Pay for buyers at top of the heap

29 March 2010

29 March 2010 | Allie Anderson

Purchasers in the UK continue to earn better wages than colleagues in equivalent positions in IT, finance, sales, HR and marketing, a survey released by CIPS has found.

According to the 2010 Purchasing and Supply R£wards research conducted by CIPS and consultancy Croner Reward, junior manager-level salaries are roughly the same across all disciplines, but procurement professionals in posts from middle management to director level are better paid than peers in other functions (see table below).

CPOs were paid on average £90,000, almost £17,500 more than their lowest paid counterparts in HR. The average pay at director level was £80,000. At junior manager level the disparity petered out, with salaries across all functions ranging within around £1,000 of the £30,000 average.

CIPS members get a further boost, earning up to £1,500 more than non-members.

The survey was conducted between October and December 2009 and is based on feedback from 1,700 CIPS members.

Responses were compared against data collected from a bank of other research collected by Croner Reward. The analysis was based on more than 6,500 jobs from approximately 1,500 organisations.

The study also found buyers got an average pay rise of 2.5 per cent in 2009, while the average across other functions was just 2 per cent. Pay levels in the private sector were generally higher than the public sector, although working hours in the latter were generally shorter. Pay for men and women was more or less equal apart from at director level, where female CPOs earned 13 per cent less than their male counterparts.

The survey also revealed substantial regional variation. Buyers in London earn on average £47,000, which is 34 per cent above the national average. Salaries in the South West were lowest, averaging 10.1 per cent lower than the national standard.

Encouragingly, over half of respondents (54 per cent) said they experienced “good” or “excellent” job satisfaction, and 56 per cent reported “good” or “excellent” job security. A further 35 per cent said it was “fair”.

The positive results follow a buoyant start to the year for the procurement job market, with recruiters reporting general optimism in the UK economy and greater confidence among candidates being reflected in more vacancies.

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