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What Are the Top Supply Chain Management Certifications?

Supply chain management drives numerous industries across the globe. As supply chain management continues to grow as an industry, you might find yourself wondering, “Is a supply chain certification worth it?” 

A study by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) found that 96% of professionals were highly satisfied with their supply chain management careers! If you’re looking to begin a career in supply chain management, a certification is a great next step. 

If you are looking to advance your expertise, a supply chain management certification can help you stand out against your competition, too. This article will explore the best supply chain management certifications available and answer some common questions like, “Are supply chain management jobs in demand?” and “Is supply chain management a good career?”

Quicklook: Best Supply Chain Management Certifications

  1. Best For Logistics Professionals: APICS CLTD Certification
  2. Best For Inventory Management: APICS CPIM Certification
  3. Best For End-to-End Knowledge: APICS CSCP Certification
  4. Best For Effectiveness and Efficiency: APICS SCOR-P Credential
  5. Best For Expansive SCM Knowledge: CSCMP SCPro
  6. Best For Leadership and Intergration: ISM CPSM Certification
  7. Best For Specialization in Supplier Diversity: ISM CPSD Certification
  8. Best For Logisticians: SOLE CPL Certification
  9. Best For Contract Managers: NCMA CPCM Certification
  10. Best For Project Management: PMI PMP Certification
  11. Best For Professional Development: ISSSP Six Sigma Certification

11 Best Supply Chain Management Certifications

Did you know that supply chain management professionals who have taken the time to earn certifications are paid more than those who don’t? In fact, supply chain management professionals with certificates under their belts are paid almost 19% more on average than supply chain management professionals who are not certified. 

If that statistic entices you to look into certifications and figure out how you can earn more for yourself, keep reading! We’re going to take a close look at the 11 best supply chain management certifications out there. 

APICS CLTD Certification

The Association of Supply Chain Management’s CLTD certification provides professionals with an in-depth range of logistics topics. With a certification in logistics, transportation, and distribution, you will have a better understanding of how to streamline the supply chain process, which will empower you in your role as a supply chain manager. 

Best For: Logistics Professionals

Prerequisites: N/A

Application Fee:   

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $895
  • CORE Members: $1,245
  • Non-members: $1,245 

Exam Fee

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $895 
  • CORE Members: $1,145
  • Non-members: $1,145

Retake Fee:  

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $350
  • CORE Members: $425
  • Non-members:  $425

Renewal Fee

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $75
  • CORE Members: $150
  • Non-Members: $150

Certification Expiration: 5 years

APICS CPIM Certification

In order to obtain the APICS Certification in Planning and Inventory Management, you will need to complete two exams within the span of three years. This certification will show employers that you have the experience and the know-how to effectively manage disruptions within the supply chain. 

Best For: Inventory Management

Prerequisites: N/A

Application Fee: While there is no application fee, there is an exam prep course that all applicants must take prior to sitting for the two exams. Each test comes with a prep fee which is as follows. 

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $295
  • CORE Members: $550
  • Non-Members: $550

Exam Fee: Each exam has its own fee. In order to obtain the CPIM certification, you will need to complete both exams. 

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $495
  • CORE Members: $690
  • Non-Members: $690

Retake Fee

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $350 
  • CORE Members: $425
  • Non-members: $425

Renewal Fee

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $75
  • CORE Members: $150 
  • Non-Members: $150 

Certification Expiration: 10 years

APICS CSCP Certification

The APICS CSCP certification is a fantastic opportunity for professionals who are searching for end-to-end knowledge of the supply chain process. This certification will help you master the skills that are required to improve customer satisfaction while still presenting new and innovative ideas to your company, suppliers, and distributors. 

Best For: End-to-End Knowledge

Prerequisites: You must meet one of the following prerequisites:

  • At least three years of business experience in a related field
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • One of the following certifications or designations:
    • CPIM
    • CFPIM
    • SCOR-P
    • SIRM
    • CSM
    • CPSM
    • CPM 

Application Fee: While there is no application fee, you will be required to sit for the CSCP certification exam prep. 

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $995
  • CORE Members: $1,380
  • Non-Members: $1,380

Exam Fee

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $995 
  • CORE Members: $1,295
  • Non-Members: $1,295

Retake Fee

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $350 
  • CORE Members: $425
  • Non-Members: $425

Renewal Fee:

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $75
  • CORE Members: $150
  • Non-Members: $150

Certification Expiration: 10 years

APICS SCOR-P Credential

With the APICS SCOR-P credential certificate, you can learn more about supply chain operations. The course will teach you how to utilize specific tools as a way of evaluating the efficiency of supply chain processes according to the SCOR-P model. This certification will make it possible for you to manage, measure, and improve the performance of your company in terms of the global supply chain processes. 

Best For: Effectiveness and Efficiency

Prerequisites: N/A

Application Fee: There is no application fee. However, you will need to complete a training program prior to sitting for the exam, and the exact cost of the program will vary depending on the course that you select. 

