26 May 2005 | Liam O'Brien
Purchasers at senior and middle management levels receive higher average basic salaries than colleagues in comparable business functions, according to new research.
However, average pay for director-level buyers is below that for IT and finance directors.
The Purchasing & Supply R£WARDS survey, from CIPS and Croner Reward, puts the average salary for a senior purchasing manager at £53,364, 13.5 per cent more than their lowest-paid counterparts, in HR.
A senior/middle manager earned £41,000, a 9.2 per cent lead over their HR equivalents.Click to view full size image
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Michael Campbell, director of business development at CIPS, said: "This is a recognition of the increasing role that professional procurement plays in making organisations successful."
He said the increased difficulty of recruiting experienced purchasers is also having an impact on salaries. The average wage increase for purchasers in 2004 was 3 per cent. This is above the government's preferred inflation rate - the consumer price index - which is currently at 1.9 per cent.
But the rise is below the retail price index, which includes mortgage payments, and stands at 3.2 per cent. Pay rose in 2004 for directors (5.2 per cent), senior/middle managers (7.9 per cent), middle managers (7.8 per cent), and junior and assistant managers (both by 11.1 per cent).
But senior managers' salaries were 3 per cent down.
CIPS members earned up to £3,000 more than non-members.
However, the pay gap between male and female purchasing professionals widened dramatically last year.
Senior female purchasers were paid on average 17 per cent less than their male counterparts. At this level, men earned £60,000 and women £50,000. For senior/middle managers, the gap drops to 7 per cent, and in middle management it falls to 3 per cent.
Male junior managers were paid 3.4 per cent more than women, but pay is equal - at £20,000 - for assistant managers.
The findings are in stark contrast to the previous CIPS/Croner Reward survey, which showed female purchasers had caught up with their male colleagues and at some levels, had surpassed them.
Vivienne Copeland, director of client services at Croner Reward, said the widening gender pay gap may be temporary: "Fewer women participated in this year's survey and that could have skewed the results."
The report is based on the responses of 1,600 CIPS members and figures from pay and benefits research company Croner Reward.