The purchasing profession continues to feel the effects of the slow economic recovery, yet it remains a solid source of employment, according to the more than 700 purchasing professionals who took part in Global Purchasing’s Annual Salary and Profile Survey this year. Pay increases are minimal—with most buyers expecting a 2% pay increase in 2015, yielding average annual compensation of about $80,000. But the general professional outlook is good, as the majority of purchasing professionals say they are satisfied with their compensation level and that they would recommend purchasing as a career opportunity. The results are slightly lower than in last year’s survey, when buyers reported average annual compensation of $85,000 and an anticipated 2.4% raise, but still point to a largely satisfied lot of electronic component buyers.
“In my experience, [purchasing has] been a good way to learn more about the inner workings of a business,” said one survey respondent. “The job overlaps operations and sales and even management … which provides a great sense of how businesses work.”
“The purchasing profession has evolved into one of the more complex and potentially rewarding high-tech careers today,” said another respondent. “It can require a plethora of skills, including the ability to navigate potential pitfalls such as counterfeits, obsolescence, allocations, and excess. Ultimately, the successful purchasing professional will reap the rewards of their diligence and knowledge by steering their company and their own career toward a clear and promising direction.”
The purchasing department also is a place where employees never stop learning. In previous surveys, buyers have noted the daily challenges and formal continuing education opportunities the profession affords, a factor underscored this year by accelerating technology trends—particularly those fueled by the Internet of Things. Purchasing professionals say the IoT is shaping their profession in two key ways: first, by demanding broader product knowledge as they are required to source an even wider variety of parts and solutions, and second, by the potential to streamline the profession with more efficient tools and processes.
“[The IoT] is expanding the number of applications that contain electronic components,” said one respondent, adding that it is also “increasing buyers’ knowledge as they continue to shop for the best deal.”
For others, the IoT is one more in a long line of technological changes that keeps purchasing professionals on their toes.
“This is an exciting and changing profession, especially because of new, emerging technologies,” added another buyer.
“It is a challenging, ever-changing profession, with endless opportunity to learn,” said another. “It is a constant learning profession that makes you want to always do your best.”
Global Purchasing’s 2015 Salary & Profile Survey polled more than 700 purchasing professionals over the summer, asking about compensation, workplace, and general economic trends. Download the full report below, and visit our resources page for a look at the 2014 survey.