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Job Description for a Materials Planner

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Materials planners work in a manufacturing environment and are a part of the supply chain. The planner works with the manufacturing department to determine the resources necessary to meet the production schedule. The purchasing department and material planners work together to purchase the needed resources.

Primary Duties

The materials planner ensures that production schedules are met by purchasing the necessary materials. The planner also ensures that materials are cost-effective and meet the organization's quality standards. The person in materials planning monitors the performance of vendors to ensure continued quality and timely shipments.

Getting the Right Resources

Materials planners work with engineering to determine the resources needed to meet production schedules. The planner often works from blueprints to determine the specifications for the parts needed to produce the product. Planners also monitor inventory levels and coordinate with purchasing to maintain adequate levels of parts and raw materials to manufacture the product. Materials planner also work to improve delivery times, cost and quality of materials from vendors.

High School a Minimum

Some employers require a materials planner to have a high school diploma and some experience in the organization. Other companies may require the materials planner to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or business administration. Some companies prefer applicants with Six Sigma training.

Math Skills Required

A materials planner must have organizational and computer skills. The planner must have good communications skills to work with various departments in the organization as well as outside vendors. Math skills are required to calculate the amount of materials needed for production. Materials planners also work with inventory databases and ensure that stock quantities are accurate and at appropriate levels.


The median annual income for a materials planner was $54,000, as of May 2014, according to the jobs website Indeed. The salary for a materials planner depends on the size of the company and the employee's experience.


Luanne Kelchner works out of Daytona Beach, Florida and has been freelance writing full time since 2008. Her ghostwriting work has covered a variety of topics but mainly focuses on health and home improvement articles. Kelchner has a degree from Southern New Hampshire University in English language and literature.

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