Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast Series – Supply Chain Graduate

Hunter Campbell’s Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast series profiles a scope of roles under the umbrella of Supply Chain, including positions in demand, guidance around wages, and up to date employment prospects.

In our seventeenth instalment, we bring the role of a Supply Chain graduate/entry Supply Chain role into the spotlight.

So you are looking to explore a career in the Supply Chain/operations space? What is the Supply Chain all about?

The Supply Chain is the system of people, activities, resources and information involved in the creation or movement of a product or service from supplier to consumer. A Supply Chain works to ensure that a company’s production and supply is operating as efficiently as possible, whilst customer satisfaction is as high as it can be and production costs are as low as they can be.

The focus of a career in operations is not only about moving commodities, as you get exposed to the strategy and planning aspect of a Supply Chain framework. You will find yourself working closely with internal and external stakeholders such as suppliers, IT, finance and quality.

What might someone do in Supply Chain entry/graduate role?

Supply Chain graduate roles tend to be entry-level positions and typically speaking, the bigger the company, the more developed their graduate programme will be. Larger companies will often have graduate programmes where rotations through different departments is offered. These provide an expansive overview of the organisation as a whole. While you might have a strong set of skills in a particular area, with this rotation model, you will have the opportunity to adapt and learn new skills across different areas of the company.

Smaller companies will provide support across the Supply Chain, primarily in relation to purchasing and logistics and may look to employ you in a Purchasing Officer or Logistics Coordinator role.

Key roles and responsibilities within Supply Chain entry roles/graduate positions could include but will not be limited to:

  • Updating and managing stock on hand, in the warehouse and on the ERP system/Excel
  • Reviewing and maintaining min/max levels
  • Producing stock reports
  • Liaising and negotiating with suppliers
  • Managing shipments from supplier to customer delivery
  • Shipping documentation
  • Processing customer orders

Key skills required for a Supply Chain graduate/entry role?

Entry requirements vary between companies. It is desirable that those entering Supply Chain graduate programmes have done some study in the Supply Chain space though it is not always essential. Some entry Supply Chain roles will not require a degree meanwhile others will, particularly those offering a Supply Chain graduate programme. It is, however, essential that the graduate has a passion and understanding of the eco-system that is a Supply Chain.

You will need to demonstrate capability in the following:

  • Strong Excel skills: Pivot tables/v look ups at a minimum
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Strong analytical and data handling skills
  • A high level of attention to detail
  • Commercial awareness
  • Good numerical capability

Those already working often opt to study towards qualifications such as a Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) from NZPICS. Gaining these qualifications demonstrates a commitment to higher learning that is highly regarded by many employers and will give candidates an additional edge.

Career Prospects

A Supply Chain consists of a wide range of duties and presents the opportunity to develop and progress a career that has variety and lots of moving parts no matter the industry.

Post completing a graduate programme or entry Supply Chain role, individuals could look to progress their capability in one of the following Supply Chain pillars:

  • Procurement (direct or indirect)
  • Logistics
  • Distribution
  • Inventory/Production/Demand/Supply Planning
  • Operations Management
  • Supply Chain Management


With the recent global Supply Chain disruptions that we have been experiencing, the knowledge about Supply Chains and the value they carry is becoming increasingly advantageous. Combining this with a possible recession in sight, there is a likelihood that businesses will hunker down and invest in their Supply Chains. We envisage there to be a steady increase in demand for individuals to join businesses that rely on these frameworks and can then go on to add value to help achieve high levels of serviceability and deliver on cost-saving initiatives.

Salary Guide 

Entry Supply Chain role (no degree or work place experience) $50,000

Supply Chain Graduate (with some form of qualification) $55,000

Supply Chain Graduate with 1+ years of working industry experience $60,000+

Salaries of Supply Chain Entry/Graduate roles vary depending on the level of experience and the responsibilities within a role. A Supply Chain Graduate moving from a warehouse or administration-based role could expect a salary between $50,000 to $55,000. With a season or two under their belt they could expect to be on $55,000-$65,000. Once they gain more experience and show promising signs of progression, they may take on further responsibility in their role, which would likely see them having more autonomy in decision making and moving to a salary between $65,000 to $75,000. When moving into the advanced side there is typically the opportunity to move into Team Lead/Leadership positions.

These salaries will vary depending on the industry, company size and levels of responsibility.

If you would like to find out more about the role of supply chain graduate/entry level roles,  please contact consultant Kat Biggelaar. Kat specialises in Supply Chain, Procurement and Purchasing, Operations, Logistics, Warehousing, Production, Planning and Project Management. For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.

Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast Series

  1.  Demand Planner
  2.  Maintenance Engineer
  3.  Warehouse Manager
  4.  Sales & Operations Planning Manager
  5.  Procurement Category Manager
  6.  Production Planner
  7.  Lean Manufacturing Manager
  8.  Supply Chain Co-ordinator
  9.  Supply Chain Manager
  10.  Logistics Co-ordinator
  11.  Production Manager
  12.  Supply Chain Manager – SME
  13.  Inventory Manager
  14.  Reliability Engineer
  15. Purchasing Officer
  16. Chief Procurement Officer


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