The median salary of supply chain managers/directors dropped to $117,000 from $129,000 last year, according to Logistics Management’s latest annual survey of logistics and supply chain salaries.
The survey results are based on 687 qualified respondents, 55 of which were supply chain managers/directors. Median salaries for employees whose primary job function is supply chain management fell to $110,000 from $120,000 in 2016.
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The respondents skewed heavily male (82%) and slightly older (two-thirds of respondents are older than 44). The median salary this year was $90,000, while the average salary was $113,175. (Bonuses and commissions were included.) While the average salary is up from $105,675 last year, this figure has stayed within the $105,000–$120,000 range since 2013. Likewise, the median salary has stayed within the $85,000–$95,000 range.
A third said that their salaries did not change from the previous year, while 61% saw a salary increase. For those who got a salary boost, the increase was 7% on average, comparable to 2016 numbers.
This survey has a small respondent pool, but it is nevertheless interesting to look at the data once filtered by demographic markers such as age or gender. For respondents who were 45 or older, their average salaries increased from 2016. However, respondents under the age of 45 saw the opposite trend. The average salary for 2016 respondents between the ages of 35 and 44 was $99,200, but this year it was $92,075. The median salary for this group similarly dropped to $80,000 from $87,800.
The numbers for respondents under the age of 35 suggest that their salary situation is quite stable. While their average salary decreased to $68,365 this year from $79,840 last year, their median salary — a figure not as sensitive to outliers — increased to $60,000 from $58,000.
The gender pay disparity is also interesting to look at. While the median salary of male respondents was higher than that of female respondents by $10,000, this may be partially attributable to more senior positions being held by men. Compared with 2016 numbers, the median salary for men fell by $7,000 while the median salary for women increased by $5,000. It will be interesting to see whether this gap shrinks over the years, as more women begin to occupy senior positions.
Moving Up the Ladder
The larger part of Logistics Management’s survey had to do with career advancement and job satisfaction. Only 43% of respondents had formal education in logistics or supply chain management, but they were also receiving higher pay, roughly $10,000 more than their peers without formal education. Considering that an undergraduate supply chain major is a relatively recent development, we could expect the percentage of employees with formal supply chain education to increase rapidly in the near future.
When it comes to advancing in one’s career, 50% of respondents cited personal or social networking as having been one of the most important steps for them. So it would seem contradictory that attendance at industry conferences has been on a steady decline over the past few years, as well as obtaining professional certifications. Job-related training has eked ahead as the most common type of logistics and/or supply chain management education to complete.
As for job satisfaction, salary appears to be a crucial component but not the most important. When asked for the factors that “most greatly affect [their] satisfaction with [their] current job,” respondents ranked “feeling of accomplishment” and “relationship with colleagues” before salary and benefits. Similarly, “company politics” contribute more to job dissatisfaction than salary matters.
It is not surprising that there is also a positive correlation between career satisfaction and salary. The median salary for those who said they are “very satisfied” with their careers in supply chain or logistics (49% of respondents) was $109,500, significantly higher than the median $70,000 salary reported by those who are somewhat or very dissatisfied (6%).
Stats, Stats, Stats
Here are some more interesting tidbits from the survey:
- We’re getting busier. More than three-quarters of respondents said that the number of functions they perform at work has increased over the past few years.
- It’s all about connections. More than half got their current job by word of mouth or were promoted or changed positions internally.
- Experience counts. The median salary for those with three years of experience or less is $56,300, whereas more than 30 years of experience gets you roughly $124,000.
- Try old avenues and new when looking for better-paying opportunities. Social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook tied with good old word of mouth in helpfulness.
Finally, we would recommend our field to people we care about. A full 83% said they would recommend supply chain management or logistics work to their children or friends.