What do Senior-Level Salaries Look like in Public Sector Procurement?

September 9, 2015


On the Argentus Blog, one of our most popular categories of posts is Salary Comparisons. This week, we decided to dive deep into publicly-available salary data for Public Sector Procurement leadership in Ontario to evaluate and draw insights about compensation levels for the top Procurement professionals in the sector. 

We used publicly-available data from the Ontario Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act – commonly known as the “sunshine list,” — to see what Procurement compensation looks like across a variety of different Public Sector organizations and levels of Seniority. Our goal is to find out how much variation exists in salaries, as well as to find out average salaries for a variety of positions within the Public Sector. Because the Public Sector is one of the biggest employers in Ontario, it’s useful for Private Sector organizations to see what compensation looks like to stay competitive. 

The “sunshine list” only discloses salaries for individuals earning more than $100,000 a year, so it’s obviously more useful for looking at salaries at the senior end. And obviously salary levels vary given years of experience and performance, so these numbers shouldn’t be taken as gospel. But hopefully it will help give a sense of what Procurement professionals can earn, or are earning, in various senior positions within the Public Sector in Ontario.

First, for Procurement Directors at all organizations, the average salary is $135,814. The highest on the list is $195,208, and the lowest is $101,359.

For Strategic Sourcing Directors at all organizations, the average salary is $146,602. The highest is $219,513, and the lowest is $119,800.

For Vendor and Contract Management Directors at all organizations, the average salary is $139,108. The highest is $163,011 and the lowest is $118,322.

For Directors at Universities, the average salary is $125,532.

For Directors at Hospitals and Boards of Public Health, the average salary is $137,255.03.

For Directors at Municipalities and Services, the average salary is $134,975.09.

For Directors at Crown Agencies, the average salary is $138,801.59.

The average for individuals at the Vice President level is $174,992.

One other interesting fact is that there are a large number of Procurement professionals at the sole contributor level (Procurement Coordinators, Procurement Specialists, Buyers, Procurement Advisors, etc.) earning well-above $100,000, as high as $135,288 in one case. This certainly puts pressure on private sector employers to look at their own compensation if they’re looking to attract top talent. 

Finally, the average for all Procurement professionals over $100k a year is $119,893.61. Keep in mind that this isn’t for all public sector Procurement professionals, as it doesn’t capture individuals earning under $100k whose salaries aren’t disclosed under the act.

Our overall takeaway is that the compensation for Public Sector Procurement is healthy. While there’s a perception that Public Sector compensation might be less than in the Private Sector, this might not necessarily be the case in Ontario. (According to Salary.com, the average salary for a Procurement Director in Toronto is $138,943, which is only slightly higher than the average compensation for Public Sector Procurement Directors). Procurement professionals, especially Strategic Procurement, are responsible for lots of cost savings in organizations. And in Public Sector, skilled Procurement professionals are able to use their understanding of regulations and best practices to make sure that the public purse is managed responsibly. So we’re happy to see them well-compensated. 

It’s also interesting to note the wide range of salaries for individuals at different organizations, showing that compensation differs within various subsectors even within the relatively niche community of Public Sector Procurement. The high levels of variation in the salaries, even for similar positions, shows that skills and talents, and not just seniority, dictate compensation in this niche. logo_icon


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