How Do I Become a Commodity Manager?

Laura M. Sands

To become a commodity manager you will need to first obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher in business management or a related field. Gaining experience working with commodities in some other capacity while you prepare to meet other commodity manager requirements may also help. In addition to education and experience, certain innate talents, such as leadership skills and good communication skills are necessary to become a commodity manager.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

You may be able to access certain entry-level jobs within the commodities industry without a college degree. In order to become a commodity manager, however, it will be necessary to eventually earn at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, business management or a closely related field. Be prepared that, in a competitive employment landscape, some employers prefer candidates for commodity manager careers who have a master’s degree in a business field.

In addition to a solid business education, you will also need to have ample experience prior to becoming a commodity manager. Many employers specifically seek individuals who have experience working for a large supply chain and who understand key commodity manager duties. Giving consideration to taking a lower level position for a company in the commodities business may help you learn the industry and gain experience. Such a strategy may also help you become a commodity manager, as some employers select from within a pool of existing workers for commodity manager training.

While gaining an education and experience in working with commodities, focus specifically on learning about how commodities are bought and sold, how they are marketed and the various risks associated with the industry, in general. Study how commodities fluctuate and try to determine how patterns are established. In particular, pay attention to factors that affect commodity trades, as this information will be useful in helping you perform your best in any area of the commodities business and may help prepare you to eventually become a commodity manager.

Prior to seeking opportunities to become a commodity manager, there are certain skills you should possess or develop such as analytical thinking skills and effective leadership skills. Practicing executive attention is important, as you must be able to work with a laser focus, have a keen eye for detail and not succumb too easily to distractions while working as a commodities manager. You must also be able to communicate well with others in writing and in person, as well as be able to work well as a team member and leader. Strong math and organization skills are also important in helping you become a commodity manager.

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