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29th Annual Salary Survey: Experience pays

Our 2013 survey finds that the highest salaries in logistics and supply chain management will be earned by those sticking to time-honored values: education, hard work, and company loyalty.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
April 01, 2013

This year’s results—based on 1,262 qualified LM reader respondents—indicate that 60 percent did see a salary increase in 2012. Of that number, the median raise was 3 percent with the average raise coming in as high as 6 percent.

According to Judd Aschenbrand, director of research for PRG, the “median” metric is the one to watch, as it paints a more accurate picture of today’s marketplace. “The median is regarded by most statisticians as the most reliable benchmark,” he says. “But the average is important too. Apart from ‘standard deviation,’ our system provides a fairly complete overview of who’s earning what levels in the market.”

Those respondents with the title of “logistics manager” earned an average salary of $94,145—down substantially from the $99,600 average posted last year. But the median salary is just $87,00—up slightly from the $85,000 posted in 2012.

“What this means,” says Aschenbrand, “is that several senior executives are bringing in the really big bucks, while others who may work at smaller corporations are just treading water.” Indeed, based on response from logistics managers, salaries may have actually decreased in the median range.


Austerity and diversity

Austerity measures and “doing more with less” continue to inform most companies’ tactical direction, but there’s little doubt that long-term strategic plans will be reliant on attracting a younger and more diverse workforce. According to Rosemary Coates, an educator and president of Blue Silk Consulting in Los Gatos, Calif., women will be playing a much larger role in this industry in the coming decade.

“The supply chain and logistics arena is a place where there are a lot of existing problems,” says Coates. “Women are problem-solvers. We have traditionally had to deal with family budgets and evaluating risk and reward in our family lives, so when it comes to bringing value to employers, we can draw from that discipline and experience.”

Amanda Tillman couldn’t agree more. She’s a young carrier specialist with Kaiser Logistics in Milton, Wisc., who says that the “glass ceiling” may soon be athing of the past.

“Trucking is a ‘boy’s world,’” says Tillman, “but once a woman can get her foot through the door, the sky is the limit. While I like working for a family-run business, in five or 10 years, I hope to move up to a higher management level.”

Tillman, who has degrees in marketing and public administration, believes that ongoing education is a must. “You never stop learning when you get into this business,” she says, “and I would recommend logistics management to any young woman seeking a balanced and rewarding career.”

Brenda Gautier, director of operations for MW Logistics, LLC, in North Dallas, Texas, feels Tillman is on the right track. As a “seasoned professional,” she says she helped lay the groundwork for women to enter the senior ranks in logistics and transportation.

“It’s too late for me,” says Gautier, “but I’m glad I was among those willing to ‘fight the fight’ and create opportunities for others. Loyalty is rewarded in this business, and you can create considerable change within the company if you work hard and keep your passion.”

About the Author

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Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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