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How Do I Become an Inventory Control Specialist?

Find out about the job duties of inventory control specialists. Learn what education and training is required to work in this field, as well as the skills needed.

Overview of Inventory Control Specialist Careers

Inventory control or inventory management is the combined procedures, policies and techniques used by companies in maintaining the optimum number of inventory items. Organizations don't want to have too much of an item on hand due to space concerns, and having too few items means they can't keep up with demand in a timely manner.

Many industries have a need for inventory control, including the manufacturing, transportation, electronics and merchandising industries. Inventory control workers who deal with prescription drugs, alcohol, or jewelry may need to be bonded.

Important Facts About Inventory Control Specialists

Work EnvironmentFull-time office setting during regular business hours
Top IndustriesFederal government, Scientific/Technical Consulting Services, Aerospace, Parts Manufacturing, Computer Systems
Experience/Training Work-related experience in business or logistics recommended
Similar OccupationsQuality Control Inspectors, Cost Estimators, Management Analysts, Operation Research Analysts

Job Duties

Inventory control specialists generally work in a warehouse environment where they order, monitor and store parts, products and other inventory. To maintain this huge amount of items, inventory control specialists use computerized inventory systems. However, these workers do more than control the incoming and outgoing inventory for an organization. Inventory control specialists develop, implement and maintain inventory control policies and procedures for their place of employment. In addition, they may be involved with training department personnel and other workers.

The job title of inventory control specialist is not to be confused with inventory control clerks. Clerks work under the supervision of inventory control specialists.

Required Education

A bachelor's degree in a field such as business, engineering, or mathematics provides a comprehensive background for inventory control specialist work; an associate's degree in a similar field may suffice for individuals with relevant work experience. Supplemental certificate programs in inventory management are also available. This education is helpful as the field of inventory control continues to adopt technology to automate many of its processes. Other important skills are as follows:

  • Recordkeeping
  • Typing
  • Filing
  • Computer and business equipment operation

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), logisticians, including inventory control specialists, had a median annual salary of $74,600 in May 2018. The BLS projects that jobs for logisticians will increase by 7% from 2016 to 2026.