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Purchasing managers need a bachelor’s degree and work experience as a buyer or purchasing agent.Education
Purchasing managers usually have at least a bachelor’s degree and some work experience in procurement. A master’s degree may be required for advancement to some top-level purchasing manager jobs.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Purchasing managers typically must have at least 5 years of experience as a buyer or purchasing agent. At the top levels, purchasing manager duties may overlap with other management functions, such as production, planning, logistics, and marketing.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
There are several certifications available for purchasing managers and others employed in a procurement-related field. Although some employers require certification, many do not.
Most of the certifications involve oral or written exams and have education and work experience requirements.
The Institute for Supply Management offers the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) credential, which covers a wide scope of purchasing professional duties. To receive the CPSM credential, candidates must pass three exams and possess at least 3 years of relevant work experience for those with a bachelor’s degree or 5 years of relevant work experience for those without a bachelor’s degree.
The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) and the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) credentials. Certification is valid for 5 years. Candidates must earn a certain number of professional development “points” to renew their certification. Candidates initially become eligible, and can renew their certification, through a combination of purchasing-related experience, education, and professional contributions (such as articles published or speeches delivered).
APICS, founded as the American Production and Inventory Control Society, offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. Applicants must have 3 years of related business experience or a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for the CSCP credential, which is valid for 5 years. Candidates must also earn a certain number of professional development points to renew their certification.
The Next Level Purchasing Association offers the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) certification. Although there are no education or work experience requirements, applicants must complete six online courses and pass an SPSM exam. Certification is valid for 4 years. Candidates must complete 32 continuing education hours in procurement-related topics to recertify for an additional 4-year period.
The Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) offers two certifications for workers in federal, state, and local government. The Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) credential requires applicants to have earned at least an associate’s degree, to have at least 3 years of public procurement experience, and to complete relevant training courses. The Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree, to have at least 5 years of public procurement experience, and to complete additional training courses.
Those with the CPPB or the CPPO designation must renew their certification every 5 years by completing continuing education courses or attending procurement-related conferences or events.
The National Institute of Government Purchasing’s (NIGP’s) Institute for Public Procurement offers preparation courses for the UPPCC certification exams.Advancement
An experienced and qualified purchasing manager may advance to become the chief procurement officer for a business or organization.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. When evaluating suppliers, purchasing managers must analyze their options and choose a supplier with the best combination of price, quality, delivery, service, or other criteria.
Decisionmaking skills. Purchasing managers must have the ability to make informed and timely decisions, choosing products that they think will sell.
Math skills. Purchasing managers must possess basic math skills. They must be able to compare prices from different suppliers to ensure that their organization is getting the best deal.
Negotiating skills. Purchasing managers often must negotiate the terms of a contract with a supplier. Interpersonal skills and self-confidence, in addition to knowledge of the product, can help lead to successful negotiation.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Contracts Manager
Top Careers After Contracts Manager
Hispanic or Latino9.6%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix18.4%
George Washington University10.3%
Michigan State University4.2%
University of Maryland - University College4.1%
Florida State University3.6%
University of Houston3.4%
Arizona State University3.4%
Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne3.2%
Texas A&M University3.2%
University of Maryland - College Park3.0%
George Mason University3.0%
Pennsylvania State University2.8%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Contracts Manager||DAL Sterling Group International Inc.||Houston, TX||Dec 01, 2011||$300,000|
|Corporate Contracts Manager||Chiyoda International Corporation||Houston, TX||Oct 27, 2015||$240,000|
|Corporate Contracts Manager||Chiyoda International Corporation||Houston, TX||Oct 22, 2015||$240,000|
|Contracts Manager||Swift Technical Services, LLC||Houston, TX||Sep 20, 2011||$202,022|
|Project Commercial Contract Manager||Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.||Aug 15, 2015||$183,000|
|Manager Contracts||McDermott, Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 08, 2015||$180,000|
|Midstream Contract Manager||BG North America, LLC||Houston, TX||May 04, 2011||$175,000 -
|Prime Contracts Manager||Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation||Vienna, VA||Feb 15, 2013||$172,968|
|Prime Contracts Manager||Bechtel Construction Operations Inc.||Vienna, VA||Mar 07, 2011||$157,000|
|Prime Contracts Manager||Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation||Vienna, VA||Feb 14, 2011||$157,000|
|Civil Contracts Manager||Smithbridge GUAM Inc.||Dec 31, 2014||$150,000|
|Civil Contracts Manager||Smithbridge GUAM Inc.||Jun 15, 2014||$150,000|
|Contracts Manager||Precision Drilling Company, LP||Denver, CO||Sep 22, 2016||$148,600|
|Contract Manager||Bechtel Power Corporation||Frederick, MD||Mar 10, 2012||$114,540 -
|Field Contracts Manager||Bechtel Power Corporation||Tipton, CA||Apr 26, 2013||$110,160 -
|Contracts Manager||Secret Escapes, LLC||New York, NY||Apr 01, 2016||$110,000|
|Contracts Manager||Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation||Frederick, MD||Dec 08, 2016||$108,514 -
|Contracts Manager||Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation||Frederick, MD||Apr 04, 2016||$108,514 -
|Contracting Manager, IT||Fireman's Fund Insurance Company||Novato, CA||Jun 26, 2014||$108,042|
|Contract Manager||Bechtel Communications, Inc.||San Ramon, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$108,000|
|Bilingual Contract Manager||T.D. Williamson, Inc.||Houston, TX||Apr 14, 2011||$106,579|
|Contracts Manager||Honeywell International Inc.||Tempe, AZ||Oct 09, 2016||$86,331|
|Contract Manager||Object Reservoir, Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 19, 2012||$86,000|
|Contracts Manager||IHI E&C International Corporation||Houston, TX||Jul 11, 2016||$85,613 -
|Legal and Contract Manager||Ipsoft Incorporated||New York, NY||Aug 24, 2016||$85,000|
|Procurement Contracts Manager||NRG Energy, Inc.||Scottsdale, AZ||Aug 29, 2016||$85,000|
|Contract Manager||Partners Healthcare||Boston, MA||Sep 08, 2012||$84,683|
|Contract Manager||Honeywell International Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 30, 2011||$82,820|
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