NLPA Report Paints Dismal Look at Procurement, Supply Chain Salaries in 2016

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The global average salary for a purchaser or supply chain management professional is $53,630, down from the 2015 average salary, according to the recent Next Level Purchasing Association 2016 salary report. The survey of more than 1,300 purchasing and supply management professionals from around the world conducted earlier this year shows some in the field are having trouble accelerating their salary growth, the report said.

It also appears that purchasing and supply chain management salaries have “hit the wall.” The average salary increased 18% in 2014 and 3% in 2015, but fell 7.5% this year. However, things may not be a dismal as they seem, NLPA said in its report. One reason for the larger drop in average salaries this year could be the strength of the U.S. dollar compared with other currencies around the world. The report also looks at salaries in the field from around the world, and pay varies widely by continent.

North America Salaries Higher Than Other Continents

When looking at supply chain managers and purchasers in North America alone, average salaries increased slightly by 2.1% in the last year to $80,726, the slowest growth rate in four years, the report said.

Supply managers and purchasers in other countries fare slightly worse — for instance, those in Asia make an average of $34,347, while for professionals in the field in Europe, it’s $57,485. The continent to beat North America in average salaries was Australia/Oceania, where supply managers and purchasers make an average of $97,454.

Not surprisingly, higher-up positions in purchasing and supply chains make more each year. For instance, the average global salary for a junior buyer is $22,451. In North America, that average is $45,500. For purchasing managers, global salaries average $50,480 and in North America they average $83,420. Purchasing executives make $91,784 on average globally, and in North America make $115,500 a year, on average, according to the report.

Major Differences by Industry

The average salaries for supply managers and purchasing varies largely depending on what industries these professionals work in. Supply managers in scientific research and development, for instance, make an average salary of $119,00, while those in consumer goods manufacturing make $63,709. Purchasers and supply managers for government offices and services make an average of $44,795 a year. Those in the hotel industry earn the least, with an average salary of $22,987, according to the NLPA report.  

Gender Gap

Just as the recent ISM 2016 Salary Survey showed, the NLPA report identified a gap in what women in supply management and purchasing make compared with their male counterparts. In North America, women represent 51% of the purchasing and supply management workforce but tend to make less than men. Female buyers make an average of $56,830 a year in North America, while men at the same level make $61,148. In higher positions, say managers and above, women make an average of $83,472 while men make an average salary of $108,996.

One sign of hope for closing this wage gap is that younger generations in the supply chain and procurement fields have slightly more parity among men and women, the NLPA report stated. Men who are part of Generation X — those ages 30 to 39 — make about 6% more than their female counterparts. While still a gap, this is much lower than seen between men and women workers in the baby boomer generation, according to the report.

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