The State of Procurement Careers in 2021: What’s next?

by | Oct 21, 2021 | Procurement and Contracting

Street sign showing 2021 crossed out and 2022 pointing right

After a year under lockdown, many procurement professionals are turning to thoughts of next steps and new ways of working. The question is: how have procurement careers changed in 2021 and what’s in store for the coming year? As the post-lockdown life becomes a reality, the question that many procurement professionals are asking now is, “How can I make the career choices that are right for me, for my career and for where the industry is heading?”

Everything we knew at the start of 2021 has changed, but there some clear trends we can look back on to work out where procurement roles are going and what we can expect for procurement careers in 2022.

Take a look:

Procurement leaders shine during the pandemic

The pandemic has shifted the world in many ways, and the procurement profession is no exception. In fact, it has had a positive impact on the profession by helping procurement gain the prominence and respect it deserves, and build greater influence in the c-suite.

According to the CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide 2021, more than 71% of respondents believed there has been a positive change in business leaders’ perception of the procurement profession, and almost two-thirds (63%) said they feel the profession is truly valued within their organisation.

Why the positive change? Because procurement leaders stepped up and delivered during the pandemic to help take quick, effective action to navigate the difficult, unpredictable, and constantly changing circumstances. Procurement professionals have had a chance to shine and really become a valuable part of the organisation. Senior leaders needed answers, and there was no one better placed to help than qualified procurement professionals.

Now it’s time for procurement professionals to build on this momentum in 2022. The future of procurement roles is underpinned by the fact that most organisations can’t do without them. Some 80% of respondents in The Great Procurement Reset 2021 report by Procurious said the supply chain is important or critical to their organisation. But expectations are high and there will be pressure on professionals to keep delivering value for their organisation and utilise all available resources to correctly adapt to market changes.

Procurement salaries on the rise

With procurement professionals proving themselves indispensable in 2021, it should come as no surprise that procurement salaries in Australia and New Zealand have increased by 5.5%, according to the CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide 2021Almost 50% of professionals have received a pay rise in the past 12 months, with 63% receiving a bonus.

Time to reignite the passion for procurement

Despite winning more respect and more salary, enthusiasm in procurement careers is waning. Only 52% of respondents reported increased interest in a procurement career since the start of the pandemic – down from 62% last year. This isn’t unique to the procurement profession. The stress of the last couple of years and the disconnect caused by remote working has resulted in disengagement in lots of professions. But it’s important to consider how to reignite enthusiasm for procurement careers through flexible working arrangements, culture, and professional development opportunities.


There’s no doubt about it – the procurement industry, our careers, and our daily roles are all changing. But if the pandemic has shown us anything in 2021, it’s that procurement is more important and valued than ever. Now is the time for procurement professionals, and those thinking of pursuing a career of procurement, to step up and grab the opportunity to carve out a successful, meaningful career.

If you have some procurement experience and want to accelerate your career in the public sector, consider completing a Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting (PSP40616) or a Diploma of Procurement and Contracting (PSP50616).




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