Exam Fee: The exam fee is included in the cost of the training course.

Retake Fee

  • ASCM PLUS Members: $350
  • CORE Members: $425
  • Non-Members: $425

Renewal Fee: N/A

Certification Expiration: N/A

CSCMP SCPro

This three-tiered certification program will help you develop knowledge across multiple skills in the supply chain management process. Their first tier will assess your knowledge regarding the eight elements of supply chain management, whereas the second tier will assess your ability to apply what you’ve learned. The last tier will require you to complete a real-world project. Doing so will ensure that you can positively impact your company by applying your new supply chain management skills in real life. 

Best For: Expansive SCM Knowledge

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites necessary. You can pursue the CSCMP SCPro certification without any experience, but keep in mind that each tier requires the completion of the one before it in order to move forward.

Application Fee: N/A

Exam Fee: You will be required to pay exam fees for the level one and level two tiers.

Level One Exam

  • CSCMP Members: $650 
  • Non-Members: $975

Level Two Exam

  • CSCMP Members: $1,095 
  • Non-Members: $1,500

Retake Fee

Level One Retake Fees

  • CSCMP Members: $295
  • Non-Members: $395

Level Two Retake Fees 

  • CSCMP Members: $500
  • Non-Members: $700

Renewal Fee

  • CSCMP Members: $50
  • Non-Members: $100

Certification Expiration: 3 years

ISM CPSM Certification

Available through the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), the CPSM certification provides a vast overview of supply chain management functions. The premier training experience addresses all of the realities that you could face as a supply chain management employee, including workplace complexities. 

Best For: Leadership and Integration

Prerequisites: You must meet one of the following prerequisites:

  • At least three years of full-time professional work in supply chain management and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • At least five years of full-time professional work in supply chain management with no bachelor’s degree requirement 

Application Fee

  • ISM Members: $119
  • Non-Members: $179

You can also take ISM courses prior to sitting for the exam as a way of improving your chances of success on the exam. The price of each course differs, so look into the exact course program and how much it costs before making any decisions. 

Exam Fee: There are three courses that you will need to take. The cost of the exam is as follows: 

  • ISM Members: $229
  • Non-Members: $379

Retake Fee: There is no discount on retake exams. 

Renewal Fee:

  • ISM Members: $89 
  • Non-Members: $119

Certification Expiration: 4 years

ISM CPSD Certification

The CPSD certification is one of the only options that exist for the specialization of supplier diversity. This much-needed area of expertise is required in order for companies to be socially responsible and in compliance with federal requirements. With a CPSD certification, you will be able to identify and solve challenges that arise pertaining to supplier diversity decisions. 

Best For: Specialization in Supplier Diversity

Prerequisites: You must meet one of the following prerequisites:

  • At least three years of full-time work in the supply chain management industry and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • At least five years of full-time work in the supply chain management industry with no need for a bachelor’s degree 

Application Fee:  

  • ISM Members: $119
  • Non-Members: $179 

You can also enroll in a course prior to sitting for the exam to improve your chances of performing well on the exam.  

Exam Fee

  • ISM Members: $229
  • Non-Members: $379

Retake Fee: There is no discount for exams that need to be retaken. 

Renewal Fee

  • ISM Members: $89
  • Non-Members: $119

Certification Expiration: 3 years

SOLE CPL Certification

Understanding the logistics of supply chains requires discipline and hard work. The SOLE CPL certification recognizes the accomplishments of professionals after they’ve proven their knowledge within defense, international, federal governments, local agencies, commerce, and other relevant institutions. 

Best For: Logisticians

Prerequisites: You must meet one of the following prerequisites prior to applying for the SOLE CPL certification. 

  • At least five years of work experience in the supply chain management industry and a bachelor’s degree
  • At least four years of work experience in the supply chain management industry and a master’s degree
  • At least three years of work experience in the supply chain management industry and a doctoral degree

Application Fee

  • SOLE Members: $225 
  • Non-Members: $375

Exam Fee: The exam fee is included in the application fee.

Retake Fee: The retake fee is $50 for both members and non-members.

Renewal Fee: N/A

Certification Expiration: N/A

NCMA CPCM Certification

The National Contract Management Association offers the Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM) certification for professionals who are looking for a solid understanding of the contract and subcontract activities of both buyers and sellers. 

Best For: Contract Managers

Prerequisites: You must meet the following criteria.

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Five years of work experience in contract management or a closely-related field
  • At least 120 hours of CPE or CLP

Application Fee

  • NCMA Members: $210
  • Non-Members: $410

Exam Fee

  • U.S. and Canada professionals: $125
  • International professionals: $150

Retake Fee: There is no discount for retaking the exam.

Renewal Fee

  • NCMA Members: $95
  • Non-Members: $145

Certification Expiration: 3 years

PMI PMP Certification

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from PMI is considered one of the most vital certifications for project managers. The certification shows that professionals have skill sets like agile and hybrid approaches to project management. These skills can greatly benefit organizations. 

