Canadian supply chain salaries continue to increase, with those in natural resources leading the way—November/December print edition

December 10, 2012

As we’ve done for many years now, PMAC, along with survey partners, PurchasingB2B and MM&D magazines conducted the Annual Survey of the Canadian Supply Chain Professional. This year, for the first time, we were joined by valued partner, CT&L. The Annual Survey is carried out to get a general indication of the health of the job market and the economy, as well as the satisfaction of those working in the supply chain sector. The addition of CT&L’s readership base to the survey is a definite asset, as it ensures that those working in logistics are now adequately represented in the results.

Overall, the outlook for those working in the supply chain field is optimistic. The average supply chain salary in Canada increased by 2.9 percent and the average wage reported in the 2012 Annual Survey of the Canadian Supply Chain Professional was $85,178, up from the average of $82,800 reported last year.

It’s good to be an SCMP
I am pleased to see that those professionals who have made the investment of time and money to earn their Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designations continue to receive a good return on their investment.

Those professionals who hold SCMP designations still report higher salaries, on average, than their non-accredited peers. The average reported salary of an SCMP this year was $94,835. Supply chain professionals who do not currently have the SCMP designation, but who are enrolled in the program as SCMP candidates, earned, on average, $71,198.

This advantage for SCMPs exists because employers are recognizing the strategic advantage that an accredited SCMP brings to an organization’s bottom line. As a result, they are willing to secure their services at a premium, and hire them into more senior level positions.

More work needed to close the gender gap
After some positive progress last year on closing the gender gap, I am disappointed to see that the gap has widened again this year. While average salaries for women are up from last year’s $74,600, to $75,033 for this year, women continue to earn significantly less than their male counterparts in supply chain.
Women reported lower salaries than their male peers throughout their careers, but those with five years or less of work experience only saw an average discrepancy of about 1 percent. This gap appears to gradually grow and is at its greatest among those with over 20 years of experience, where the average reported difference in compensation is over 20 percent.

Without more specific knowledge of the circumstances behind this result, we can’t determine if this is a supply chain specific issue, or if there are factors such as personal choice (i.e.—maternity leaves, work/life balance, etc) that may have contributed to the discrepancies. I am hopeful that we can examine this issue more closely in future surveys to discover its root cause.

Regional differences
Last year, while the average salaries for those working in supply chain in Canada increased, not all provinces saw increases, due to the slower pace of economic recovery in those jurisdictions. I am optimistic that this year’s results indicate that all jurisdictions are well on their way to better economic health, as all provinces reported higher average supply chain salaries.

The largest average increase was found in Atlantic Canada with an increase of 10.3 percent to $75,781, followed by Quebec with an increase of 7 percent to $76,726.
Alberta continues to lead the country with the highest average salaries, followed by Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.

Government sector takes a step back
In a reversal of last year’s results, those working in government, who saw the largest jump in average salaries in the 2011 survey, have reported the largest decrease in average salaries in this year’s survey, dropping 3.1 percent to $77,968. This is likely a result of greater fiscal restraint being shown by government at all levels in Canada and governments worldwide in the face of the uncertain global economy.

Those working in natural resources reported the largest increase in average salaries (3.5 percent to $101,967), followed by those in the manufacturing sector who saw an increase of 3.1 percent. This is an optimistic sign as the manufacturing sector reported the largest decline in average salaries in last year’s survey.

The 2012 Annual Survey of the Canadian Supply Chain Professional also provided insight into other aspects of compensation, beyond monetary rewards, that are important to those working in supply chain. If you hire or manage supply chain professionals, you will no doubt find the results helpful when developing or updating your recruitment and retention strategies to ensure you are attracting and retaining the best talent.

PMAC members can obtain copies of the 2012 survey free of charge, as a benefit of membership. For more information, visit: Supply chain practitioners are also encouraged to make use of the PMAC/PurchasingB2B Salary Calculator, based on the annual survey results, to explore average salaries at a more granular level.  That tool is available at:                                                     b2b