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Career profile Purchasing Manager

Also known as Category Purchasing Manager, Commodity Manager, Materials Director, Materials Manager, Procurement Director, Procurement Manager, Purchasing Director, Purchasing Supervisor, Strategic Sourcing Director

Purchasing Manager

Also known as Category Purchasing Manager, Commodity Manager, Materials Director

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$74,570 - $197,630 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Administration and Management
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.
  • Develop cost reduction strategies and savings plans.
  • Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.
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What does a Purchasing Manager do?

Purchasing Managers plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services.

In addition, Purchasing Managers includes wholesale or retail trade merchandising managers and procurement managers.

What kind of tasks does a Purchasing Manager perform regularly?

Purchasing Managers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.
  • Develop cost reduction strategies and savings plans.
  • Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.
  • Prepare bid awards requiring board approval.
  • Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in buying, selling, and distributing materials, equipment, machinery, and supplies.
  • Locate vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interview them to determine product availability and terms of sales.
  • Interview and hire staff, and oversee staff training.
  • Prepare and process requisitions and purchase orders for supplies and equipment.
  • Review, evaluate, and approve specifications for issuing and awarding bids.
  • Control purchasing department budgets.
  • Review purchase order claims and contracts for conformance to company policy.
  • Resolve vendor or contractor grievances and claims against suppliers.
  • Administer online purchasing systems.
  • Maintain records of goods ordered and received.
  • Analyze market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.
  • Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products, or substitute materials.
  • Prepare reports regarding market conditions and merchandise costs.

The above responsibilities are specific to Purchasing Managers. More generally, Purchasing Managers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is a Purchasing Manager salary?

The median salary for a Purchasing Manager is $125,940, and the average salary is $132,660. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Purchasing Manager salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Purchasing Managers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Purchasing Managers earn less than $74,570 per year, 25% earn less than $96,400, 75% earn less than $158,160, and 90% earn less than $197,630.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Purchasing Managers is expected to change by 6.2%, and there should be roughly 6,300 open positions for Purchasing Managers every year.

Median annual salary
$125,940
Typical salary range
$74,570 - $197,630
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
6.2%

What personality traits are common among Purchasing Managers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Purchasing Manager are usually higher in their Enterprising and Conventional interests.

Purchasing Managers typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Purchasing Managers typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Purchasing Manager tend to value Working Conditions, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Purchasing Managers strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Second, Purchasing Managers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Purchasing Managers moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Purchasing Managers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, attention to detail, and leadership.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Purchasing Managers, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

What education and training do Purchasing Managers need?

Many Purchasing Managers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Purchasing Managers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Purchasing Managers

  • 1.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 11.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 16.9% completed some college coursework
  • 8.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 40.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 18.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 2.7% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Purchasing Managers

Purchasing Managers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as administration and management, economics and accounting, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Purchasing Managers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Purchasing Managers

Purchasing Managers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Purchasing Managers need abilities such as fluency of ideas, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Purchasing Managers, ranked by their relative importance.

Fluency of Ideas
The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Purchasing Managers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Purchasing Managers frequently use skills like social perceptiveness, critical thinking, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Purchasing Managers, ranked by their relative importance.

Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Persuasion
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.