Viewpoint: Salary Survey: Take the holistic approach

As it has been for the past 29 years, the April issue of Logistics Management (LM) is once again delivers our Annual Salary Survey, a research project conducted by Peerless Research Group (PRG) that is the fuel for our best read feature (page 28) and the foundation of the most downloaded survey report that we produce.

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As it has been for the past 29 years, the April issue of Logistics Management (LM) is once again delivers our Annual Salary Survey, a research project conducted by Peerless Research Group (PRG) that is the fuel for our best read feature (page 28) and the foundation of the most downloaded survey report that we produce.

I need to thank the more than 1,000 qualified LM readers who took the time to complete the e-mail survey in February. Considering that 77 percent of our respondents told us that the number of functional roles they fill has increased, the fact that such a large sample was willing to take the time to respond validates the importance they place on this project.

In terms of the results, Executive Editor Patrick Burnson and PRG’s Research Director Aschenbrand offer logistics and supply chain management professionals some uplifting news about the overall salary movement. They also use the 2014 data—coupled with insight from some top supply chain recruiters—to offer salient advice to young logistics professionals looking to grow their careers.

The 2014 report has the current median salary ringing in at $94,000, a surprising $9,000 bump over 2013. “The median is regarded by statisticians as the most reliable benchmark,” says Aschenbrand. “A jump of this level across this sample size bodes well for salary growth overall.”

To further support this, the team found 60 percent of respondents reporting a year-to-date salary increase between 3 percent and 6 percent, while 92 percent tell us they’re “somewhat to very satisfied” with their role in the company and their careers.

And if you think that salary is the leading indicator of satisfaction, think again. The “feeling of accomplishment” (63 percent) and “relationship with colleagues” (52 percent) rank higher than salary when asked about the factors that have the greatest impact on job satisfaction.

“Younger professionals should take note of these numbers,” says Burnson. “Veteran logistics professionals are telling us that a healthy ‘life balance’ and a ‘feeling of accomplishment’ is achievable if this is what they seek from a career long term.”

However, for those young professionals looking to kick-start their logistics career with a solid starting salary, Aschenbrand says that it’s best to aim for a big company first. “A quick glance at the ‘salary by revenue’ shows us that companies generating $2.5 billion or more pay a median salary $115,000, a signal that these organizations are more likely to make a fast-track offer to lure in the younger talent.”

Getting your foot in the door at a big number is a good first step, but in order to stick around, today’s young professionals are going to need to take a “holistic” approach to their continued logistics and supply chain education.

According to Burnson, Fortune 500 companies are now looking for young logistics professionals who have taken classes in marketing and finance, grasp the ramifications of technology, and are willing to learn not only the basics of transportation management but understand the inner-workings of assembly, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution.

“Young logistics professionals need a general education going into a position and be willing to continue to learn once they are there,” says Burnson. “There’s cross-over in all of the supply chain disciplines, and we don’t see that going away.”

About the Author

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 [email protected]

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