A Question and Answer Session with The President of IPSCMI
What are the Benefits of Professional Certification in
Purchasing and/or Supply Chain Management?
Professional certification offers individuals a wide range
of important benefits. The certification designation
demonstrates to current and potential employers that the
employee possesses a solid foundation of experience and
education in a field of endeavor that can have a positive
impact on bottom-line results. Certification symbolizes
knowledge and accomplishment and is highly regarded by
colleagues and employers. As a certified professional, the
employee can proudly join a successful group of
professionals who are enriching and advancing their careers
and their chosen professions. Specific benefits include the
-- Certification indicates a high level of professionalism
to both coworkers and customers, increasing one's value in
the market place.
Certification signifies an employee as dedicated to
continuous improvement of himself/herself.
Only a small fraction of professionals ever achieve
certification, indicating that they are a leading
professional in their fields.
Certification will improve one's understanding of the most
current processes and trends in one's profession.
Behavior—Individuals who become certified must subscribe to
a rigorous code of ethics appropriate to the specific
Managers Support Professional Certification Programs:
Interviews with American managers from a wide variety of
organizations suggest the following:
- Certification helps professionals improve their job
- Certification can provide the basis for a continuing
program of professional development.
- Certification can contribute to increased departmental
- Certification can increase the credibility of the
- The time,
money, and effort spent on a program of professional
certification is a good use of the organization's
certification program can be developed in an
organization that has limited resources.
Does Certification Impact Salary Levels?
A: Certified purchasing and supply
chain management professionals earn almost $15,000 more per
year than non-certified purchasing and supply management
professionals, according to Purchasing Magazine's 2004 Salary Survey. The survey reveals that certified
purchasing and supply chain management professionals earn an
average of $80,800 per year. Professionals without
certification earn an average of $66,300 per year.
Annual salaries from this year's respondents range from
$15,000 to $270,000. Median salaries for professionals in
supply management rose 5%, to $63,000, an increase of $3,000
over last year's numbers. Since 1981, professionals in
supply management have seen their salaries rise 114%, with
48% of this increase occurring within the last ten years.
Additionally, more professionals are receiving bonuses as
part of their total compensation. More than half of the
survey respondents, (55%) indicate they received bonuses in
2004. Bonuses for these professionals averaged just over 10%
of their annual base pay.
The survey also indicates that certified professionals have
an average of four more years experience than do
non-certified professionals. This figure corresponds
directly to compensation. The typical age of survey
participants was 45.6 years of age. Salaries for this group
(41 to 50 years) averaged $72,300 per year.
Education continues to be one of the most important factors
related to upward mobility within the supply management
profession, according to the survey. Almost three quarters
of the participants (71%) have a college degree or a
certification. Better educated professionals receive the
highest ranking professional positions, have the most
responsibilities, work for larger companies and have a
higher earning potential.
Does Certification help a purchasing or supply chain
professional/manager get hired and/or promoted?
This is a perennial question, and one which can be answered
only in an immediate, organizational context. Most
managers (but not all) support professional certification
and prefer to hire and promote those who are certified.
If the manager is him/herself certified, the odds are that
he/she will favor those who are similarly certified.
Promotions of course depend on your performance after you
get hired. My experience is that excellent performance
coupled with professional certification provides an
unbeatable combination and a sure-fire route to promotion!!
My experience again tells me that “certification is the
“Housekeeping Seal of Approval”. It provides “the
racer’s edge” when everything else (education, background,
experience, etc.) is equal!