Inventory Control Specialist Careers


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$24,100 /yr

$11.59 /hr

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Inventory control specialists work in warehouses, managing data that allows them to track and manage the inventory. They use the data to keep track of how much inventory is in the warehouse, where it’s stored, which parts are needed, and the right time for distribution.  Inventory control specialists may also track defective items, the rate at which products are returned, purchase rates and speed in order to improve quality control and the most profitable inventory levels.

Inventory Control Specialist Job Description

An inventory control specialist manages data and inventory. It’s their job to catalogue stocked items, perform physical checks to ensure data accuracy, and work with data management software. They also maintain the correct stock levels to ensure the most profitable levels of stock at all times, based on demand and production.

Inventory control specialists also develops procedures to guard against theft, and identifies which items are most likely to be stolen—so security around those items can be increased. They also implement loss prevention strategies to manage return of damaged items and missing components.

How to Become an Inventory Control Specialist 

There are no specific education requirements for a job as an inventory control specialist—and someone with experience may be able to land a job with only a high school diploma. However, employers tend to prefer candidates with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in an area such as business, math, or computer science.

This career is not regulated at the state or federal level—so you won’t have to undergo a licensing process to get a job. However, there are professional certifications that could give you an advantage in the job market. For instance, the Association for Operations Management (APICS)  offers a certification in production and inventory management (CPIM) that is well-respected in the industry.

Inventory Control Specialists and Online Degrees 

Generally, this field is fairly open to accredited online degrees. Adult and nontraditional students are common in the manufacturing sector, and a diploma from an accredited online college is likely to give you an edge over candidates with a lower-level degree or a high school diploma. Some companies offer their employees tuition reimbursement or assistance in order to get a degree, and many prefer online degrees for their flexibility.

Inventory Control Specialist Salary

The average pay for inventory control specialists ranged from $32,017 to $49,596 according to’s 2010 data. This amount may vary depending on your years of experience, level of education, and the geographic area in which you live.

Job Outlook for Inventory Control Specialists

It’s difficult to predict the job outlook for inventory control specialists. Approximately 80% of people working in this field are in the manufacturing sector, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Manufacturing is a shrinking field in the US, but there may still be growth in this area due to high retirement turnover in the industry.

Benefits and Drawbacks to Becoming an Inventory Control Specialist

This field can be physically challenging; inventory control specialists may be asked to lift heavy objects or stay on their feet and moving around the warehouse all day. The education investment is a bit high for the amount of pay available on average, and the number of jobs available in the US isn’t growing fast.

However, if you have the right experience, you may not need a higher-level degree. And these jobs tend to be stable once you get them—and could lead to a higher-paying job down the line. For the right person with experience in math, database management, manufacturing, and computers, an inventory control specialist job may call on the right combination of skills to make a fulfilling career.

For More Information:

Occupational Outlook Handbook: Material Recording Clerks
Association for Operations Management (APICS)


Where to Find Inventory Control Specialist Jobs