Next Level Purchasing Association Publishes Annual Salary Survey

The Next Level Purchasing Association has published its fifth annual procurement Salary Survey. Whilst it may not be the largest such survey in the world, with over 1,300 purchasing and supply management professionals from around the world participating, it is well worth a look.

So, what is the average purchasing and supply management salary? That would be some $57,952 (or around £36,000). This year’s average is up 2.9% from last year’s – NLPA call that “meagre” but in a low inflation environment, most of us might settle for a 3% raise!

But as we might expect, there are big variations between regions. And “Procurement salaries in Europe seemed to fall closer to those in South America than to the United States. Because salary information was collected, and is expressed in, US Dollars, this is likely attributable to the weakening of the Euro versus the US Dollar.” Indeed the dollar has strengthened by over 15% against the euro in the last year. So by region, average salaries are:

Africa $25,553
Asia $45,653
South America $47,524
Europe $56,226
North America $79,027
Australia/Oceania $104,734


Other points of note are that the American CPO is now making $300,000 on average. Yet the salary of someone with over 30 years of experience in North America is less than double that of a new entrant to the profession, whereas the difference outside of North America is more than triple. So somehow experience is valued more highly in other non-US parts of the world. And in terms of the size of the organisation, it leads to big salary differences, particular outside the USA.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the “survey revealed that those who have earned the SPSM® Certification (awarded by the NLPA) have an average annual salary that is $8,170 (13.4%) higher than those who have not earned a purchasing certification.” However, we don’t know whether those people are also likely to have ISM or CIPS certification as well of course.  So we can’t be sure of cause and effect here, but good news for the NLPA!

However, there is disappointing news about equality, although it takes a bit of explaining.

“The relatively low salaries outside of North America, combined with the fact that a whopping 81% of non-North American respondents are male, put an inordinate amount of downward pressure on the overall male salary. As such, the overall average salaries by gender were separated by less than two percentage points. But, both inside North America and outside North America, women purchasing and supply management professionals are paid substantially less than their male counterparts.”

This table is the key though. (And women also lag on seniority, by the way).

Gender Average Salary, Overall Average Salary, North America Average Salary, Outside
Female $57,896 $68,240 $35,997
Male $58,921 $87,921 $42,691


Finally, in terms of our review anyway, NLPA are surprised that “buyers of indirect goods and services got paid more than those who buy direct goods and services.” And they say “ Based on the typically perceived relative criticality of direct goods and services, we guessed that the results would be the exact opposite.”

“Typically perceived” – well, not by us! We’re campaigning to abandon the whole direct / indirect classification anyway, but many indirect spend categories are not only more important to organisations than their “direct” categories, they are a lot more challenging from a procurement point of view.

There’s more we haven’t mentioned here, and it is a good read, so do download a copy yourself, free of charge. Here is how to do that.

If you’re already an NLPA member: Head over to, log into the members’ area, and a link to the report will be right there for your downloading pleasure.

If you’re not yet an NLPA member: Register for your complimentary Basic Membership in the Next Level Purchasing Association at After doing so, you’ll receive an email with information about how to log in. After logging into the members area, the report will be right there for your downloading pleasure.

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