Best For: Project Management

Prerequisites: You must meet one of the following prerequisites before applying.

  • A four-year degree with 36 months of experience leading projects and 35 hours of project management training or education
  • A high school diploma or associate’s degree with 60 months of experience leading projects and 35 hours of project management training or education

Application Fee: N/A

Exam Fee

  • PMI Members: $405
  • Non-members: $555

Retake Fee

  • PMI Members: $275 
  • Non-members: $375

Renewal Fee

  • PMI Members: $60 
  • Non-members: $150

Certification Expiration: Every 3 years

ISSSP Six Sigma Certification

ISSSP is an international non-profit organization that offers Six Sigma accreditation through its high-quality programs. These programs do not offer certification based on exam results alone. Instead, they require that you apply your skills in real-world scenarios. Certificates are available to individuals who complete the Six Sigma training for each belt level that the organization offers.

Best For: Professional Development

Prerequisites: In order to complete the Six Sigma certification, the organization you work for needs to meet the following requirements. 

  • Be an organizational member of ISSSP
  • Have at least one Six Sigma Master Black Belt with two years of training on staff
  • Business operations that have been established for at least a year
  • Require project certification by Green Belts and Black Belts
  • And more

Application Fee: $750. This fee covers the first year of your membership dues.

Exam Fee

  • Black Belt Exam is $395
  • Green Belt Exam is $295
  • Yellow Belt Exam is $195

Retake Fee: N/A

Renewal Fee: Annual renewal fee is $550

Certification Expiration: You must renew your Six Sigma certification every year or else it will expire. 

How Do Supply Chain Management Certifications Work?

Before you begin working towards a professional supply chain management certification, you should first decide which area of supply chain management appeals to you the most. 

Some certifications provide a broad overview of the industry, while other supply chain management certifications are specific to specialized trades within the industry, like inventory management or procurement. 

Supply chain management certifications offer an advantage to those who work in the supply chain industry. Certifications provide professionals with advanced knowledge that makes them a lot more qualified and attractive during the hiring process for a new job. 

Since supply chain management jobs are in high demand, you’ll want to ensure that you stand out from the crowd as much as possible. In the eyes of supply chain management companies, your certification will make it possible for them to instill a lot of trust in you and your abilities to fulfill the duties of the available job position. 

Factors to Consider When Getting Your Certifications

Ready to get started with your search for a supply chain management certification? There are numerous options available, so it can be hard to know where to start. 

We suggest that you consider the following factors when looking for the right supply chain management certification for you. They will help you find the best supply chain management certification to help you meet your professional goals! 

Application Fee

Application fees will vary because each program sets its own prices. The costs of classes and certification exams will differ from one program to the next. Some certifications are free while others can cost hundreds of dollars. You should consider the initial application fee and figure out how it compares to the value that the certification can provide you. 

Exam Fee

Exam fees can range from a few hundred dollars to over one thousand dollars. Make sure you understand how much the exam costs ahead of time so you don’t end up facing unexpected expenses when it’s time to sit for your exam. 

Retake Fee

If you fail your first supply chain management certification exam, you’ll have to retake the exam, which means you’ll have to pay an exam fee again. However, most retake fees are less expensive than the initial cost of the exam. Retake fees are typically half of the cost of the initial exam fee, though this is not the case across the board so be sure you look into how much it costs to retake an exam through the program you’ve selected. 

Renewal Fee

Earning your supply chain management certification is not a one-time ordeal. You will need to renew your certification every few years, and each renewal comes with a renewal fee.

Certification Expiration

In order to ensure that your certification never expires, you will need to update your certification prior to its expiration date. If you forget to renew your certification, it will automatically expire. 

If it expires, you’ll have to go through the process of earning your certification all over again, so it’s best to prevent your certificate from expiring in the first place. Make sure you understand the expiration date of your certification as well as the requirements for renewing it. 

Finding the Right Supply Chain Management Certification

When you explore the possibilities that a career in supply chain management can offer you, you can see that there are various certifications to help you improve your employment options. Be sure to determine if there is a specialty you’d like to pursue, or if you want a general supply chain management certification. 

There’s no right or wrong answer. It is entirely up to you because it’s a personal choice. Either way, you’ll find that all of the best supply chain management certifications can help you expand your career and increase your salary no matter which one you choose.

FAQ

Is a supply chain certification worth it?

A supply chain certification can help you advance your career and increase your salary. If you want to excel in both categories, a supply chain certification is well worth the investment!

Is supply chain management a good career?

Supply chain management jobs are great for people who have superior organizational skills. They are better for those of you who have the desire to orchestrate the flow of products from one point to the next.

Are supply chain management jobs in high demand?

Supply chain management jobs are always in high demand. In fact, the industry has grown 26% recently and is expected to see continued growth. After all, products are being made, packaged, shipped, and stored daily, all of which require teams of people to manage! 

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