Purchasing Managers

Business Management & Administration > Operations Management

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Considerable Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services. Includes wholesale or retail trade merchandising managers and procurement managers.

Common job titles of Purchasing Managers include:

Experience and Education

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 75% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 10% said they needed a Associate's Degree.


    Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in buying, selling, and distributing materials, equipment, machinery, and supplies.

    Administer online purchasing systems.

    Prepare and process requisitions and purchase orders for supplies and equipment.

    Maintain records of goods ordered and received.

    Locate vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interview them to determine product availability and terms of sales.

    Prepare reports regarding market conditions and merchandise costs.

    Prepare bid awards requiring board approval.

    Review, evaluate, and approve specifications for issuing and awarding bids.

    Represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.

    Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products, or substitute materials.

    Analyze market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.

    Review purchase order claims and contracts for conformance to company policy.

    Develop cost reduction strategies and savings plans.

    Resolve vendor or contractor grievances, and claims against suppliers.

    Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.

    Interview and hire staff, and oversee staff training.

    Control purchasing department budgets.

    Arrange for disposal of surplus materials.


Personal computers

Desktop computers

10-key calculators


Bowen & Groves M1 ERP

Enterprise resource planning ERP software

Epicor Vantage ERP

Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft SharePoint

NetSuite ERP

Oracle PeopleSoft Financials

All Technologies

Qlik Tech QlikView

Ariba Spend Management Suite

Automated purchase order software

Bottomline Technologies Bottomline Sprinter Purchasing Manager

Corel Paradox

Infor Lawson Supply Chain Management

Inventory management software

Materials requirement planning MRP software

Oracle DBMS

Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management Solutions

Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Portfolio Project Management

Point of sale POS software

Purchasing software

PurchasingNet eProcurement

SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports

Scheduling software


Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Teaching others how to do something.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Management of Financial Resources

Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.

Management of Material Resources

Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


Using mathematics to solve problems.


Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Fluency of Ideas

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

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