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Professional Growth

2021 Supply Chain Industry Salary Guide

According to a recent report from Supply Chain Management Review, the need for skilled labor in the supply chain industry is still greater than the supply of talent. Meanwhile, the value of entry-level talent seems to have outpaced rises in other supply chain costs.

The results of this study seem to imply that employers are prepared to pay a premium for both talent and experience. In the survey, supply chain professionals with at least 15 years of experience most likely saw a considerable pay bump from 2019 to 2020. The study results also support the notion that supervisors in the industry are absorbing more and broader responsibilities. This appears to be resulting in higher pay and lower morale.

The report also revealed that analytical abilities are in high demand, regardless of the job with which they are associated. Also, upper-level jobs appear to be highly technical compared to other industries, with some employers wanting those in high-level positions to have experience with artificial intelligence, automation and robotics.

Strategic sourcing is also an in-demand skill for top tier positions in the supply chain. This makes sense in light of the current situation of global disruption; considering the fact that supply management can realize 30 to 70 percent of revenues by developing coalitions of suppliers. Managing all of the required logistics activities for so many channels is a primary source of difficulty, and those who can handle this complexity have a tendency to be paid accordingly.

Salary Breakdown

According to the new report, many people in supply chain management can expect to see six-figure salaries. Vice presidents and corporate division managers were found to have the highest average salary, at just over $200,000. Interestingly, the mean salaries for these positions were $160,000 and $165,000 respectively. This would seem to suggest that pay for these positions tends to skew lower than the $200,000 averages.

Other positions with a six-figure salary average in the report included logistics director/manager, operations manager, supply chain director/manager, distribution director/manager, transportation director/manager, purchasing director/manager, sales and engineering management. While the average salary for an engineering manager was about $120,000, the median salary was $134,00. This would seem to indicate that the pay for this position tends to skew higher than the average.

The report also indicated that management is the most valuable job function in the supply and chain industry right now. Other well-paid job functions included sales, operations, and logistics.

The Need for Technical Know-How

Recent figures from the federal government have shown that there’s an increasing skills mismatch between the labor supply and employers’ needs.

The rate of technological advancement has significantly outpaced the market’s capability to train employees. Standard educational paths are slow to adapt, and the costs associated with these paths can be prohibitive. According to some estimates, college programs cannot fill even one-fourth of the future demand for supply chain skills. This stark reality has prompted some businesses to create in-house supply chain education programs.

We Can Help You Have a Thriving Supply Chain Career

At ZDA, we work with ambitious supply chain professionals to help them meet their career goals. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you have career success.

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