Frequent Ask & Questions

A Question and Answer Session with The President of IPSCMI

Q:   What are the Benefits of Professional Certification in Purchasing and/or Supply Chain Management?

A:    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 following:

Professionalism -- Certification indicates a high level of professionalism to both coworkers and customers, increasing one's value in the market place.

Leadership -- Certification signifies an employee as dedicated to continuous improvement of himself/herself.

Recognition -- Only a small fraction of professionals ever achieve certification, indicating that they are a leading professional in their fields.

Knowledge -- Certification will improve one's understanding of the most current processes and trends in one's profession.

Ethical Behavior—Individuals who become certified must subscribe to a rigorous code of ethics appropriate to the specific profession.

Q:   Do Managers Support Professional Certification Programs:

A:    Interviews with American managers from a wide variety of organizations suggest the following:

  1. Certification helps professionals improve their job skills.
  2. Certification can provide the basis for a continuing program of professional development.
  3. Certification can contribute to increased departmental performance.
  4. Certification can increase the credibility of the department.
  5. The time, money, and effort spent on a program of professional certification is a good use of the organization's resources.
  6. A certification program can be developed in an organization that has limited resources.

Q:   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.

Q:   Does Certification help a purchasing or supply chain professional/manager get hired and/or promoted?

A:    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!


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