What are Different Types of Distribution Supervisor Jobs?

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  • Written By: Lori Smith
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
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  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2019
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A distribution supervisor generally holds an upper-management position within a warehouse facility that distributes products to consumers or retail stores throughout the world. He or she oversees the day-to-day operation and allocation of merchandise, usually from a central location. There are many types of distribution supervisor jobs available. Depending on the individual's area of expertise and the certification required for some areas of specialty, distribution supervisor jobs can be found in industries such as petroleum, water, and perishable products. Virtually all goods shipped globally come from a distribution center.

Everything from auto parts to food products originate from some kind of distribution facility. For this reason, some distribution supervisor jobs are more specialized than others. An example of just such a specific facility would be one that involves petroleum and oil. These often require workers to have a special type of certification and knowledge base.

A hazardous materials (HAZMAT) operators license and a certificate in health and safety management is usually required of people who hold a supervisory position involving petroleum. This industry is responsible for loading gasoline into the trucks that supply fuel to gas stations worldwide. Such training and education is typically necessary for employees who routinely deal with chemicals and other potentially dangerous substances.


Water distribution supervisors are responsible for overseeing the distribution of water to local businesses and residents. They also hold special certifications to perform their jobs. A water distribution license, issued by the local health services department, and other certificates are usually required in this job. Safety practices, along with extensive knowledge of laws and ordinances of the jurisdiction involved are also needed, to ensure the safety of the water supply.

Overall, distribution supervisor jobs generally require the individual to ensure appropriate inventory to fulfill orders, receive shipments of incoming product, and to schedule outgoing orders to clients. He or she also makes sure the quality of the product is suitable for shipment. Human resource issues β€” such as interviewing, hiring, terminating, and training employees β€” are another typical part of the distribution supervisor's duties.

There is often a strong emphasis on customer service in distribution supervisor jobs. These managers should be comfortable interacting with clients and resolving problems in a professional and diplomatic fashion. Most companies hire distribution supervisors based on previous experience in operations, logistics, and distribution. Sound organizational, management, and computer skills are usually a prerequisite for distribution supervisor jobs.

The salary of a distribution supervisor usually starts at $90,000 US Dollars (USD) per year. Depending on the individual's experience, certifications, location, and industry, annual salary can reach over $160,000 USD. Benefits, like health savings and pension plans, are also commonly included in the compensation package for such a professional.


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