The Professional Pricing Society (PPS) has been surveying the pricing community since 1998 as a service to PPS Members and the pricing community worldwide. We use responses to analyze the growth of pricing as a profession, and to continue to develop resources to help pricers in the areas they identify as opportunities for professional development.
In December, 2018 we again surveyed pricers and those in similar fields, receiving over 900 responses from the business community. Since PPS is the center of the pricing discipline worldwide, our survey results are widely used as a benchmark for a variety of pricing queries: salaries, reporting structures, career opportunities, pricing software usage, and key components of job satisfaction from both positive and negative standpoints. Our organization acquires survey data as a free service to our members and those interested in demographic trends for pricing and related functions. We hope that this information provides a good synopsis of where pricing stands as a career option and a good demonstration of pricing and its importance within the business world.
Most of our survey respondents work for medium-large or very large corporations: 37.4% work for companies with annual revenues in excess of $5 billion (or equivalent) and 39.2% report that their company annual revenues are between $500 million and $5 billion. A significantly sized, but smaller group, 23.4% are from companies with less than $500 million in annual revenue. When compared to our last survey in 2017, the largest group (over $5 billion revenue) was significantly smaller, but the middle group (between $500 million and $5 billion) grew a great deal. The smaller group, under $500 million in annual revenue, was slightly smaller than in the previous survey.
The number of employees in the respondents’ companies devoted primarily to pricing shows a mixed trend measured in Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) employees: 43.4% responded that their companies have fewer than 10 pricing people or FTEs – this is more than 6% higher than our last survey. 31.2% report having between 10 and 49 pricers – a decrease of 3% versus 2017. 11.6% state that they have between 50 and 99 pricing FTEs, about 1% more than our last survey, and 13.8% say that their companies have more than 100 employees dedicated to pricing – this is almost 4% less than our December, 2017 survey.
Salary trends are mixed in the United States, with decreases reported at the Analyst level, very slight increases reported for the Manager and Director levels, and significant increases reported for Vice Presidents. American Pricing Analysts reported an average salary of $83,256 which is a decrease of 4.4% versus our last survey. In the United States, Managers reported an average salary of $116,626 (up 0.9%) and Directors earned $160,658 (up 1.9%). The news was much more positive for those higher up on the organization chart as Vice Presidents surveyed claimed an average of $214,261 – an increase of 5.6% versus December 2017 salaries.
In the Euro Zone, most salaries were significantly larger than last year’s survey, with the exception of a slight decrease for Vice Presidents. European Analysts earned € 60,614 which was 5.8% more than our survey from a year ago. Managers reported € 86,023 for a 5.2% decrease. Toward the top of the organization chart, Directors averaged € 118,431 (up 6.6%) and Vice Presidents earned € 157,527 (down 0.8%).
In Canada, Analysts averaged CAD 75,024, while Managers earned CAD 100,389 and Directors claimed CAD 151,121.
Across all categories and regardless of title, the average pricer now earns $135,563 (up 1.8% over last year) in the USA and € 89,529 (up 4.5%) in the Euro Zone. In Canada, the average salary is CAD 106,175 (up 8.3%) and in the UK it is £ 87,714 (up 9.7%).
We also asked about salaries plus bonuses and benefits in this year’s survey. Vice Presidents reported average salary plus bonuses and benefits of $290,132. Directors claimed an average of $204,555. Managers earned $140,787 in total while Analysts reported $94,773.
Salary Trends by Industry
There is a very wide range of reported salaries by industry according to our survey respondents. Those in High Technology ($180,164) and Consulting ($172,408) reported the highest average salaries, closely followed by Services ($168,455), Healthcare ($164,714), and Chemicals ($162,261). Financial, Wholesale, Hospitality, Manufacturing, B2B, and Retail all reported average salaries between $125,000 and $150,000. The lowest reported salaries were in Logistics ($117,453), Industrial ($112,611), Distribution ($102,990), and Telecommunications ($91,875).
Job Title Mix
Senior Management (Presidents, Vice Presidents, and General Managers) accounts for 13.5% of overall job titles. Managers are the largest individual group, followed by Directors and Analysts.
Reporting Structures and Experience in Pricing
More pricers report to Marketing (26.2%) than any other function, but this is closely followed by a large group that reports directly to Senior Management (23.8%). The third most likely reporting structure is through Finance (18.1%). 10.3% report directly into Sales, while 10.5% report to a Product Group and 7.1% report to a Business Unit. About 4% reported a combination of the above, or a different reporting structure.
Our respondents reported a range of experience within pricing. 10.8% claimed that they had two years or less experience and 17.3% stated three to five years of experience. The largest group was six to ten years at 32.3%, followed by 11-20 years at 30.6%. 8.9% reported more than 20 years of experience in pricing.
Overall Job Satisfaction
This is the 9th survey in which we have asked respondents about their level of job satisfaction and about unmet wants and needs. On a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 10 (very satisfied), pricing professionals rated their jobs 7.19, which was 0.10 points lower than our last survey. There were significant differences in overall satisfaction based on job title, with satisfaction directly correlated with position on the organization chart, but all titles reported lower scores than last year. Vice Presidents were the highest overall with an average score of 7.56, while Directors followed at 7.38 and Managers reported 6.97. Analysts claimed the lowest overall job satisfaction at 6.78 points.
Other Elements within Job Satisfaction
We asked pricers to rate their feelings about certain elements within the profession. 82.8% reported satisfaction in knowing that pricing is strategically important for their companies (this is down from 88.2% in our last survey) and 62.1% find their careers challenging (down from 65.9%). About 3-in-5 (59.2%) claimed that their jobs were intellectually stimulating (down from 60.3%), but almost half (46.5%) felt that they were underappreciated by their firms (down from 51.1%)
Training Options only received an average score of 6.03 on a 10-point scale, which is almost exactly the same as our last survey (6.04). “Recognition and Acknowledgement Received from Employers” was rated 6.04; this was slightly lower than last year (6.18).
The highest–rated elements of job satisfaction were “Communication within the Pricing Group” (7.88) and “Amount of Influence” (7.60). Communication with other Groups received 6.78 and Career Advancement Opportunities decreased slightly versus our last survey (6.37 vs. 6.39 in 2017).
The most satisfying job aspect for pricers was Increasing Company Profitability (66.3% of survey respondents) and the least satisfying was dealing with Corporate Politics, mentioned on 57.9% of all responses, followed by Being Understaffed (40.6% of all responses).
When asked for qualitative answers to improve their situations, pricers most commonly reflected that they would like more clear roles and responsibilities, more hiring, higher salaries, less micromanagement, more visibility, and better resources.
Most survey respondents reported that their company sales force is involved in pricing to a limited degree with at least some authority over final pricing decisions and discounting.
We asked a question about gender on this year’s survey. Of those respondents who chose to answer, 23.6% were female and 76.4% were male.
As the only professional association dedicated to supporting the development and expansion of the Pricing profession worldwide, we always encourage your feedback regarding your professional development needs, career satisfaction, obstacles you are facing and any other assistance we can provide to help you achieve your career and advancement goals. Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions, feedback, or any other inquiries.