How’s Your Pay?
The latest compensation report from NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement provides a 10-year view of salary trends in public procurement. The primary goal of the biennial Compensation Survey Report is to provide comparative compensation information for classifying public procurement positions and determining appropriate salary ranges.
NIGP surveys both public procurement agencies and individual procurement professionals to provide a comprehensive view of salary trends. Agencies report in the latest survey that salaries have risen by 19 percent over the period of 2005-2010. Some 818 procurement agencies reported one or more positions and created a database of 1,900 reported positions.
Looking at 10 years of data, salaries have risen more steeply for some job than others. The Compensation Survey Report includes 10 years of information for each title and shows, for example, overall Director of Purchasing salaries have risen 40 percent in the period of 2001 to 2010, while Senior Buyer/Contractor officer salaries have increased 29 percent during the same period.
Survey results enable users to pinpoint their expected salary rate based on entity type (state, county, city, etc), geographic region (northeast, mid-Atlantic, etc) and procurement volume (from a low range of $1-10 million to a high range of more than $125 million). Averaging out the numbers for all three factors provides a close estimate of an expected salary for a specific position, entity type, geographic region and procurement volume. For example, a Buyer in the central region in an city with a procurement volume between $1-10 million might expect a 2010 salary of $45,649.
The Agency Survey asked agency representatives to complete information on the number of people in each described position and the salary information for the current and previous year. The results provided salary information for 11 procurement positions, four positions related to stores, warehouse and assets; and two support positions.
The survey puts the average 2010 salary for all positions at $64,028, and the median at $59,028. These figures reflect the full range of positions included in the survey – from administrative assistants to directors. Figure 1 shows three curves illustrating salary trends for the last 10 years for “Director, Purchasing,” “Senior Buyer/Contracting Officer” and “Buyer.”
Figure 2 (page 15) shows 2005-2010 salary trends. Average salaries are highest for the title of Director, Purchasing and XX (XX designates another unspecified department or function). Table I summarizes 2010 salary information for each position as provided by individual respondents. The individual survey was sent to 14,033 individuals and a total of 1,943 responses were received – for a 13.1 percent response rate.
Agencies were asked to report on certification requirements for four positions. Figure 3 (page 15) shows that 82 percent of Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) positions and 41 percent of Buyer positions require certification either at the time of application or within a certain period after employment. CPO positions are more likely to require certification to qualify for the position, whereas Buyers are more likely to be allowed to obtain certification after hiring.
From the individual survey perspective, of the 1,813 respondents to the question, 64 percent hold at least one purchasing-related certification. Figure 4 (page 16) confirms that, while certification is not yet required for the majority of positions, many positions are filled with certified individuals.
Profiles of Respondents
NIGP’s survey of all individuals receiving member benefits asked about their salary and various factors that affect their salary including certification, education, benefits, and bonuses. The individual survey data allows NIGP to report average and median salaries summarized by level of government, highest education completed, field of education, number of certifications, gender and race.
The individual survey provides information for the same seventeen (17) positions. While for some positions, not enough people responded to allow for valid analysis, for most of the 17 positions, further breakdowns of salary data is provided for key variables that could affect how much an individual earns: entity type, education level, education field, and number of certifications.
Education. Education appears to play a major factor in public procurement. Overall, 59 percent of respondents have a 4-year or higher degree. As can be expected, degrees are most common for managers and directors. (See Figure 5, page 16)
Gender and salary. On average women earn 83 percent of what men earn (see Figure 6, page 16).
Employer-provided benefits. Ninety-four percent of respondents indicated that they had some form of employer-provided retirement program. Almost 95 percent of respondents indicated that they had some form of employer-provided health insurance program. Eighty-four percent of respondents indicated that they had some form of employer-provided dental insurance program. Almost 85 percent of respondents indicated that they had some form of employer-provided life insurance program. Over 67 percent of respondents indicated that they had some form of employer-provided disability insurance program.
Race/ethnicity. Of the 1,872 respondents answering this question, 77 percent of respondents were White non-Hispanic, 13 percent were Black non-Hispanic, and 6 percent were Hispanic.
Salary satisfaction. Respondents were also asked about how satisfied they were with their current salary. Of the 1,927 respondents, 15 percent were very dissatisfied, 27 percent were somewhat dissatisfied, 13 percent were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 31 percent were somewhat satisfied, and 13 percent were very satisfied.
Willingness to relocate. Respondents were asked about their willingness to relocate to a different geographic location if offered more pay for a similar job. Forty-nine percent of the 1,900 respondents were willing to relocate while 51 percent were not.
10 Years of Salary Surveys
NIGP issued its first Compensation Survey Report in 2003 in collaboration with Dr. Mohamad G. Alkadry, formerly of West Virginia University, and currently of Florida International University’s Department of Urban Studies and Public Administration. The first study was conducted in January 2003, and was repeated in the first quarter of 2005, the first quarter of 2007, the first quarter of 2009 and most recently, the first of quarter of 2011. The current report covers the 2011 study and reports key data from the previous four studies.
Each of the studies covered two years of data as respondents were asked to report their current year salary (as of the previous December) as well as their previous year’s salary. Therefore, for the first time, this report includes a ten-year salary trend for procurement professionals starting with 2001 through 2010.
The study uses a designated set of titles and descriptions to define the position regardless of the actual title used in each agency. For the purposes of the study, procurement and purchasing are used interchangeably, and a division is considered a subset of a department.
The complete 2010 NIGP Compensation Survey Report is available at nigp.org.
TABLE 1: 2010 average salary by position
|What is your position?||Mean||Median||Std.
|Director, Materials Management||$82,597||$79,500||$23,480|
|Director, Purchasing and XX||$93,223||$87,746||$30,017|
|Manager, Warehouse or Stores or Logistics||$65,063||$55,623||$32,799|
|Senior Buyer/Contracting Officer||$58,779||$56,441||$17,099|
|Fixed Assets Technician||$37,698||$34,112||$10,320|