Should I Earn a CPIM or CSCP Certification?

CPIM and CSCP certification can help supply chain professionals advance in their careers. Learn whether CPIM or CSCP certification is right for you.

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by Christina Payne

Published June 10, 2022

Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
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Should I Earn a CPIM or CSCP Certification?
Image Credit: Thomas Barwick / DigitalVision / Getty Images


The Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification and the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification both come from the Association for Supply Chain Management (APICS). These certifications help supply chain professionals grow their careers by demonstrating practical knowledge and critical skills in the industry.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that logisticians — professionals who oversee supply chains — will experience 30% growth from 2020-2030, much higher than the national average job growth rate of 8%. In 2021, the median annual wage for logisticians was $77,030.

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Ready to start your journey?

Learn more about CPIM and CSCP certification requirements and benefits on this page.

What Are the Requirements for a CPIM vs. CSCP Certification?

CPIM requirements:

CSCP requirements:

What Skills Will I Learn With a CPIM vs. CSCP Certification?

CPIM certified professionals gain skills in the following areas:

  • Accurately measuring inventory
  • Market forecasting
  • Production schedule management
  • Inventory storage, flow, and handling

CSCP certified professionals gain skills such as:

  • Using data to link production, distribution, and purchasing
  • Reducing supply chain waste
  • Identifying and mitigating supply chain risks
  • Improving communications throughout the supply chain
  • Supply chain design

Is a CPIM vs. CSCP Certification Worth It?

Both CPIM and CSCP certifications can help professionals advance their careers. Certification from a professional organization offers employers concrete proof of skills and knowledge. CPIM and CSCP-certified professionals can leverage their certification into promotions and/or higher salaries.

While CPIM certification may help professionals early in their careers, more experienced employees should consider earning CSCP certification. Readers should note that certification does not guarantee a certain job title or salary. Employees should speak to their current or potential employers about how earning a certification can advance their careers.

What Jobs Can I Get With a CPIM vs. CSCP Certification?

Jobs for CPIM certified professionals include:

Supply Chain Manager: A supply chain manager oversees all parts of a supply chain. These professionals need excellent communication and organizational skills. Supply chain managers determine the best and most efficient ways to keep supply chains operating smoothly. According to Payscale, the average annual salary for supply chain managers was $84,194 as of May 2022.

Production Planner: Production planners in manufacturing oversee day-to-day operations. These professionals order necessary materials, ensure all health and safety regulations are followed, and inspect finished products for quality. Production planners forecast the industry needs to keep up with customer demands. The average annual salary for production planners in manufacturing was $60,618 as of May 2022.

Jobs for CSCP certified professionals include:

Director of Supply Chain Management: Directors of supply chain management oversee every aspect of the supply chain and often have other managers reporting to them. These professionals inspect inventory and seek out the best prices for their goods. The position aims to reduce costs and increase efficiency in supply chain logistics. The average annual salary for this position was $129,124 as of May 2022.

Materials Manager: A materials manager oversees the distribution and intake of all materials used by an organization. These professionals develop and maintain relationships with suppliers to ensure excellent quality for reasonable prices. Materials managers can work in many industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and aerospace systems. The average annual salary for this position was $76,488 as of May 2022.

How Much Money Can I Make With a CPIM vs. CSCP Certification?

Earning CPIM and/or CSCP certification can lead to career advancement and improved salary. According to Payscale, the average annual salary for professionals with a CPIM certification is $80,000. The average annual salary for professionals with a CSCP salary is $86,000.

Readers should note that salary levels can differ depending on many factors, such as the location of a job, the employee's level of education, and the employee's level of experience. Professionals looking for better pay may need to search for a new job or move to an area with more competitive salaries.

Frequently Asked Questions About CPIM vs. CSCP Certifications

Does CPIM vs. CSCP certification expire?

Both CPIM and CSCP certificates expire after five years. However, APICS allows professionals to maintain their certification through professional development activities and continuing education. Professionals who maintain their certification do not need to re-take the certification exams.

Professionals who fail to maintain their certification during those five years will need to retake the exams to qualify again.

Can you do CSCP without CPIM?

Professionals can take the CSCP exam without the CPIM exam. APICS requires CSCP candidates to hold either a bachelor's degree or three years of professional experience if they do not have prior certification to sit for the CSCP exam.

Professionals may also qualify for the CSCP exam if they have passed one of the following certification exams:

  • CFPIM
  • CIRM
  • SCOR-P
  • CPM
  • CSM
  • CPSM

How much does CPIM vs. CSCP certification cost?

The CPIM exam takes place in two parts. Each exam costs $760 for non-APICS members and $545 for members with certification upgrade.

The CSCP exam only requires one part. This exam costs $1,425 for non-APICS members and $1,095 for members with certification upgrade.

APICS plus membership -- membership with certification upgrade -- costs $220.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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