Supply Management Careers Promising: ISM® Salary Survey Reveals Wage and Benefit Growth

TEMPE, Ariz. (May 21, 2020) – The fifteenth annual Institute for Supply Management® Salary Survey revealed a promising outlook for supply management practitioners, amid a contracting economic environment. As a function at the center of a business, supply chain management talent is critical and compensated accordingly. 

Conducted between mid-January and mid-February 2020, the survey highlights that average wage growth for supply management practitioners continued a three-year trajectory, with average overall 2019 compensation reaching US$123,226, a 3.3 percent increase compared to 2018 (US$119,271). This increase is double the 1.6 percent bump reported for calendar year 2018 compared to 2017 (US$117,425). In 2019, 87.6 percent of respondents indicated their base salaries increased, and of those, the average increase was 5.5 percent.

“In today’s global economy, excellence in supply management improves both top- and bottom-line performance and advances companies’ leadership on the worldwide stage,” said ISM CEO Thomas Derry. “Supply management professionals’ higher-than-average wage growth reflects the significant value they add every day.”

Additional key findings include:

  • Certification edge: Respondents with a Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®) designation earned an average of $125,996, up 5.4 percent from the previous year, and those with Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity® (CPSD™) status earned $130,441, a 3.9 percent increase.
  • Demographic gaps persist: In 2019, the gap in average compensation between male ($131,153) and female ($106,935) supply management professionals was 22.6 percent. For respondents who disclosed race, those identifying as Caucasian reported an average compensation of $127,169, compared with $111,311 for Black respondents and $99,807 for Asians.
  • Healthy bonuses: Sixty-six percent of respondents received a bonus in 2019, with an average bonus of $25,179, or 20.4 percent of average base salary (up from 18.2 percent in 2018).
  • Industry earning power: Supply management practitioners in mining saw the highest average salaries--more than $177,000--followed by arts, entertainment and recreation (about $155,000) and petroleum and coal products (about $150,000).

Among 17 factors ranked when evaluating job opportunities, wages were the most important consideration, followed by job satisfaction, work/life balance, health-care benefits package, and pension, 401(k) or other retirement plans, respectively.

ISM’s 2020 Salary Survey included more than 2,700 supply management professionals, segmenting results according to respondents’ years of experience, titles, industry sectors, degrees, fields of study, certification, geography, benefits and more.

Supply management executives and practitioners can read a more in-depth summary of the findings, and then download the full survey report, which is complimentary to ISM members. For more information, please visit