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Operations Management Employment to Improve by 31 Percent in 2017

  • APICS staff
March/April 2017

Findings from the “2016 APICS Operations Management Employment Outlook” report forecast an increased amount of opportunities for individuals in the field. APICS and the University of North Carolina Wilmington's Cameron School of Business interviewed a random sample of 30,000 industry professionals around the globe to create a joint report providing year-to-year comparisons; trend analysis; and a 12-month outlook on hiring, layoffs, job function, job title, and salary compensation.

The job market for operations management professionals has been steadily improving since the first salary and employment report was released in 2009. Forty-one percent of survey respondents anticipate hiring within the next 12 months, up from 38 percent of survey respondents in the 2014 project. This growth in anticipated hiring pairs with a 3 percent decline in anticipated layoffs, resulting in a significant 31 percent projected net gain for operations management industry employment in 2017.

In addition to overall trends in operations management hiring, the report takes a closer look at five main job specialties within operations management: execution and control of operations, purchasing and customer relationship management (CRM), resource planning, and supply chain management. The Purchasing and CRM specialty is projected to be the most in-demand job area for the next 12 months.

2016 APICS Operations Management Employment Outlook infographic

Salary and compensation data collected in the 2016 survey also continue the positive trends reported in years past. Average annual compensation across all operations management job categories was reported to be $101,644 in 2016, a 3.3 percent increase compared with the 2014 report’s findings.

Respondents who classified their roles as “execution and control of operations” average the highest reported annual compensation. Those who selected “resource planning” as their job classifications are the lowest at $71,329.

Since the first APICS salary survey in 2009, male salaries have consistently outpaced female salaries, mirroring the gender bias found across industries nationwide. In the “2016 APICS Operations Management Employment Outlook,” however, signs of improvement are visible. Females in the US Midwest on average across all age ranges report an 8 percent higher salary than their male counterparts. When the US sample is divided by age and gender, another promising trend toward gender pay equality emerges: Females under the age of 25 are earning 41 percent more than males of the same age. There is still much improvement needed, evidenced by the numbers for the North Central and South East regions. In these parts of the United States, females earn on average 39 and 35 percent, respectively, less than their male counterparts.

According to the data, education makes a difference too. Employees with a bachelor’s degree can expect approximately 30 percent more in total compensation, on average, compared with a similar employee with only a high school diploma. Individuals completing a master of business administration (MBA) degree can expect approximately 11 percent higher compensation, on average, than those with a bachelor’s degree and approximately 44 percent more than those with only a high school diploma. Of those employees with an associate's or technical degree, women earn approximately 14 percent less than men with the same amount of education. Women with a bachelor’s degree earn 11 percent less than similarly educated men.

Similar to the results of previous surveys, 2016 respondents who have obtained APICS certification reported higher salary compensation levels than respondents who do not hold APICS certifications. Individuals with the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management designation received an average of 10 percent higher compensation compared with those without. Similarly, individuals with an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional designation received approximately 12 percent higher compensation than those without.

Visit for the full “2016 APICS Operations Management Employment Outlook” report, to be published in late-spring. 

Announcing ASCM Membership App Enhancements

An updated version of the ASCM Membership app has launched with a range of new features to better serve ASCM Members and complement the new, customized ASCM Membership model. The app enables users to access their digital membership cards, explore member benefits, manage certification endeavors, browse job listings, and connect with local chapters, all in an easy mobile interface.

In the Member Benefits section, app users can select their favorite and most frequently used benefits and create a portal for easy access. The digital benefits highlighted in this portal include the APICS Operations Management Body of Knowledge Framework; APICS webinars; presentations from APICS annual conferences; APICS e-News, APICS Extra, and APICS Supply Chain Management Now e-newsletter articles; the digital version of APICS magazine; and more.

A variety of helpful resources are included for individuals holding or seeking APICS designations in the Credentials section, including tools to check the status of certifications and certification maintenance points and get information on training and testing. Furthermore, the exclusive database of supply chain management job listings is available through the APICS Career Center.

Engagement with the APICS community is a key goal of the ASCM Membership app. Using the Supply Chain Channel section, members can interact and share ideas with the global APICS community. Additionally, a listing of local chapters and partners connects users to local resources. Communicating directly with APICS is easy through the app. Notes from APICS will appear in the Messages area, and members can use the Contact APICS section for personal service.

Download the updated ASCM Membership app, compatible with phones and tablets, through the App Store or Google Play.

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