Procurement Salary Survey: How Much Do Your Peers Earn?


When you look closely at salaries of practising procurement professionals by level, industry sector, geography, gender and age, it’s clear that one of the key deciding factors in earning potential is still whether the employee in question is a woman or a man.

Not only is there still a glass ceiling for women in procurement, research shows, but also at every level above the most junior, women are less well-compensated than counterparts who are men. While this isn’t necessarily out of line with other comparable roles, it does demonstrate the underlying prejudices that factor into an individual’s earning potential, even in a relatively up-and-coming area of business.

Yesterday, Procurement Leaders launched the third iteration of its annual salary survey, offering detailed insights into the remuneration levels of practising procurement professionals across all levels and areas of remit.

Aside from the obvious benefits of seeing how contemporaries are compensated, the survey also looked at the packages of procurement professionals of different seniorities and found that while there was an uptick in the market in terms of director-level pay, there were more subtle findings when it came to the gender and age of the participants.

When it came to age, meanwhile, there were signs of a drop-off in salary increases after 40, showing that while procurement functions were able to demonstrate a solid career path for younger staff, for those over a certain age the trajectory, certainly in terms of salary, is less well-defined for those that have not reached the executive level.

Some of the other key findings include:

  • Procurement salaries begin with an average total salary package (base salary + bonus) of €52,000 at the buyer level and progress in a linear fashion to an average total package of a quarter million Euros for CPOs.
  • The largest salary jump observed was among directors who on average earn €50,000 more than a year ago, pointing to an upturn in the upmarket, and consequently, larger bonuses.
  • Switzerland is the country that pays the highest average salary in procurement, currently at €233,161 (averaged across all levels). Meanwhile, the most lucrative industry to work for is consumer goods, followed by manufacturing in second and pharmaceuticals in third place.
  • Although there is inequality of pay between men and women in procurement generally, in certain countries women’s’ salaries relative to those of their male colleagues, have improved. The Netherlands stood out as the most progressive country; here women can earn 5% more than men.
  • Finally, we see a trend of procurement salaries increasing by category specialism, and category or project complexity, illustrating that the function is in need of high-calibre talent.

The study was conducted in Q4 of 2014, and is based on over 2,000 responses from around the world, representing a wide range of industry sectors. We analysed procurement salaries by job level, geography, industry sector, gender, age, as well as other dimensions.