There was much to learn from last week's Business Travel Summit in Amsterdam but one of the most eagerly awaited sessions was the plenary that closed the whole event which asked the question "Travel manager salaries: are you being paid enough?"
At the very start of the session we asked the audience a simple question 'Are you underpaid?' It was a light-hearted way to open the session and, as expected, the result was a unanimous Yes.
We then presented the results of an exclusive salary survey we had carried out among both delegates and Business Travel iQ readers. Thank you to all those who took part.
We asked a variety of questions that were designed to see whether there were correlations between salary and parameters such as experience, company travel spend and location.
The first chart this week shows how salary varies by the amount that a company spends on T&E and the results are segregated into those that spend over €10m and those that do not.
As we might have expected, the survey showed that in general those with bigger spending companies pay their travel managers more. In fact, companies who spend less than €10m on T&E are more than four times as likely to pay their employees a salary of less than €40,000.
The modal salary (i.e. the most likely salary travel managers would be paid) was between €50,000 and €69,999.
The survey also showed the value of experience, as shown below. We split the results at a threshold of ten years.
The results came in as follows: 21% of those in the industry for more than 10 years earn €100,000 or more, compared to just 4% of those in the industry for up to 10 years. This seems to show that experience is valued by companies.
However, the situation is not clear cut. Some 28% of those working in the industry for 10 years or more earn less than €40,000 compared to 20% of those newer to the industry.
The delegates at the conference were particularly interested in how much they were paid compared to their European counterparts. This is shown in the chart below.
The results showed that salaries were generally lower in the Benelux countries than elsewhere. Session leaders Ole Mortensen of AMM Consulting and Jean-Michel Kadaner of Areka Consulting speculated that this may be driven by the loss of European headquarters of American multinationals in these countries.