Making progress, slowly

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by Emily Atkins

It’s time again to share the results of the annual Survey of the Canadian Supply Chain Professional. Read on to see where salaries have gone in 2014 and what your colleagues 
are making. Emily Atkins reports.

Presented in partnership with HSBC and SCMA

Although the economic recovery is in full swing, it appears supply chain salaries are not bouncing back with vigor. In fact, the overall average salary reported in our 2014 survey has dropped back a little from 2013. But the good news is that both female supply chain workers and MM&D readers have experienced gains.

This year the overall average salary is $86,967. That’s down about a grand (or about one percent) from last year’s average of $87,908. For MM&D readers the average is $88,571, or almost two percent higher than the average.

Women’s average salaries climbed from last year by about a thousand dollars (a 1.2 percent hike) from $77,842 to $78,819. This still leaves a 17 percent gap between their wages and those of their male counterparts.

However, that gap declined from 2013 to 2014 by four percent. So while overall sector average wages stagnated this year, women were the winners with higher salaries and improved pay packages relative to male colleagues.

Still, pay equity in the sector remains a grim story. In the five-year cycle we are examining, the gap between women and men started at 31 percent. In 2011 that declined to 18 percent, but then jumped again to the 21 percent range for 2012 and 2013. So while the decline to 17 percent in 2014 is encouraging, it’s clear there is still a long way to go before women’s wages catch up.

Click here to register for our live webinar presentation of the results on November 27.

Regional Breakdown

From 2013 to 2014 there was little change in the way regional salaries stacked up. Once again, Alberta leads the way, albeit with a decline in average wage from $103,049 last year to this year’s $98,109, which is still well above average. BC and Ontario have swapped places this year, with Ontario’s average of $85,612 edging out BC’s $85,542. What’s interesting is that both fall slightly below the national average.

Manitoba/Saskatchewan combined and Quebec also swapped places, with marginal changes for both. Quebec’s average of $80,580 just tops the Prairies’ $80,266. Last year the two western provinces’ wages were about $1,000 more than la belle province’s.

For MM&D readers the sweet spot is Ontario. Wages there were $92,146 on average, four percent higher than the national number, and 7.6 percent higher than the overall Ontario average. In Quebec as well, MM&D readers claimed a premium, with average salaries of $91,907 versus the Quebec average of $80,580. That’s a whopping 14 percent differential.

In BC MM&D readers also showed higher averages, although in Alberta you made less than average. In BC the difference was just two percent, while in Alberta there was an eight percent deficit.

In Canada’s major urban centres MM&D readers hit the jackpot—everywhere but Alberta, that is. In Calgary the average is $107,428, while MM&D readers make $93,383, or 15 percent less. In Edmonton the gap is less than one percent. In Toronto the difference is seven percent in favour of MM&D readers, in Montreal it is 13 percent, in Vancouver it’s 6.6 percent, and in Winnipeg it’s a staggering 22 percent.

How much you work

There’s no question that people generally put in longer hours, but does it pay off?

It does if you put in the really long hours, but for those who work between 45 hours and 50 hours the payoff is just not there.
The average salary for those who work more than 50 hours a week is $105,973. Among our readers it’s slightly less at $102,941. But if you work 46 to 50 hours reported salaries are much lower, averaging $84,340 (MM&D $85,791). That’s less than the overall average! It hardly seems worth it when those in the 41- to 45-hour range averaged $89,051 with MM&D readers at $94,638

Where you work

Supply chain jobs in the natural resources industries continue to deliver top dollar. In our five-year overview they have consistently topped the list, and this year the average salary is $101,023.

When you look at company size it’s the bigger the better for salaries. Respondents working in companies with 5,000 or more employees report the highest average salary at $101,059. But for MM&D readers it’s the next tier down that had the best result. Wages in companies with 1,000 to 4,999 staff were $99,038 for our readers.

What you do

It’s no surprise that people with executive titles make the most, but MM&D readers who are executives make even more than the executive average. The overall average for that job classification is $128,497, while for MMD readers it’s $134,121. Another fact of note is that the gap between male and female executives is far less than the overall average, at only 2.5 percent.

The top five job categories ranked by highest average salary are: Executive ($128,497), consultant ($102,461), managerial ($99,462), strategic ($95,869) and supervisor ($85,690).

For MM&D readers the order is a little different. Execs claimed $134,121, followed by consultants at $92,434, managers with $90,198, engineering/professionals at $83,577, and strategic with $82,376.

Clerical positions are at the bottom of all lists, and here again, the gap between males ($62,655) and females ($60,826) is smaller, at three percent.

How long you’ve done it

Compensation is frequently based on how long you’ve been doing a job. It just makes sense that as your years of experience grow, your abilities and depth of understanding keep pace.

This year’s survey results reflect that reality for the most part, with one interesting discrepancy. While, across the board, salaries are highest for those in the 30 to 35-years range, at $109,484, for MM&D readers it’s those who have between 20 and 25 years under their belts who make the most ($108,553).

How old you are makes a difference too. Notable this year is the gains made by those in the under 25 age group. After a three-year slide, salaries for this group jumped to $64,517 this year. MM&D readers’ wages in this group did not keep pace, however, clocking in at only $53,326.


In 2014 1,509 supply chain professionals completed the survey. Readers of MM&D, members of the Supply Chain Management Association, and sister publications Canadian Shipper and PurchasingB2B subscribers from across Canada were sent email invitations in the early summer this year.

With this response rate the margin of error was plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Research services were provided by G. Bramm Research Inc.


Presented in cooperation with our survey partners:

Basic CMYKFor nearly 150 years we have been where the growth is, connecting customers to opportunities. Today, HSBC serves businesses in over 60 markets around the world. Whether it is working capital, trade finance or PCM solutions, we provide the tools and expertise that businesses need to thrive.

SCMA_logo2-630x225As the leading and largest association in Canada for professionals in supply chain management, the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) is the national voice for advancing and promoting the profession. SCMA strives to ensure that employers recognize the critical contribution that SCM professionals make to the success of their organizations. SCMA sets the standard of excellence for professional skills, knowledge and integrity. With nearly 8000 members working across the private and public sectors, SCMA is the principal source of supply chain training, education and professional development in the country.