Distribution Manager Salary

By Henry R. Steele - January 8, 2018
Reading Time: 8 minutes

The following article discusses the career path of Distribution Manager. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Distribution Managers.

Job Duties

Distribution managers focus on the daily tasks that relate to ensuring large quantities of goods are delivered on time. This is a skill needed by a variety of different organizations, from electronics to the food industry. Typically, their work includes maintaining stock levels for large inventories, focusing on both quantity and quality. They manage warehouses and ensure that consumer demands are met. They work hand in hand with supervisors in warehouses to make sure that all operations are safe, timely, meet quality standards, and ensure that all deliveries are on time.

Often, distribution managers have to be physically fit, as they have to walk long distances in the warehouse. That said, they spend most of their time indoors, unless they assist in the actual loading and unloading of vehicles. With transportation needs becoming increasingly 24/7, these managers do often have to work unsociable hours.

Other job duties are:

  • To be responsible for the strategic operations of a warehouse or distribution center
  • To create manifests, invoices, and transportation or delivery reports
  • To hold responsible for incoming and outgoing freight, and to track product inventory and movement
  • To manage employee assignments, schedules, compliance, and evaluations

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 148,700 logisticians in 2016, a profession closely related to that of the distribution manager. The largest employers of these professionals were:

  • Manufacturing: 25%
  • Federal government: 20%
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: 17%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 10%
  • Wholesale trade: 9%

How to Become

A distribution manager has to have a high school diploma as a minimum. However, more and more commonly, a business or management bachelor’s degree is also required. Most have significant experience in warehouse management, and have an understanding of current shipping technology. They also receive a lot of on the job training.

Education Requirements

A distribution manager has to be able to manage the complexities of supply chains and logistics. As a result, a bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement. Supply chain management, systems engineer, and business are common study subjects. During a bachelor’s degree, they will learn about system dynamics, database management, and operations. Furthermore, they can be exposed to common logistics software, such as RFID (radio-frequency identification).

There is no legal requirement for a distribution manager to become certified. However, certifications do demonstrate commitment to excellence and a broader knowledge. Hence, logistics analysts may choose to become certified through SOLE (the International Society of Logistics) or through APICS. Work experience and education is required for these certifications. Other options are offered through the DUA (Defense Acquisition University), which is required for those who work as a logistics analyst for the Department of Defense.

Work experience is also vitally important. A distribution manager will have gained several years’ experience in supply chains, logistics, and business. Some start in logistical support, such as clerks or dispatchers, and many have a military background. Through work experience, these specialists get to know about supply chain and production processes.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective distribution managers have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Strong critical thinking skills
  • Great customer service skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Strong problem solving skills

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Distribution Manager was $70,204. This number is estimated from over 557,724 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $36.56 and monthly of $5,850.

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$15,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Distribution Manager salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Wyoming had the largest quoted salary of $144,978 while Utah had the smallest quoted salary of $52,874.

Arizona Indiana New Hampshire Utah
California Kentucky New Jersey Virginia
Colorado Massachusetts New York Washington
Florida Maryland Ohio Wisconsin
Georgia Michigan Oregon Wyoming
Hawaii Minnesota Pennsylvania
Iowa Missouri Tennessee
Illinois North Carolina Texas
Arizona$71,663 Rank: 10th

The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Judge Group, Schoening Technology, and GREEN VALLEY NEWS.

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$23,000

$145,000

Salary Distribution
California$76,643 Rank: 6th

The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like SunOpta, Elwood Staffing, Link Staffing, and Schoening Technology.

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$15,000

$187,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$61,120 Rank: 24th

The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Paragon 28, Inc..

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$18,000

$129,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$54,973 Rank: 28th

The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Adonexis Llc, Express Employment Professionals, Gannett, and USA Today Network.

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$14,000

$143,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$76,721 Rank: 5th

The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Judge Group, CyberCoders, Tech USA, and GSS InfoTech.

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$22,000

$163,000

Salary Distribution
Hawaii$69,714 Rank: 14th

The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Staffingpower and The Patisserie Inc..

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$19,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$70,568 Rank: 12th

The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Worksource, Incorporated.

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$17,000

$159,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$81,241 Rank: 3rd

The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The laSalle Network, H.B. Fuller, Schoening Technology, and Republic Services.

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$18,000

$190,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$70,138 Rank: 13th

The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like MRINetwork, Gator Cases, The Times, and Quad-City Times.

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$15,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$61,131 Rank: 23rd

The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like McLane Company.

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$28,000

$106,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$71,132 Rank: 11th

The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, The Judge Group, Finish Line, and MSG Staffing.

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$18,000

$160,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$65,375 Rank: 19th

The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like WSSC.

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$15,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$58,920 Rank: 26th

The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Midwest Executive Search, Express Employment Professionals, and Macomb Distribution Company.

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$19,000

$120,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$69,433 Rank: 15th

The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Career Brokers, Inc., Integrity Technical Services, Inc., Katapult Network, and Manpower.

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$23,000

$141,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$59,067 Rank: 25th

The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Distributor Wire and Cable, Albert Uster Imports, and MU Health Care.

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$14,000

$140,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$67,962 Rank: 18th

The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Orange Water And Sewer Authority, CIG, Schoening Technology, and Advanced Personnel Resources, Inc..

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$18,000

$147,000

Salary Distribution
New Hampshire$75,581 Rank: 7th

The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Leddy Group.

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$38,000

$124,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$74,120 Rank: 8th

The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The ASSURANCE Group, TRACTION TIRE, F-O-R-T-U-N-E Personnel Consultants, Inc., and Career Brokers, Inc..

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$14,000

$180,000

Salary Distribution
New York$62,415 Rank: 22nd

The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, TalentServed, Mercer Distribution & Transport, and YRC Freight.

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$14,000

$155,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$72,167 Rank: 9th

The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Bertram & Associates, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Company Propane, and Aerotek.

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$20,000

$154,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$58,080 Rank: 27th

The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Express Employment Professionals, RMLS, Oregon Leaf, and Lewis & Clark.

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$15,000

$129,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$77,331 Rank: 4th

The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Right Recruiting, Schoening Technology, DISTRIBUTOR, and Amer Technology, Inc.

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$16,000

$185,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$63,435 Rank: 21st

The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Austin Allen Company, Schoening Technology, NIKE, and NovaCopy.

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$19,000

$134,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$69,141 Rank: 16th

The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like GTR, Babich & Associates, Schoening Technology, and FMC Corporation.

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$18,000

$154,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$52,874 Rank: 29th

The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like YRC Freight.

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$14,000

$116,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$63,950 Rank: 20th

The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Ashley Furniture HomeStore and HKA Enterprises.

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$16,000

$144,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$68,862 Rank: 17th

The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Schoening Technology and Spokesman Review.

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$17,000

$155,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$100,826 Rank: 2nd

The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Judge Group, Alliance Search Solutions, Cold Front Distribution, and Dunham Express.

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$25,000

$226,000

Salary Distribution
Wyoming$144,978 Rank: 1st

The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Performance Search Group.

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$72,000

$218,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Distribution Manager. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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