A scheduler is responsible for keeping inventories stocked and assessing the requirements of the workplace in order to formulate solutions when dealing with the supply of materials, goods, equipment and various other logistical needs. A scheduler can work at retail, staffing agencies, construction or even governmental organizations like the military. They ensure maximum productivity and optimized material delivery with careful planning and inventory keeping. Tight deadlines are not a problem for expert schedulers.
To become a scheduler one must possess at least a high school diploma, although a full college degree will give you an advantage in landing a job. Relevant knowledge is highly desired in the work of a Scheduler and most companies prefer to hire people with an academic background related to scheduling like Business Management for example.
No amount of education can replace experience in the field and many schedulers also learned their trade through internships and working as an assistant or apprentice to a Master Scheduler.
Schedulers plan in order to secure materials when a big undertaking is concerned. They liaise with Project Managers and help them to implement a plan before a project commences. They modify plans to suit requirements and time constraints. Keeping inventories adequately stocked and tracking progress is the main responsibility of Schedulers, whether it is in the retail or construction field. A scheduler consults with the project managers, material suppliers, workforce supervisors and logistics teams in order to glean information, secure materials or give instructions with regards to the needs of a project. A Scheduler gives updates with progress and modifies the plan to formulate solutions for areas that are running behind.
Supplies will usually be depleted after the project starts and the Scheduler analyzes the requirements in order to anticipate demand. Schedulers are the grease behind projects that require extensive logistics and planning. They are responsible for keeping projects running on schedule and on budget.
In order to become an entry level Scheduler you must at least have completed high school education or an equivalent but college graduates are a priority. Equivalent certification and experience in the field are also sought after. You must have an eye for detail and have extensive problem solving skills due to the strict deadlines and budgets of projects. You will be consulting with various branches of the project ranging from staff to material suppliers so interpersonal skills are also very important.
A good understanding of work scheduling practices and computer scheduling programs requires that you be proficient with computers.
Schedulers’ salaries are usually to the tune of $40,000 to $80,000 and it also depends on the area, size of the company and project scale. Schedulers who are considered Master Schedulers will earn more and are usually responsible for very large construction or retail projects.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Healthcare and retirement benefits are standard but will depend on the amount you make and the size of the company you work for. Bigger companies may have additional benefits for long serving senior Schedulers.