Insights

Supply Chain Salaries Have Had a Lift. So Where Do We Stand Now?

February 29, 2024

The pandemic threw everything up in the air—supply chain salaries included. Here’s our perspective on where we’ve landed, from a company that recruits in this area every day. 

Salary data is always a hot topic. It’s natural. As a job candidate, you want to know where you stand—and whether you could be making more elsewhere. As a company looking to hire, you want to know where to benchmark roles before going to market and seeking candidates. And accurate salary data for the Canadian market can be surprisingly hard to come by, especially for niches like supply chain management. 

If you read the annual salary surveys put out by organizations such as the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), you’ll tend to see that salaries have increased gradually, (3% on average last year). In high inflation years like 2022 and 2023, the reported increases hardly keep up with the increased cost of living. Read these surveys and the picture for supply chain salaries looks a little dispiriting. 

But these surveys might not be telling the whole story. 

At Argentus, we recruit exclusively within supply chain management and its associated disciplines of procurement, logistics, operations, planning and change management. We speak with companies hiring every day, and candidates looking to progress their careers. Each of those conversations—inevitably—touches on the thorny issue of salaries. How much are people making? Where should a company benchmark a role? It gives us an intuitive sense of where salaries are in Canada.

And here’s what we’ve seen: 

During the early part of the pandemic, when companies first identified that supply chains needed to shift to accommodate disruptions, supply chain salaries went a little crazy. Companies found that they had to offer major salary bumps to attract talent. 

Cut to 2024. Salaries have fallen in line, but they’re still significantly higher than they were before the pandemic, and some companies are still benchmarking salaries as if it was 2019. And it’s clear that we’re looking at a whole new set of salary bands compared to before. 

So in the interest of informing our network, we want to share this post about where we’ve landed. We’re going to list where salaries were, and where they are now, for Analysts, Specialists, Managers, Directors and VPs. These aren’t scientific numbers, of course. But they are based on the conversations we have with hiring managers and candidates every day. 

So here are our current salary estimates for supply chain professionals in Canada: 

First, a few caveats: these numbers are referring to base compensation, not additional compensation (performance bonuses, signing bonuses, benefits, vehicle allowances, etc.). In addition, they should be seen as an estimated benchmark, not as gospel. Not all salaries fall within these ranges. It doesn’t mean that if you get a job offer below these ranges, you shouldn’t accept it. It also doesn’t mean that you should never attempt to hire candidates below these ranges (or above them for that matter). 

There are all kinds of factors that go into compensation. Hiring in remote locations, or high cost of living areas, requires a higher salary. For example, we listed $150k-$180k for Director-level positions, but if you’re hiring a supply chain director in the mining industry in a remote location, that number might be over $200k. 

It also goes without saying that certain roles within the supply chain industry are more highly compensated than others. For example, salaries for front line logistics roles at the analyst level—focused purely on the movement of goods—tend to be lower than, say, salaries for holistic supply chain analysts focused on using data to design and improve supply chain networks. Demand Planners tend to be highly compensated right out of the gate, owing to the difficulty of the work and the level of accountability they take on. 

These are just a few examples to show that numbers can vary widely across these bands and outside them. But these are our general rule-of-thumb salary bands right now. 

If we hear from a client who is hiring for a new role, and unsure where to benchmark the salary, we’ll use these as a starting point. It’s almost as if supply chain salaries have bumped up a “tier.” Today’s specialist salaries are similar to yesterday’s manager salaries. A director today tends to make what a VP did before the pandemic. 

It’s important to note that these ranges represent a bit of a correction from previous highs. Through the peak of the COVID pandemic, we saw salaries at the higher end of these ranges. They’ve right-sized a bit towards the mid-to-high point of these ranges. But for now, the increases appear permanent. 

The big takeaway:

Obviously, supply chain salaries have risen, in many cases considerably higher than inflation. It speaks to the overall demand that exists for supply chain candidates, which has boomed over the past few years. The pandemic and other disruptions have been a wake up call for companies about the level of risk built in to their supply chains, and the need to pivot to more resilient strategic positions. To accomplish these pivots organizations need skilled talent, which was already in short supply.

Prior to the pandemic, if you went to a barbecue and told a lay person that you were a supply chain manager, you’d likely get a “huh?” Now, after years of bottlenecks, supply chain management has broken through to the mainstream, and more people than ever understand how critical it is for organizations. It’s unsurprising, then, that salaries have risen. 

So what does that mean for companies looking to hire? The simple answer is that you can’t benchmark salaries as if it’s 2019. But the more nuanced answer is that you need to be thoughtful about benchmarking salaries before you go to market and hire for a role. Most of the top candidates are actively working in other opportunities, and to pry them away you need to offer them a progressive salary and growth. Very few candidates will move laterally. Salary benchmarking is an issue of budget, but also internal pay equity. Sometimes your hands are tied, and it’s hard to go higher.

But if you want to attract the best candidates in this market, these numbers are what it’s going to take.


As we mentioned, these numbers should just be a starting point. They’re also anecdotal—although, if we may say, they’re based on quite a few anecdotes as we speak with professionals and companies looking to hire every day. If you’re looking to benchmark a salary for an upcoming role, or are a supply chain candidate and want to find out your worth in this market, we’d love to hear from you! Call 416 364 9919 or send a brief note to recruit@argentus.com

And stay tuned for more upcoming intel about the supply chain talent market as we continue to put our ears to the ground. 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

You might also like…

“Ghost Jobs” Could Soon be a Thing of the Past

“Ghost Jobs” Could Soon be a Thing of the Past

Have you ever applied to a job posting and wondered whether the job actually exists? You’re not alone. Now, the Ontario Government has announced new rules to end the practice of posting “Ghost Jobs,” and give job seekers more transparency throughout the hiring process.

read more

Sign up for Argentus’ Market Watch newsletter

It only takes a moment. You’ll receive low-volume, high-impact market insights from the top specialty Supply Chain recruiters including: Salary Information, Supply Chain industry trends, Market Intelligence, personal branding tips and more.