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Become A Purchasing Manager

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Working As A Purchasing Manager

  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $98,486

    Average Salary

What Does A Purchasing Manager Do

Purchasing managers plan, direct, and coordinate the buying of materials, products, or services for wholesalers, retailers, or organizations. They oversee the work of procurement-related occupations including buyers and purchasing agents.


Purchasing managers typically do the following:

  • Coordinate the activities of buyers and purchasing agents engaged in buying materials, equipment, or supplies for the organization
  • Supervise, hire, and train staff
  • Evaluate potential suppliers on the basis of price, quality, and speed of delivery
  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers’ plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices
  • Attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other information to determine reasonable prices
  • Negotiate contracts on behalf of their organization
  • Work out agreements with suppliers, such as when products will be delivered
  • Meet with staff and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action
  • Ensure that vendors and suppliers comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and, if they don’t, determine the need for changes

Purchasing managers plan and coordinate the work of buyers and purchasing agents and hire and train new staff.

Purchasing managers, sometimes known as contract managers, are also responsible for developing their organization’s procurement policies and procedures. These policies help ensure that procurement professionals are meeting ethical standards to avoid potential conflicts of interest or inappropriate supplier and customer relations.

Besides establishing procurement standards, purchasing managers set guidelines on how often their department will get price quotes for items, how many bids to accept, and which vendors to consider.

In addition to carrying out their managerial and administrative responsibilities, purchasing managers buy goods and services for their organization or institution. Like buyers and purchasing agents, purchasing managers negotiate contracts and consider price, quality, availability, reliability, and technical support when identifying and choosing suppliers and merchandise. Their negotiations and contracts are typically more complex than those carried out by buyers and purchasing agents.

Purchasing managers must study their organization’s sales records and inventory levels of current stock, identify foreign and domestic suppliers, and keep up to date with changes affecting both the supply of, and demand for, products and materials.

Purchasing managers use many resources to find out all they can about potential suppliers. They attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and to make contacts with suppliers.

Before signing a contract and placing an order, purchasing managers must make certain that the supplier can deliver the desired goods or services on time, in the correct quantities, and without sacrificing quality. Purchasing managers monitor the terms of the contracts in order to ensure that the supplier is complying with its terms and conditions and resolve any supplier-related issues that arise.

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How To Become A Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers need a bachelor’s degree and work experience as a buyer or purchasing agent.


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.


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.

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Purchasing Manager jobs

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Purchasing Manager Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • French

  • German

  • Japanese

  • Russian

  • Portuguese

  • Korean

  • Italian

  • Arabic

  • Cantonese

  • Carrier

  • Polish

  • Hindi

  • Urdu

  • Vietnamese

  • Turkish

  • Dutch

  • Ukrainian

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Real Purchasing Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Contracts and Procurement Manager Lukoil International Upstream West Inc. Houston, TX Feb 10, 2016 $272,100
Purchasing Manager Orleasn International Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Sep 14, 2016 $265,000
Purchasing Manager Orleans International Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Sep 14, 2016 $265,000
Global Commodities Strategist RBC Capital Markets, LLC New York, NY Mar 16, 2015 $200,000 -
Contracts and Procurement Manager Lukoil International Upstream West Inc. Houston, TX Feb 10, 2016 $200,000
Purchasing Manager-Americas Futuris Automotive (Us) Inc. Newark, CA Jan 02, 2016 $180,000
Associate Sourcing Manager The Children's Place Services Company, LLC Secaucus, NJ Mar 19, 2015 $170,893
Indirect Purchasing Manager, Software Licensing Nextev LLC San Jose, CA Nov 14, 2016 $170,000
Strategic Sourcing Mgmt Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 07, 2016 $169,021 -
Purchasing Manager Watch Empire Inc. Ridgefield, NJ May 16, 2016 $165,600
Purchasing Manager/International 26 International Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 27, 2015 $165,290
Regional Supplier Sourcing Manager CB&I Inc. Houston, TX Oct 13, 2016 $165,000
Regional Supplier Sourcing Manager CB&I Inc. The Woodlands, TX Oct 13, 2016 $165,000
Strategic Sourcing MGR Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 23, 2016 $161,117 -
Global Strategic Commodity Manager AGCO Corporation Duluth, GA Aug 20, 2016 $110,000
Commodity Manager Meebox, Inc. Allen, TX Nov 16, 2016 $110,000
Manager Sourcing Paramount Pictures Corporation Los Angeles, CA Oct 31, 2016 $110,000
Commodity Manager Lumileds Lighting LLC San Jose, CA Sep 17, 2016 $110,000
Manager, Strategic Sourcing BJC Health System Saint Louis, MO Oct 03, 2016 $110,000 -
Procurement Manager JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. Boston, MA Feb 11, 2016 $110,000
Sourcing Manager ACCO Brands USA LLC Lake Zurich, IL May 21, 2015 $110,000 -
Procurement Transformation Manager HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Mettawa, IL Jan 09, 2016 $110,000
Manager-Western Hemisphere Sourcing Payless Shoesource Topeka, KS Mar 05, 2015 $89,960 -
Purchasing Manager Fluidic, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ Oct 03, 2015 $89,000
Corporate Purchasing Metals Manager Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Feb 08, 2015 $88,800 -
Manager, Electronic Procurement Hilti Inc. Plano, TX Jul 13, 2015 $88,500
Purchasing Manager American Manufacturing & Engineering Corporation Montgomeryville, PA Oct 09, 2016 $88,489
Purchasing Manager Gaiser's European Style Provisions, Inc. Union, NJ Sep 16, 2015 $88,113

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Top Skills for A Purchasing Manager


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Top Purchasing Manager Skills

  1. Supply Chain
  2. Purchase Orders
  3. Vendor Relations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Locate and identify new manufacturing sources to ensure supply chain consistency and continuity.
  • Prepared purchase requisitions, approved and issued purchase orders in accordance with company policy and negotiated terms and conditions.
  • Maintained vendor relationships to obtain technology equipment and software information, including cost, availability and deliver schedule.
  • Served as primary interface with international markets regarding new product development and product changes.
  • Ensured purchasing functions were completed in accordance with established policies and procedures.

Top Purchasing Manager Employers

Purchasing Manager Videos

Purchasing Managers Job Description

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