The average travel buyer earns a total annual pay package of around £60,500, according to the first salary survey carried out by the Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM).
The survey of the ITM’s buyer members found that the average buyer was also aged between 36-45, with 6-10 years’ experience in the sector, worked in the south-east of England and came from a procurement background.
The overall average package of £60,464 is made up of £50,588 in base salary plus a bonus of £4,257 and benefits of £5,619. But the report points out that “a small number of highly-paid individuals pull the average up and most members’ salaries are in the £30-£40,000 range”.
Simone Buckley, chief executive of the ITM, said the idea for starting an annual salary survey was to produce a set of benchmarks which buyers could use when it came to salary reviews with their employers.
“The size of the company is an indicator when it comes to salaries,” said Buckley. “The bigger the company, the more travellers and employees they will have, which means the size of travel spend and individual budget responsibility will be greater, so this is where the salaries are higher.
“It’s important to note the difference between the package, which also includes benefits and bonuses, and the base salary. The average base salary is £50,000 but this goes up to £60,000 when you look at it as a package.
“The more travel spend there is, the more impact the buyer can have on savings, then the higher the package will be for that buyer. The bigger the organisation, the more benefits and bonuses are linked in.”
One of the findings, previously released at the ITM conference in May, was that those members who were CIPS-qualified earned £10,000 more in base salary than buyers who were not qualified. However this gap reduced to around £2,600 when benefits and bonuses were included.
ITM has also launched a new partnership to encourage its members to join CIPS. The study found that only 19 per cent of respondents were currently CIPS-qualified although another 14 per cent were working towards this qualification.
The survey found that buyers working in the pharmaceutical industry enjoyed the highest salaries and overall packages, which has been put down to the sector being dominated by a few enormous global firms. Salaries were also high in the finance/insurance industries and in the public sector.
The lowest buyer salaries and packages were found in the charity/not-for-profit sectors and education.
“Interestingly, 47 per cent of respondents sat within procurement – I think it’s quite an increase over the last few years and we’ve seen that as a trend,” added Buckley. “It’s also great news that age, qualifications and experience do matter.”
The survey found that those buyers with more than 10 years experience earned the highest salaries, with an average package of more than £60,000.
ITM used 127 completed responses from 441 members surveyed to complete the report.