Special thanks to Charles Dominick, SPSM3 of the Next Level Purchasing Association for this guest post.

Every organization would love to have top-level procurement talent. However, no matter how much some organizations claim to want nothing but top-level procurement talent, their pay scales don’t agree with those claims.

If you find yourself unable to get or keep top-notch procurement professionals on your team, remember this: If you want to attract higher-level talent, you must be willing to pay for higher-level talent.

But how much extra does a more qualified procurement candidate cost?

Well, fortunately, at the Next Level Purchasing Association, we’ve spent years conducting the most detailed research on procurement salaries and the factors that influence them. Based on our latest research, I’ll provide you with some statistics that illustrate the premium you will pay for characteristics of higher-level candidates. Because procurement salaries vary wildly by geography and industry, I won’t express values in currency amounts. Instead, I will express salary premiums in percentages above the average.

Salaries By Supervisory Status

Will your candidate have other procurement professionals report to him/her? If so, you may need to pay more, especially if you are looking for prior supervisory experience. On average, supervisory procurement positions pay candidates 7% more than non-supervisory positions. Obviously, the more distance on the organizational chart, the larger the gap. On average, procurement directors make more than twice as much as buyers.

Salaries By Education

Though the cost to earn a master’s degree adds a significant amount to a candidate’s overall educational cost, the salary premium in procurement for master’s degree holders is probably less than you think. Procurement professionals with master’s degrees earn about 8% more than those with just bachelor’s degrees.

Salaries By Years of Experience

Now, experience…experience is where salary premiums really start kicking in. Procurement professionals with six to 10 years of experience make a whopping 31% more than procurement professionals with only three to five years of experience. And procurement professionals with 11 to 20 years of experience earn more than double what procurement professionals with three to five years experience make! So, be careful if your job description says “Salary commensurate with experience.” That may imply more than you think!

Previous Position’s Impact on Salary

Supervisory status, educational level and years of experience are just three of the 14 ways that we at the NLPA sliced and diced data in our latest Purchasing & Supply Management Salaries report. The last thing I’ll mention is that you also need to consider the effect of the candidate’s previous role in determining what his or her acceptable salary may be. Large companies, centralized organizational structure, and whether the candidate was recruited or promoted from within all conspire to inflate one’s procurement salary.
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