManagerDegree/Postgraduate
State/Regional ManagerDegree
Replenishment Planning ManagerDegree
Space Planning ManagerDiploma/Degree
Store ManagerCertificate IV/Diploma
Customer Service
Call Centre DirectorDiploma/Degree
Call Centre ManagerDiploma
Client Relationship ManagerDiploma
Customer Service OperatorCertificate III/IV
Freight Forwarding
Freight Forwarding ManagerDiploma
Freight SchedulerCertificate IV
Freight AllocatorCertificate IV
Customs Brokers
Customs ManagerDiploma/Licence
Account ManagerDiploma/Licence
Customs BrokerDiploma/Licence
Operations SuperintendentAdv. Diploma/Degree/Postgraduate
Container Terminal ManagerCertificate IV/Diploma
Automation Equipment CoordinatorCertificate IV/Diploma
Shift SupervisorCertificate III/IV
Vessel PlannerCertificate III/IV/Diploma
Yard PlannerCertificate III/IV
StevedoreCertificate II/III
Stevedore ManagerDiploma
Ship to Shore Automation CoordinatorCertificate II/III/Licence
Ship Master/CaptainAdv. Diploma/Degree/Licence
Marine PilotAdv. Diploma/Degree/Licence
Marine EngineerAdv. Diploma/Licence
Deck OfficerCertificate IV/Diploma/Degree
Ship PlannerDiploma
Integrated Rating/Deck HandCertificate III
Operations ManagerDiploma/Degree/Licence
Duty SupervisorDiploma/Degree/Licence
Load SupervisorCertificate IV/Licence
Load Assembly OfficerCertificate III/Licence
Documentation OfficerCertificate II/Licence
Leading Hand/Store personCertificate III/IV
Network Operations ManagerCertificate IV/Diploma
Network ControllerCertificate IV
Terminal Operator/ManagerDiploma
Network Operations Performance OfficerDegree
Train Controller/SchedulerDiploma
Train PlannerCertificate IV
Freight Train DriverCertificate IV
Project ManagerDiploma/Degree
Line Haul ManagerDiploma/Degree
Site/Depot ManagerCertificate IV/Diploma
B Double/Semi DriverCertificate III/IV/Licence
SchedulerCertificate III/IV
AllocatorCertificate III/IV
Delivery DriverCertificate II
Refrigerated Vehicle DriverCertificate III/IV/Licence
Warehousing and Distribution
Network Design/Optimisation ManagerPostgraduate
State/National Distribution ManagerPostgraduate
Distribution Centre/Warehouse ManagerDiploma/Degree
Robotics/Software EngineerDegree/Postgraduate
Logistics Resource PlannerCertificate IV/Diploma
Inventory Analyst/ManagerDiploma/Degree
Transportation Data AnalystDegree/Postgraduate
Warehouse Supervisor/Leading HandCertificate III/IV
Freight HandlerCertificate II
Load PlannerCertificate II/III
Warehouse Assistant/OperativeCertificate II/III
Forklift DriverLicence
Transport PlannerDiploma
Customer Service OfficerDiploma
Stock/Inventory ControllerDiploma
Import/Export OfficerDiploma
Storage and Distribution ManagerDegree
Manufacturing and Engineering
Operations Director/ManagerDegree/Postgraduate
Maintenance Operative/ManagerDiploma/Degree
Production ManagerDegree
Quality ManagerDegree/Postgraduate
Production/Planning OperativeDiploma/Degree
Reliability EngineerDegree
Lean SpecialistDegree
Process EngineerDegree
Project EngineerDegree
Shift SupervisorCertificate III/IV
Graduate EngineerDegree
Materials Planner/ManagerDiploma/Degree
Financial ControllerPostgraduate
Accounts Administrator/CoordinatorDiploma/Degree
Commercial/Financial AnalystDegree
Management AccountantDegree
Human Resources
Human Resources/Industrial Relations Advisor/ManagerDegree
Learning and Development ManagerDegree/Postgraduate
Learning and Development CoordinatorDiploma/Degree
Workplace Health and Safety ManagerDiploma/ Adv Diploma/Degree
Work, Health and Safety ConsultantCertificate IV/Diploma
Information Technology
Information Technology ManagerDegree/Postgraduate
Systems/Solutions ArchitectDegree/Postgraduate
Business Systems/Data AnalystDegree
Systems EngineerDegree
IT Support/Database AdministratorDiploma

Digitally enabled supply chains are the way of the future; many new and interesting career opportunities will open up for those interested in developing their knowledge and skills. 

Whilst many of the basic functions undertaken in supply chains will continue, the way in which they are performed will change due to the impact of technology. The application of digital technology will impact nearly every aspect of supply chain operations.

We are already seeing change, for example:

  • Purchase orders will increasingly be managed through technology
  • Businesses will track their goods electronically to review where and how quickly or slowly they are moving
  • Advanced robotics, particularly those within manufacturing facilities and distribution centres, mean that movements will be monitored, managed and adjusted from a central control
  • Analytics and big data will enable businesses to manage and review the information provided by applications used in the supply chain
  • Control towers will enable oversight of all operations due to end-to-end digital integration of supply chains.

The impact of digital technology will continue to open up many new and interesting roles in the supply chain industry…so watch this space!

Career opportunities in digital supply chains will include, but are not limited to:

  • Business Creator
  • Demand Planner
  • Digital Supply Chain Architect/Engineer
  • Digital Supply Chain Blockchain Administrator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Compliance Coordinator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Consultant
  • Digital Supply Chain Contracts Coordinator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Customer Satisfaction Coordinator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Finance Analyst
  • Digital Supply Chain Information Systems Consultant/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Operations Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Process Improvement Coordinator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Project Officer/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Risk Coordinator/Manager Digital
  • Digital Supply Chain Traceability and Ethics Coordinator
  • Distribution Centre Operative/Manager
  • Global Sourcing Coordinator/Manager/Analyst Inventory Control Coordinator/Manager
  • Inventory Specialist
  • 3PL/4PL Manager (Third/Fourth Party Logistics)
  • Process Manager Procurement/Sales/Data Analyst
  • Procurement/Sourcing Operative/Manager
  • Production Planner/Customisation Manager Project Coordinator/Manager
  • Quality Assurance Assistant/Coordinator/Manager
  • Resource/Sustainability Manager
  • Robotics Operative/Coordinator
  • Specialist Autonomous Delivery Coordinator/Manager
  • Supplier Relationship/Stakeholder Coordinator/Manager
  • Supply Chain Network Planner
  • Supply Chain Operations Support
  • Supply Chain Solutions Analyst
  • Supply Chain Tower Manager (Controller)
  • Transportation Coordinator/Analyst/Manager
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone) Operator
The resources listed below offer further insight into supply chain careers.

Digital supply chains