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Viewpoint: 29th Annual Salary Survey—Experience still pays

By Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director
April 01, 2013

The cover of the April issue of Logistics Management (LM) is once again devoted to the findings of our Annual Salary Survey, a research project conducted by Peerless Research Group (PRG) that acts as the fuel for our best-read editorial feature (page 22) and the foundation of the most highly anticipated webcast that our editorial team produces (April 25).

First I need to thank the 1,262 qualified LM readers (up from 801 in 2012) who took the time to complete the e-mail survey in February. Knowing how many wide-ranging tasks logistics professionals are overseeing these days, the fact that our sample grew by 461 respondents certainly validates the importance that readers place on this project.

I would also like to acknowledge the work that is done by Judd Aschenbrand, research director of PRG, and his team in administering the survey and helping us to put context around the data. The project represents a two month effort; and without PRG’s diligence, the most comprehensive survey of current logistics and supply chain salary levels simply wouldn’t exist.

In terms of this year’s findings, we found that it’s becoming more readily apparent that “old school,” time-honored values are continuing to pay off in a big way for those logistics professionals who go into a position with a solid education, are willing to put in the hard work, and stay loyal to a company. Not only do these managers eventually find themselves in the compensation “sweet spot,” but they also say they end up happier.

“Company loyalty appeared to be fading away over the years, and it’s a concept that has been widely rejected in other industries and by many younger professionals,” Executive Editor Patrick Burnson told me after he wrapped up this year’s survey summary. “But aside from stronger salary growth, our findings reveal that those managers who have spent a few years (six to 10) with their current employer say the ‘feeling of accomplishment’ is their number one value (63 percent).”

But being loyal does not mean being stagnant, says Burnson. “Top logistics professionals tell us that they work in a highly specialized, ever-changing industry, and to stay on top they put an emphasis on continuing education and development,” Burnson reports. This year, 42 percent say they have pursued professional development, 20 percent have graduate degrees in logistics or supply chain management, and 34 percent say they are planning to enter a program in the next 12 months.

And while ongoing education remains a key differentiator in compensation, it no longer means spending great chunks of time or money to obtain an MBA. In fact, online certification—viewed by 66 percent of respondents as “important”—is being offered by a growing number of esteemed universities as a more practical and time-efficient way for these ambitious managers to move up the ladder. “Our readers are devoted to ongoing education and long hours because they value their work,” adds Burnson. “It is their calling and they live a purpose-driven life. However, it is most refreshing to see that hard work and experience still pays—and always will.”

About the Author

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Michael Levans
Group Editorial Director

Michael Levans is Group Editorial Director of Peerless Media’s Supply Chain Group of publications and websites including Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management Review, Modern Materials Handling, and Material Handling Product News. He’s a 23-year publishing veteran who started out at the Pittsburgh Press as a business reporter and has spent the last 17 years in the business-to-business press. He’s been covering the logistics and supply chain markets for the past seven years. You can reach him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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Article Topics

Columns · Viewpoint · April 2013 · Salary Survey · All topics

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