NLPA Publishes 2014 Procurement Salaries Report – Finds Major Disparities

Next Level Purchasing Association has today published its fourth annual study of global purchasing  salaries. The guide is a fairly comprehensive overview, containing in-depth market information and analysis of salaries across the globe, and reveals some very interesting statistics about purchasing and supply management salary disparities. 

The pace of change in the industry has quickened, so it’s always important to keep up to date with every aspect of purchasing and supply management. Whether you are aspiring to a higher salary or need to understand the competitive salaries being offered to prospective employees; whatever salary-related decisions you need to make, this type of report is a valuable tool. Questions like: Are salaries going up generally?  In what industries do procurement and supply management professionals make more money?  What difference does certification make?  And how do salaries of women purchasing and supply management professionals compare to those of their male counterparts? All of these questions and more are answered and backed by data from a survey of over 1,100 purchasing and supply management professionals from throughout the world.  

Although this study has less than half of the sample size of ISM's most recent salary survey (and its ninth installment) that we analysed over on SpendMatters.com, the NLP salary report does provide purchasing professionals with not only the hard data findings for the compensation of their peers, but some additional analysis and conclusions to put that data into context. Like the ISM report, it looks at average purchasing and supply management salaries, and then dissects them by continent, supervisory status, title, education level, experience, certification, industry, size of organisation, gender and categories purchased.  The data is documented in clear, easy-to-navigate tables, and being a multi-year study like the ISM study, it is able to report on trends as well as on the current data snapshot.

Key findings

  • A key trend revealed is the considerable growth in purchasing salaries over last year. An 18 percent overall increase in salaries is great news for all purchasing professionals.
  • Two major factors influence this percentage increase. Firstly, the purchasing and supply management profession continues to gain more recognition of its value to organisations’ core functions; secondly, employment has picked up notably in most sectors.
  • However, not all findings are as welcome: a huge salary disparity is unveiled between men and women in purchasing in North America, whereas outside North America average salaries are, and have been, slightly higher for females, skewed we suspect by the overwhelming number of males taking up the lion’s share of the junior positions.
  • Within North America, while job opportunities are equitable, men out-earn their female colleagues by more than 24 percent on average. The report states that “As we dug deeper into the data, we found that, where there was equal pay for women and men, there was unequal opportunity. And where there was equal opportunity for women and men, there was unequal pay.” The statistics for workforce by gender in the US is fascinating, but you’ll find the numbers for outside North America equally interesting.
  • Comparisons by continent tell another story. Salary levels between continents places North America as highest and Africa as lowest. It is interesting to note the huge gap between a junior buyer’s salary at one end of the spectrum and a purchasing executive’s salary at the other. For example, a junior buyer outside of North America can be earning $5,652, while the senior exec can be commanding $97,349 -- figures that certainly make for motivation and career progression! And it’s even more interesting to see the difference that having a formal qualification or degree can make!
  • Add to this the astounding disparity in the global procurement workforce between men and women. Throughout the rest of the world, the disproportion in the procurement workforce by gender is 19 percent female and 81 percent male. Take into account though that this is averaged across a broad range of countries – disparity could be less in some countries than in others, however, it doesn’t get away from the fact that 81 percent of non-North American purchasing and supply management positions are occupied by men!
  • And if you think salary should be commensurate with age and experience – you’d be right. The findings, you’ll be glad to hear, support your view, showing that salary increases steadily with age.

For the first time this year, the NLPA explores whether salary disparity exists at every position level or only some, and digs deeper to understand the disparities themselves, not just that they exist. For more decision-making facts and figures, or just out of pure curiosity, you can obtain the report by joining Next Level Purchasing Association for free here http://www.nextlevelpurchasing.com/.

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