Supply chain continues to be a high-paying, highly valued and rewarding field. According to ASCM’s 2023 Supply Chain Salary and Career Report, the median income for U.S. supply chain professionals climbed 3% last year to $98,570. In addition, nearly half (48%) of survey respondents received salary increases of 8% or more.
Along with growing salaries is the growing demand for supply chain professionals. Approximately three-quarters (76%) of professionals who hunted for new jobs last year found one within three months. Entry-level professionals had a similar experience, with 70% of new graduates securing employment in the same period. What’s more, recruiters are playing a larger role in attracting candidates to supply chain jobs, suggesting that the battle for talent is intense.
Experienced supply chain professionals are well compensated for their skills and expertise. The highest-paid individuals tend to have a mix of experience, education and professional credentials. This qualifies them for some of the highest-paying jobs in the field.
As part of the 2023 survey, ASCM looked at salary ranges by title. Based on this year’s data, the top 10 non-executive supply chain titles by their median salaries are:
- Demand planner: $78,375
- Supply chain analyst: $78,400
- Master scheduler: $81,500
- Purchasing manager: $90,000
- Inventory manager: $93,000
- Logistics manager: $100,000
- Procurement manager: $104,000
- Materials manager: $110,342
- Supply chain manager: $114,750
- Supply chain director: $145,000
These titles also have greater earning potential, too. Earners in the 75th percentile reported salaries as high as $180,000.
The career path to lucrative supply chain work
It’s important to note that none of these are entry-level roles. They require specific education, skills, knowledge and experience. Everyone’s career path is unique, and there are many ways to become a supply chain executive. Some start in other fields and then transition to supply chain after building desirable skills such as project management, collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and time management. Others seize different career opportunities within their companies to gain well-rounded experience. Some move from organization to organization seeking new experiences as well as higher pay. According to this year’s survey, professionals who started a new job earned a 13% salary increase on average versus a 7% average increase for those who stayed in the same job.
There also are more traditional, linear career paths professionals can follow to work toward higher-level roles:
- Demand planners might start as inventory or supply chain analysts.
- Supply chain analysts and master schedulers typically start in an entry-level supply chain role.
- Purchasing managers generally start as buyers.
- Inventory managers are often first production schedulers.
- Logistics managers start as logistics coordinators or master schedulers.
- Procurement specialists tend to begin their careers as buyers.
- Materials managers may have worked as master schedulers or senior buyers.
- Supply chain managers previously serve as materials managers or inventory or supply chain analysts.
- Supply chain directors have likely been in one of the above experienced roles first.
Each of these roles also has another logical step on the career ladder, usually to a manager, director, vice president, or even CEO or COO position.
Those at the top of the career ladder report salaries higher than $152,000 in this year’s survey. In addition, nearly three-quarters (71%) of all respondents earned at least one form of additional compensation last year, including cash bonuses, profit sharing, incentive pay, overtime pay and other cash compensation. With these benefits factored in, top earners enjoy incomes greater than $192,000.
The survey also looked at supply chain salaries in Canada and Europe. Canadian respondents reported total incomes as high as 163,958 Canadian dollars, or about $121,700, and in Europe, total compensation was as high as 148,285 Euros, or about $161,300.
At all levels, supply chain jobs come with other perks. The field continues to boast high job stability, as only 4% of surveyed U.S. employees and 5% of surveyed Canadian employees were laid off last year. In addition, nearly half (49%) of supply chain professionals in the United States, Canada and Europe receive at least four weeks of paid time off. Globally, more than three-quarters (77%) of professionals report flexible work arrangements as well.
Supply chain professionals also report high levels of career satisfaction. On a 1-10 scale, 65% of respondents rated career satisfaction as an 8 or higher. More than 80% of professionals take pride in their work, and 58% feel appreciated at their jobs. Nearly all professionals (96%) plan to stay in the field for at least the next five years.