What's the Job Description of a Materials Planner?

Materials planners typically manage products in a manufacturing environment. Read on to learn more about job responsibilities and potential earnings in this field. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Materials planner jobs are usually found within the manufacturing industry. In this position, you are responsible for planning and monitoring the materials and products used by your company. You ensure that the company doesn't run out of the materials needed to produce its products. You also manage the flow of inventory and make sure products are properly shipped to customers. Using customer information, you help to set up a schedule for ordering materials and maintaining an efficient inventory.

Important Facts About Materials Planners

Licensure None available
Key Skills Situational awareness, excellent communication, organization, good negotiator, physical stamina
Work Environment In office and on-site
Similar Occupations Procurement clerks, cargo and freight agents, weighers, measures, checkers, and samplers

Job Duties

The specific duties you'll carry out will support your main duty of keeping production flowing smoothly with the needed materials. This ensures a steady supply of products to customers. You'll create and maintain an inventory schedule by watching trends and customer demands to make sure there are always enough products and manufacturing materials.

Additionally, you'll organize and schedule deliveries to customers and manage relationships with suppliers. Handling customer complaints involving supply and delivery will also be part of your job. You may also be responsible for finding new suppliers when needed.

Job Requirements

According to December 2015 job ads from Monster.com, education requirements may vary greatly with some employers. While some may accept and be willing to train applicants with a high school diploma, others will require individuals to have a bachelor's degree. However, no matter what someone's educational level is, many employers will prefer applicants to have at least a few years of experience in material planning or inventory control. Employers will also want you to have knowledge of shipping, receiving, computerized inventory systems, and word processing programs. According to O*Net Online (www.onetonline.org), 36% of production, planning, and expediting clerks - including materials planners and materials coordinators - hold no more than a high school diploma, while 15% a post-secondary certificate and 25% hold a bachelor's degree.

Some employers may want you to be certified in production and inventory management. Typically, the certification required is through the Association for Operations Management (APICS). The APICS offers the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designation to those who pass all five parts of the certification exam (www.apics.org).

Salary Information

According to PayScale.com, as recently as September 2015, the majority of materials planners earn between $36,076 and $71,247 a year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that for the years spanning 2014-2024, employment of production, planning, and expediting clerks will grow by about 2.1%.

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