The Professional Pricing Society (PPS) has been surveying the Pricing community since 1998 as a service to PPS Members and the business 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 and career enhancement.
In December 2021, we again surveyed pricers and those in similar fields, receiving 640 responses from the worldwide 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’s importance within the business world.
More than 75% of our survey respondents work for medium-large or very large corporations: 34.1% work for companies with annual revenues in excess of $5 billion (or equivalent) and the largest segment at 41.3% report that their company annual revenues are between $500 million and $5 billion. A significantly sized but smaller group, 24.6% are from companies with less than $500 million in annual revenue. When compared to our last survey in December 2020, the largest group (over $5 billion revenue) was slightly larger this year, with a shift in favor of the middle group (between $500 million and $5 billion) at the expense of the smaller group (under $500 million).
The number of employees in the respondents’ companies devoted primarily to Pricing in Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) employees shows that about half (49.2%) responded that their companies have fewer than 10 Pricing FTEs. This is higher than our last survey. 33.1% report having between 10 and 49 pricers, which is slightly lower than last year. 17.7% stated that their organizations have at least 50 employees dedicated to Pricing – this is also lower than our December 2020 survey. The most significant shift is a decrease from the largest groups in favor of smaller numbers, demonstrating a small migration in favor of fewer FTEs per company.
Respondents from American companies reported an average of 4.01 Pricing FTEs per billion dollars in annual revenue, while European companies reported an average of 4.61 Pricing FTEs per billion euros in revenue. Given the dollar-to-euro exchange rate during the survey period, European organizations have 28% more Pricing FTEs than their American counterparts.
Survey respondents in the USA reported increases at all the major job titles surveyed: Analysts reported an average salary of $102,850 which is an increase of 9.4% versus our last survey. In the USA, Managers reported an average salary of $131,527 (up 11.0%) and Directors earned $182,259 (up 8.8%). Vice Presidents reported smaller salary increases this year, with an average of $250,875 – up 2.7% versus our last survey. This year’s survey may be showing the effects of the so-called Great Resignation and inflation, as it appears that many pricers received significant raises or found new jobs with higher salaries.
In the Euro Zone, reported salary increases were smaller. European Analysts earned €61,761 which was 6.8% more than our survey from a year ago. Managers reported €94,974 for a 2.0% increase. Toward the top of the organization chart, Directors averaged € 134,628 (up 3.1%).
Across all categories and regardless of title, the average pricer now earns $154,187 in the USA and €98,678 in the Euro Zone.
Figure 1: Salary Excluding Bonuses by Pricing Title
Salary Trends by Industry
There is a very wide range of reported salaries by industry according to our survey respondents. Those in High-Tech ($182,113), B2B ($181,294), and Consulting ($177,357) reported the highest average salaries. Industrial, Services, Financial, Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals, Transportation, and Telecom businesses all reported average salaries between $140,000 and $160,000. The lowest reported average salaries were in Retail, Manufacturing, Distribution, and Hospitality organizations.
Reporting Structures and Experience in Pricing
More pricers report to Senior Management (25.2%) than to any other function, followed by large groups that report to Finance (19.4%), Marketing (15.8%), Product Groups / Product Management (14.4%), and to a Business Unit (13.7%). The next most likely reporting structure is through Sales (5.8%), while 2.1% report to Operations. About 3.6% reported a combination of the above, or a different reporting structure. The most noteworthy trend in reporting structures is a shift from Finance, Marketing, and Sales in favor of Senior Management, Products Groups, and Business Units.
Our respondents reported a range of experience within Pricing. 2.9% claimed that they had two years or less experience and 17.0% stated three to five years of experience. The largest groups were 11-20 years (42.9%), more than 20 years of experience in Pricing (19.3%), and six to ten years at 17.9%.
Overall Job Satisfaction
This is the 12th survey in which we have asked respondents how satisfying their jobs are and about unmet wants and needs. On a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 10 (very satisfied), Pricing professionals rated their jobs 6.79, which was 0.02 lower than our last survey. Vice Presidents were slightly higher with reported overall job satisfaction of 6.89. Directors were right about par at 6.78, while Managers were lower at 6.63 and Analysts were right on the mean at 6.79.
PPS Pricing Power Index
Our December 2021 survey was the second time that we asked respondents about their assessment of their company’s Pricing power to determine the PPS Pricing Power Index. This year’s overall average was 6.50 on a scale of 1 (no Pricing power whatsoever) to 10 (absolute and complete Pricing power), which represented a small increase from the previous overall average of 6.45.
There was an interesting mixture of reported Pricing Power when broken down by Job Title: Vice Presidents reported the lowest Pricing power at 6.16, but Directors were highest at 6.65. Analysts and Managers were more in the middle (6.40 and 6.48 respectively).
There was also a significant deviation in the Index depending on Industry. Logistics (7.92), Telecommunications (7.87), Services (7.29), and Manufacturing (7.11) businesses reported higher than average Pricing Power, while High Tech (5.46), Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals (5.91), Transportation (6.20), and B2B (6.38) all reported lower than average Pricing Power. Industrial, Retail, Consulting, Hospitality, and Wholesale were all in a middle range close to the overall average Pricing Power.
On average, respondents from the Euro Zone (6.78) reported significantly higher average Pricing Power than those in the USA (6.37). Canadians reported the highest Pricing Power (7.20) while those in Great Britain reported the lowest (6.17).
Other Elements within Job Satisfaction
We asked pricers to rate their feelings about certain elements within the profession. 90.7% reported satisfaction in knowing that Pricing is strategically important for their companies (this is up from 84.9% in our last survey) and 72.1% find their careers challenging (up from 69.7%). 70.1% claimed that their jobs were intellectually stimulating (up from 62.5%), but well over half (61.4%) felt that they were underappreciated by their firms (up from 55.2%).
Training Opportunities only received an average score of 5.71 on a 10-point scale, which is exactly the same results as in our last survey. “Recognition and Acknowledgement Received from Employers” was rated 6.02, which is noticeably higher than the previous year (5.65).
The highest-rated elements of job satisfaction were “Communication within the Pricing Group” (8.13) and “Amount of Influence” (7.62). Communication with other Groups received 6.73 and Career Advancement Opportunities increased significantly versus our last survey (6.28 vs. 5.96).
The most satisfying job aspect for pricers was “Increasing Company Profitability” (67.1% of survey respondents) and the least satisfying was “Dealing with Corporate Politics,” mentioned on 59.3% of all responses, followed by “Being Understaffed” (48.6% of all responses).
More survey respondents say that their companies are using Pricing-specific software, but Microsoft Excel is still the most commonly used tool for Pricing. 34.1% said that they primarily use Excel or Tableau, while 29.7% said that they use an outside company’s Pricing, Pricing optimization, or Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) software. 18.1% use internally developed, or in-house, Pricing software, and 9.4% say that they are in the process of changing software tools. 8.7% claim that they do not use Pricing software and are not considering adopting software in the near future.
We also asked our members for qualitative answers on how to improve their Pricing power and job satisfaction. The most common answers centered on:
- Better data analytics
- Better communication between departments and with senior management
- Increasing Pricing training, both inside and outside the Pricing team
- Hiring more to relieve overworked team members
Many respondents also reported that their company salesforce is heavily involved with Pricing decision-making with high levels of authority for discounting.
We asked a question about gender on this year’s survey. Of those respondents who chose to identify and answer, slightly more than one-third, 33.6% were female, a notable increase from 26.8% in our last survey. 66.4% 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.