How to Become a Purchasing Manager

Purchasing is an important concept in all businesses and organizations that obtain goods and services to achieve goals. Purchasing managers are trained professionals that are responsible for buying or approving the purchase of a variety of goods and services.

What does a purchasing manager do?

Purchasing managers are in charge of buying the required items for companies or organizations to use or resell to consumers. They handle very important and complex purchases and often supervise purchasing agents and other employees. They are also involved in preparing and implementing sales promotion programs. Purchasing managers take price, availability, reliability, quality, and customer support into consideration when selecting merchandise, vendors, and suppliers. They strive to get the best possible deal and constantly look for new suppliers and technologies. Some purchasing managers are referred to supply or contract managers, and they specialize in supervising and negotiating supply contracts.

What kind of training does a purchasing manager need?

Purchasing managers need at least a bachelor degree in business, manufacturing, or other related field. Many purchasing managers have a master degree. Many purchasing managers start their career as purchasing buyers or agents and advance to management positions as they gain experience and complete additional training and education. Employers provide on the job training to new purchasing managers to enable them to learn the policies, procedures, and expectations of the company. Most new purchasing manager start with simple tasks such as selling merchandise and keeping track of stock. They move on to more advanced duties as they gain experience. Purchasing managers can gain voluntary certification such as the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) certification from the American Purchasing Society. They must stay up to date on the current advancements and trends in the field and often complete continuing education and training throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a purchasing manager?

Employment of purchasing managers is expected to grow more slowly than average, increasing 3% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increasing use of the Internet will contribute to slow job growth.

Job prospects should be fair. Purchasing managers with advanced education and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.

How much do purchasing managers make?

As of November 2009, the middle 50% of purchasing managers earn annual salaries between $73,692 and $98,652. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $110,675 (2).

A career as a purchasing manager is an excellent choice for individuals interested in the purchasing activities of a variety of goods and services for companies and organizations. Purchasing managers must have thorough knowledge of purchasing, marketing, and supply chain management concepts. They must also have excellent negotiation, leadership, mathematical, decision-making, and business skills. Purchasing managers must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they interact with a variety of employees, suppliers, and customers. They must have flexible schedules and be able to work under stress and pressure.

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