28 February 2008 | Paul Snell
The average salary for buyers has risen by nearly £2,000 in the past 12 months, according to a survey by recruitment company Purcon.
Purchasers received an average of £42,087 last year, a rise of 2.6 per cent compared with £40,990 in 2006. This was above the national average.
But although the pay gap between small and large firms started to narrow in 2006, with a difference of just over £8,000, last year the gap widened to more than £10,000.
The average salary for a purchaser working at a company with up to 250 employees was £39,241 last year. This compared with £49,641 for buyers working at firms with more than 2,000 staff.
The pharmaceutical and financial services sectors remained the highest payers, but buyers in the fast-moving consumer goods sector are expected to join the ranks of the best paid in 2008.
Mark Peasley, compensation and benefits consultant at Purcon, said: "We expect to see an increase in the FMCG sector, as they look to procurement to increase delivery to the bottom line."
He added that it was now less important for FMCG firms to recruit buyers who had experience or a background in the sector and firms were casting their nets wider. But he said that competition for the best candidates was helping to keep salaries high.
Bonuses and rewards are also expected to play an increasing role in buyers' remuneration. The average bonus for purchasers was more than 11 per cent of their salary last year, with an average of 25 per cent in the top jobs. This was often made up of a minimum bonus and a performance-based increase.