Purchasing Manager Jobs

Purchasing Manager Job Description

Purchasing managers are responsible for getting the best deals on goods and services for their organization. Ultimately, the goal of purchasing managers is to get the highest quality goods and services at the lowest prices.

To accomplish their goal, purchasing managers study inventory and sales records, and then monitor trends that impact the supply and demand of the products and services that they need. Ideally, purchasing managers want to buy the goods that their organization needs when the demand is low and the supply is high.

One of the most important parts of this occupation is identifying and evaluating potential suppliers. As part of this process, they have to make sure that suppliers can produce the quality and quantity of goods needed on time.

Evaluating a potential supplier often requires extensive research. Sometimes, research includes traveling to the supplier’s manufacturing facility and evaluating its ability to deliver what is needed. Some purchasing managers do most of their travel within the United States, but those who work for global organizations may need to travel internationally on a regular basis.

If it makes sense for an organization to use a particular supplier, then purchasing managers negotiate a contract with the supplier.

The majority of purchasing managers work for manufacturing firms and government agencies, and they are normally responsible for handling complicated purchases. They are also normally responsible for leading a team of purchasing agents and buyers who help them identify suppliers and trends in the marketplace.

Most purchasing managers work full time, and nearly one third need to work overtime on a regular basis.

This can be a very demanding occupation, and you should consider the impact that it will have on your personal life before you pursue a career in this occupation. Working as a purchasing manager can be very rewarding, but it isn’t a job for everyone.

How to Become a Purchasing Manager

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required to work as a purchasing manager. People in this occupation come from all sorts of academic backgrounds, but a background in business, economics, accounting, or engineering is normally preferred.

Because this is a management position, previous work experience in a related field is normally required. Many purchasing managers start out by working as a purchasing agent or buyer. The amount of required experience varies from employer to employer, but most require at least five years.

Purchasing agents and buyers are normally entry level positions that can be attained directly out of college. If you want work as a purchasing manager after college, getting a job in one of those occupations is the most direct path to becoming a purchasing manager.

If you have the opportunity to get a master’s degree, you should take advantage of it. Earning a master’s can open up some advancement opportunities that you wouldn’t have otherwise. For example, many senior level management and director positions require candidates to have a master’s degree.

There are several certifications available to purchasing managers. Most require a bachelor’s degree and work experience. Certifications are offered by the National Government of Governmental Purchasing, the Association for Operations Management, and the American Purchasing Society. The certification you want to earn will depend on the type of work that you do. Visit the websites listed above to learn more about the available certifications.

Employment Outlook

There are currently 68,000 purchasing managers in the United States, with 2,560 new purchasing manager job openings created each year.

Purchasing Manager jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Purchasing Manager Salaries

Overall Salaries

Purchasing Manager salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most purchasing managers make between $72,900 – $126,200 per year, or $35.06 – $60.69 per hour.

Updated: 09/02/2017

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